January 11, 2014
David Parano, One of New Jersey’s Strongest Veteran’s Advocates, Passes Away at 78
Retired Colonel Served Over 30 Years as Veterans’ Liaison to NJ Congressmen and Senators
NEWARK, NJ - David Parano, one of the state’s strongest and most vocal advocates for military veterans and their families, passed away at the age of 78.
For over three decades, Parano had worked for Congressional representatives and Senators alike as a Veterans liaison, working tirelessly to help veterans with their needs. He worked every single day to help current and former military personnel connect to the services and assistance they deserved, and served every day until his death at his most recent post at Senator Menendez’s office.
In addition, Parano served as a mentor and a guiding light for other veteran advocates, most notably the GI Go Fund, who received tremendous support from Parano in the early years of the organization’s existence.
“There was no one like Dave Parano, and there never will be,” said GI Go Fund Executive Director Jack Fanous. “We became incredibly close, as he helped show us the way to helping veterans. He became known in our organization as ‘Uncle Dave’ because he was such an important part of the GI Go family. I can easily say that there would be no GI Go Fund without Uncle Dave, and he will be truly missed by us all.”
Parano began his work with veterans 30 years ago as an assistant to Congressman Robert Torricelli, dealing with former military from all walks of life with any issues they would present. From problems with their benefits to personal issues affecting their transition home, as well as issues with homelessness, employment, and going to school, Parano was up to any challenge a veteran needed help with.
He moved on to work for Torecelli when he became a U.S. Senator, then later for Senator Jon Corzine. He then served as a Constituent Services Representative to Senator Robert Menendez, handling an average of 40 veteran related cases per week, ranging in a multitude of problems, including issues with receiving VA benefits.
Parano has served veterans from New Jersey with great distinction throughout his professional career, and was recognized by all of his friends and colleagues as one of the best defenders and representatives for veterans and their needs. He was the consummate fighter, and refused any notions of retirement, no matter long he had served his post.
“I’m not going anywhere,” Parano once remarked. “Somebody’s going to have to drag me out of here before I stop helping my vets.”
The veterans’ world needs more fighters like Dave Parano, and we have all lost a great hero to the men and women who wore our nations’ uniform. We will miss you Uncle Dave, and you will never be forgotten.