I have been hitting up the boardwalk a lot so far this Summer...but while I was there, I met a New Jersey veteran who sparked an interesting conversation.

His name is Tony Pagano and he is from Bayonne, New Jersey.

Now before I get into me, his complaint is 100000% valid and I think this is something we need to address.

Here's what he had to say:

"I have a complaint. I am a retired veteran and recently went to visit Ocean Grove Beach. I was shocked to find out that they do not allow retired veterans free beach access. They do, however, allow active veterans free beach access which I have no problem with. But I served for over 20 years and should be given the same preferences."

You guys....Tony has a very valid point.

So while I was chit chatting with Tony, I wanted to make sure I understood the different between active military, non-active military and retired veterans.

Active Military: They are currently serving our country as we speak.

Non-Active Military: They are not currently enlisted but could be called back to serve if their country needs them as long as they are 55 years old and younger. They have served for 20 years or less.

Retired Veteran: They have served our country for at least 20 years and can no longer be called back to the military.

Personally, I don't think this break down really matters when we are talking about free beach access.

Whether a person is an active member of the military, non-active military member or a retired veteran -- they should be given free beach access without any hassle. This is a very simple way to start to say thank you for their service.

First of all -- would we even be able to enjoy our South jersey beaches if veterans didn't fight for our freedom?

May I also add that our military members and veterans have had to see, hear and experience horrific things that no person should ever have to be exposed to.

They don't return as the same people (I mean...who would?) by any means and they basically sacrifice themselves for the good of the majority.

People have come back with permanent and debilitating injuries and suffer from PTSD -- both of which can make it extremely difficult to return to civilian life.

Don't underestimate what our military and veterans go through to keep you safe.

Lite 96.9 WFPG logo
Get our free mobile app

The LEAST we can do is give them free beach access when they return home. This should only be the start when it comes to us thanking them for their service.

Tony, I am so sorry you had this experience. Your time spent serving your country matters and does not go unnoticed. But I do thank you for being brave enough to come forward on this.

So Thank You!

Do you have a military member or veteran you want to shout out in this post?

Send me a photo, their name and a shout out to Put 'Military/Veteran Shout Out' in the subject line and I will compile a list to add to this post.

Our military members and veterans deserve love and some of the biggest thank you's you've ever given.

And let's just think about this....where would we be without them?

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in New Jersey

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in New Jersey using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.


More From Lite 96.9 WFPG