On Tuesday, February 26, 2013, Students Against Destructive Decisions [SADD], a Christian Brothers Academy [CBA] student-run organization will host “A Night for the Troops,” in honor of local fallen hero and alumnus, Lt. Dennis Zilinski II. The event takes place at 7:00 PM in the CBA Cafeteria. Proceeds from this sixth annual pasta dinner will fund calling cards for service members. Tickets for adults are $15; for students/children and senior citizens, $10.
This year’s event will feature a special guest speaker, Lou Giammarino, a NJ-native, who will discuss his experiences as a member of the Marine Corp serving in Vietnam in 1970-1971.
“This is a tremendous educational experience for our students,” said Bill Frake, CBA faculty advisor for SADD. “It allows them to make a difference in the lives of our service members so they can stay in contact with their families. It also allows them to honor Dennis and carry his legacy of helping other’s forward.”
Lt. Dennis Zilinski II grew up in Middletown, NJ and graduated from Christian Brothers Academy, 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, 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. Lt. Zilinski’s medals include: Combat Infantry Badge, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Global War on Terror, Iraq Campaign Service Medal and the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal.
“Dennis’ greatest loves were God, his family, country, friends, swimming and the United States Army. Dennis was a very willing person who would drop everything to help you. His trademark was his wonderful smile, always beaming,” said Dennis’ mother Marion Zilinski.
As an act of love, Dennis’ 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. The fund also supports scholarships at CBA.
About the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund:
The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial was created and founded in 2006 in order to honor Lt. Zilinski’s memory and spirit for life. The first Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski Memorial Run/Walk was held in November of 2006. All proceeds of the run/walk sponsor programs for injured soldiers and to fund scholarships to Lt. Zilinski’s alma mater, Christian Brothers Academy. The Fund provides support to improve the morale and welfare of members of the United States Armed Forces and their families. Additionally, by providing scholarships, the Fund invests in the future of high school students who embody the leadership qualities and community spirit of Lt. Zilinski.
Additional donations may be sent to: Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski Memorial Fund, PO Box 35 Holmdel, NJ 07733.