The valuable talents of veterans who recently served in Iraq and Afghanistan are making a big difference in local communities.
Melissa Worthen is a Wounded Warrior Fellow now working in U.S. Rep Jon Runyan’s (R-NJ-3rd District) office in South Jersey. Bradley Herron was recruited for duties in a Pa. district office of U.S. Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.-1st District). Dan Lasko found work in U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz’s (D-Pa.-13th District) office.
Congress established the Wounded Warrior fellowships in 2008 to allow injured and disabled veterans to gain work experience to help expand their opportunities as they transition to full-time civilian employment. The Congressional Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) manages the fellowship program.
“I am very pleased that Melissa is coming on board as our new Veterans’ Case worker,” said Rep. Runyan. “I received a large number of resumes from many qualified candidates but was particularly impressed with Melissa. She is uniquely qualified for this position (as a Veterans’ Case Worker) because of her distinguished service in the U.S. Marine Corps.“
A release from Runyan’s office included highlights of Worthen’s impressive resume. She is an eight-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps where she served for both the Marine Attack Squadron 214 and the Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 772 as an Aviation Maintenance Administration Specialist and Analyst.
Herron, who has now moved on from Rep. Brady’s office, served in Afghanistan for eight months in 2003. The following year, he was deployed to Iraq, where he worked with local leaders on infrastructure improvement projects and guarded convoys. On the home front, he was called up to help patrol New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Wounded Warrior Fellow Lasko was profiled on NBC Nightly News. He was injured in a firefight just one month into his deployment to Afghanistan. After his recovery and retirement from the Marines, he earned a degree in criminal justice. Like Worthen, his focus is helping other veterans.
Worthen will split her time between Runyan’s offices in Mount Laurel and Ocean County.
“I believe she will be a great asset for all veterans throughout New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District,” said Runyan.