Tag Archives: Memorial Day

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.

#HipNJ Visits San Francisco

This Memorial Day Weekend, #HipNJ visited San Francisco! Below is a breakdown of the action-packed trip.

We arrived at our hotel late on Friday night, so the adventure began Saturday morning. We took a five minute stroll from our hotel and quickly found ourselves in Chinatown. This was so cool! So many shops selling beautiful jade bracelets, and so many places to get some delicious bubble tea. The area’s culture was breathtaking, and it was a great learning experience.

Later, we decided to head over to Fisherman’s Wharf via one of San Francisco’s famous cable cars. We held on as we made our way down the busy streets, wind in our faces. Once we got there, we were overwhelmed by the amount of shops and the gorgeous views.

A standout of the trip would have to be the sea lions resting at Pier 39. They were so cute, bringing smiles to everyone’s faces.

The next day, we went on a tour of Alcatraz, which was once a maximum high-security federal prison. The tour was educational, but also gave us the creeps! We got to walk into a solitary confinement cell and see where these dangerous criminals spent all their time.

Something we were dying to try was In-N-Out Burger, which we don’t have in the Garden State. We waited on line, anticipation building, and finally received our burgers and “animal style” fries. The verdict? Good, but Shake Shack takes the cake.

Last, we took a hike up to see the Golden Gate Bridge. We were greeted with one of the most beautiful views we’ve ever seen. The picture can speak for itself. We walked the bridge after, which made us feel better about skipping the gym.

The trip was short, but definitely sweet. San Francisco has so much to offer, we look forward to going again!

Saving Money this Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, which means it’s time to head to the beach and celebrate! #HipNJ wants to make sure you don’t break the bank this weekend, so here are some ways to save money this Memorial Day Weekend, courtesy of TopCashback.com.

Carpool

Between traffic and finding places to park, driving to the beach can be a hassle. If you have a group heading for an extended weekend getaway, consider carpooling and splitting the costs of driving and parking.

Bring Your Own Food

One of the best ways to save money when you visit the beach is by bringing a cooler of your own food. Prepare sandwiches, throw in some snacks, a bag of ice and you are beach ready!

Find Free Activities

Memorial Day weekend is known for fairs, public events and more! Scout out your town’s festivities for the weekend and catch the fireworks for free. If you’re headed to the beach, make sure to bring activities for your friends and family such as beach balls, pales and shovels!

Budget

Just because you’re at the beach during peak season, doesn’t mean you have to subject yourself to inflated prices! There are plenty of ways to save, including shopping online prior to your getaway or staying at a less popular hotel.

Replace Rental Cars With Local Transportation

Depending on your travel destination, you can easily research transportation options to get you out and about. Whether it is public or hotel transportation, you can significantly cut costs and see more in town when you choose public transportation.

Skip the Hotel

Adventure out of your comfort zone and book a stay through Airbnb or hostels for any last-minute bookings. Often Airbnb and hostels will be more accommodating to last-minute bookings and offer lower rates than popular hotel chains.

Have fun this weekend; we hope these tips come in handy!