Desert Storm vet to keynote Memorial Day service in Exeter

Service at Forest Hills to follow annual parade

EXETER TWP., Pa. - American Legion Post 934 didn't have to look far this year to find the keynote speaker for its annual Memorial Day service in Exeter Township.

The post's new vice commander, Jeff Bukowski, will speak to those gathered at Forest Hills Memorial Park for next Monday's service.

Bukowski, a former Exeter Township supervisor, is a decorated veteran of Operation Desert Storm, having served five years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy.

He began his military service aboard the U.S.S. Elliot, where he was responsible for ship handling operations during the rescue of 35 Vietnamese refugees in the South China Sea, and the rescue of a SEAL team stranded in hostile waters near North Korea.

Bukowski then served as the flag lieutenant and personal aide to Commander Cruiser-Destroyer Group Five, which was deployed to Saudi Arabia and served as the Navy's direct liaison to the U.S. Central Command and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf during Desert Storm.

Bukowski's decorations include the Navy Commendation Medal and three Navy Achievement Medals.

The service at Forest Hills Memorial Park will follow the American Legion's 37th annual parade, which is set to step off from Exeter Township Senior High School at 9 a.m next Monday.

"The parade is a celebration in appreciation of the people who serve our community and country every day," said Jesse Ritz, the parade's chairman. "The service that follows is a solemn remembrance of all the servicemen and women who have lost their lives in military service."

Exeter's marching band, headed by new director Lorraine Selke, will lead the parade, which will also include the participation of several local fire and ambulance companies and community groups.

Former Exeter Township Fire Marshal Terry Francis will serve as the parade's grand marshal.

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