U.S. Navy veteran and lifelong Bayonne resident Michael Embrich has penned a new book highlighting the most significant locations across the world for veterans and military personnel titled “March On! A Veterans Travel Guide.”
Embrich gives a firsthand account of these locations. While it is a travel guide, Embrich told the Bayonne Community News that the book also has a historic narrative and serves as a transition guide for veterans.
First person recollection
“It’s basically a firsthand account of the world’s most significant places for military personnel, veterans, and civilians with a passion for military history, to travel to, told through my auspices,” Embrich said.
Embrich currently serves on the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Readjustment Committee, working with veterans legislation in Washington D.C., and sometimes in Trenton. Embrich wrote the book amid the COVID-19 stay-at-home order seeking to include veterans in post-pandemic life.
“There was a missing bridge to veterans, especially with the pandemic,” Embrich said. “With everybody thinking about travel and what they’re going to do when things opened back up, I thought the travel guide may be a good way to reach out to some veterans, who otherwise aren’t being reached out to.”
Some destinations, while global, are right here in Hudson County, in Jersey City and Bayonne.
Supporting vets in Hudson County
Embrich highlights famous war memorials, such as the Teardrop Memorial at MOTBY in Bayonne, given to the United States by Russia, as well as little known historic sites.
Behind the Stop & Shop in Bayonne, near the Hudson River Walkway, the British installed cannons in New Jersey during the Revolutionary War, Embrich said. Here, an alleged spy on George Washington was executed.
The travel guide pinpoints a number of veteran-owned businesses in the area. In Bayonne, there is Lot 13, owned by Coast Guard veteran Chuck Stewart. In Jersey City, the guide takes readers to Jarhead Candle Company, a candle store owned by a former marine, and Sweat, a sauna/spa owned by a Navy veteran.
Also showcased are the number of veterans organizations in the area. In Bayonne, that includes the Joyce Herbert VFW Museum on West 8th Street and the Catholic War Veterans Post 1612, which Embrich is a member of. He is also former state commander of the Catholic War Veterans.
Bayonne looms large
According to Embrich, a number of sites in Bayonne appear in the book because the city was a key military hub.
“Bayonne’s a big part of the book,” Embrich said. “Bayonne has three medal of honor recipients, which is very unique for a small town. We’ve had higher than normal casualty rates in the Vietnam War, as well as World War II.”
Bayonne’s military history has deep roots.
“Bayonne’s a huge military town,” Embrich said. “We had a military base here. We made PT boats… There was an Italian POW camp here… The wall still exists there, down at IMTT.”
He said Bayonne will continue to grow as a military town.
Veterans supporting veterans
A portion of the book sales will go to veteran organizations. According to Embrich, he has already donated proceeds to a few and continues to do so approximately twice a month. Recipients include the Gary Sinise Foundation, the GI Go Fund, and others.
Embrich was published through veteran-owned publishing house, Cannon Publishing. The spirit of the travel guide is: veterans supporting veterans.
For more information, go to www.vetstravelguide.com.
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