The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund has announced its partnership with the Holmdel Chapter (# 517) of the American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA). “We’re delighted that AHEPA sees the value of sponsoring a service dog to assist our military men and women who are returning from combat,” said Marion Zilinski, mother of Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, who lost his life in 2005 in Iraq by a roadside bomb.
“I served in the Army in Vietnam in 1966-1968 with the First Calvary 2/12 Division. I understand Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), being a combat infantry soldier,” said George Karatzia, senior vice commander of the DAV #74 and national chairman for the Order of AHEPA Service Dogs for Warriors Program. “The nation needs to become aware of the devastating statistic that 22 veterans a day are committing suicide and service dogs are saving lives. We want to do our part to keep the memory of their son, Dennis W. Zilinski II, alive for his heroic service to our country.”
AHEPA’s first sponsored dog was expected to graduate in September. Service dogs are trained to help wounded warriors with the health issues that they face. For those returning home from combat, the transition back into society can be overwhelming. All of these service dogs are ADA approved and certified.
About the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski Memorial Fund
Lt. Dennis Zilinski II grew up in Middletown and graduated from Christian Brothers Academy (CBA), where he was a member of the swim team. He received his nomination to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated in 2004. He also completed Airborne School while a student at West Point. After graduation from Ranger School, he was assigned to the 1/187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, and 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) Rakkasan. He deployed with the 101st Airborne Division on September 17, 2005. Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II died in Iraq on November 19, 2005 as a result of a roadside bombing near Bayji, 155 miles north of Baghdad. His medals include: Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Global War on Terror, Iraq Campaign Service Medal, and the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal.
As an act of love, his family and friends founded The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund, whose mission is to continue to serve and assist returning men and women who were wounded in service to our nation and to provide support and to provide support that improves the welfare of members of the United States Armed Forces and their families. The fund also supports scholarships at CBA. For more information, please visit www.runwithdennis.org, email RunwithDennis@yahoo.com, or call (732) 431-1713 or (732) 683-0901.
The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) is a fraternal organization founded on July 26, 1922, in Atlanta, Georgia. AHEPA was founded in response to the evils of bigotry spearheaded by the Ku Klux Klan and to assist Greek immigrants assimilate into American society. AHEPA joined with B’nai B’rith and the NAACP to combat discrimination. The mission of the AHEPA family is to promote Hellenism, education, philanthropy, civic responsibility, and family and individual excellence. The Holmdel chapter was established on May 23, 1995. For more information, visit www.ahepa.org.