LONGPORT — In honor of the eighth annual Wounded Warriors Week, American Legion Post 469 is providing a Navy SEAL and his family with an all-expenses-paid vacation and a parade escort to a beach block home.
Joseph Hahn, a medically retired Navy SEAL, his wife, Morgan, and their four sons will arrive from Oklahoma at Philadelphia International Airport on Tuesday afternoon. Members of the American Legion will greet them and they will be transported to South Jersey by a jitney.
The escort will continue from the Ventnor Shopping Plaza, where the Hahn family will move into a convertible limo and be part of a parade motorcade through Downbeach about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. The American Legion urges residents to come and show their support.
During their week at the shore, the Hahn family will be treated to special celebrations, family outings and trips to local amusements, courtesy of Post 469.
“The families really get to know the local chapter,” said Larry Pacentrilli, commander of Post 469. “We’ve even had our past recipients come back to visit.”
The family vacation is supported by members of the community and contributors to the American Legion. Pacentrilli said that for the past eight years, the post has used contacts within the military to provide the vacation to members of all branches.
“Because our contributors have been so generous, we can do a lot for the family,” Pacentilli said.
Hahn, 37, enlisted in the United States Navy as a special operator first class after the Sept. 11 attacks and was stationed with a West Coast team of the Navy SEALs from 2005 to 2009, deploying multiple times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was also deployed to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Free and other undisclosed locations worldwide.
According to his biography, Hahn suffered severe injuries to his right and left legs, individually, during two separate freefall workups to specific missions and deployments. Each injury required several surgeries and extended recovery time.
However, Hahn was allowed to return to his unit. After two more deployments, Hahn realized the extent of his injuries, including several traumatic brain injuries from explosions while overseas. Hahn was medically retired from military service in 2017.
He received multiple awards and commendations for his service, including a Purple Heart.
He and his wife have four sons: Hunter, 12, Blake, 5, Clayton, 3, and Gunner, 18-months.