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Sgt John Basilone

Sgt John Basilone Foundation

On this Memorial Day, #HipNJ shines a spotlight on the Sgt John Basilone Foundation. The foundation was started by Sgt Basilone’s family to preserve his memory and help support those who have sacrificed for us by improving quality and access to PTSD care.

Sgt Basilone grew up in Raritan Town (now Borough of Raritan) where he attended St. Bernard Parochial School. After completing middle school at the age of 15, he dropped out prior to attending high school. Basilone worked as a golf caddy for the local country club before joining the military in 1934.

After receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor for his service in World War II, Sgt Basilone was sent on a war bond tour by the Marine Corps, and then sent to headquarters and given a desk job. After the war bond tour, Sgt Basilone requested a return to operating forces so he could fight in the war but was denied the first time. The second request, to train Marines at Camp Pendleton, California, was approved. There he met his wife, Sgt Lena Riggi of the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve.

His next request was to return to the Pacific Theatre, which was approved and he was assigned to Charlie Company, First Battalion, 27th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division during the invasion of Iwo Jima, where he was killed in action. Sergeant Basilone was the only enlisted Marine to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor, Navy Cross and Purple Heart in World War II.

Sgt Basilone’s heroics have inspired Hollywood. The film First to Fight features Chad Everett as “Shanghai Jack” Connell, a character based on “Manila John” Basilone. Further, the 10-part HBO miniseries The Pacific is based on the intertwined stories of Basilone and two other Marines (Robert “Lucky” Leckie and Eugene “Sledgehammer” Sledge). Actor and Clifton native Jon Seda starred as Sgt Basilone.

The latest take on Sgt Basilone’s life will be the forthcoming Legacy of a Hero, a documentary produced by Sgt Basilone’s niece and president of the foundation, Diane Hawkins. You can learn more and donate to the production here.

In his memory, his family works hard to support those who suffer from PTSD due to their military service by raising awareness and funding to support proper treatment programs. In doing so, they are furthing Sergeant John Basilone’s legacy of helping others. They have been active for 10 years and are proud to carry out their mission of helping “John’s Boys”.

For more information, please visit SGTJohnBasilone.com.

Tasty Recipes for Memorial Day Weekend

#NoFoodComa – Tasty Recipes for Memorial Day Weekend

By Beth Nydick

Whenever I see anyone in the armed forces out at a restaurant or getting coffee, I honestly get choked up, I say thank you for their service and buy them their coffee/meal. I feel like it means something, it says to them that they do make a difference and those of us at home care. My grandfather served in WW2 and every year he would stand outside the supermarket selling little red poppies to raise funds for veterans. He passed in 1991 and every year since then I buy out whatever the veteran has at my local store. Think about buying some as you go and buy your groceries. This year, let’s all be grateful that there are brave men and women that stand up for our freedoms. Happy Memorial Day!

To have a great (and healthy) BBQ or party this Memorial Day weekend, click on the titles of the recipes below:

Grilled Lemon-Oregano Chicken Drumsticks
Healthy Sausage and Peppers
Wounded Carrot Salad
Creamy Penne Pasta with Vegetables
Cauliflower Pizza Bites – Gluten Free
Tropical Fruit Salad
Black Bean Brownies
Chickpea Blondies

Sabina Hitchen: Press For Success

Becoming a successful entrepreneur can be a tricky course to navigate. There are so many hurdles and unknowns, and going it alone can be scary.

Enter Sabina Hitchen – an entrepreneur herself several times over, this former teacher longed to share her vast knowledge with others. And that is exactly what she’s doing.

#HipNJ’s Lisa Marie Latino welcomes Sabina to the studio to discuss the many ways that she is sharing her knowledge with others, namely through her online public relations school, Press for Success. Members of this “online prep school” are provided with a multitude of exclusive tools, including self-guided video PR courses, video office hours and copywrite coaching, just to name a few.

Aside from serving as “principal” of Prep for Success, Sabina is a speaker and consultant focusing on business, entrepreneurship, social media, public relations, and brand building.

She also creates free content on her personal website, SabinaKnows.com, which is dedicated to teaching both public relations skills and the courage needed to take the next step- whatever step that may be!

Sabina is no stranger to educating others and developing a sense of community. She started off with a career in education and curriculum development, then spent over a decade running a New York City-based public relations agency– all while developing educational programs for small business owners and entrepreneurs. 

You can follow Sabina on social media via @SabinaKnows. We happen to love her Instastory, where she shares PR tips and her daily adventures with her adorable pups and sweet baby,Juliette.