Sea Bright: A longtime area resident will be memorialized outside police headquarters, honoring Michael W. Normile Jr., who died last year at the age of 66.
Normile, a Shore Regional graduate and Vietnam War Veteran, was a fixture in Sea Bright and the surrounding areas, affectionately earning the nick name "Moppo" during his longtime service to the Sea Bright Police, according to his obituary.
Sea Bright Borough Council recently approved a proclamation honoring Normile, and agreed a memorial stone would be placed in front of Police Headquarters at 1099 East Ocean Avenue in his honor.
Also, an American flag he carried while serving in Vietnam was donated to Sea Bright Police Department by Normile's family, which will be displayed as a remembrance of his dedicated service.
Normile was born in Long Branch and lived such places as Fair Haven, Sea Bright, Keyport and moved to Las Vegas shortly before his death.
His military service began in 1966 with army boot camp at Fort Dix; he qualified as a marksman with the M-14 rifle, M-1 Garande Carbine and the .45 caliber pistol.
During the Vietnam War, Normile was wounded in April 1968 and was awarded the Purple Heart. But he did not accept the honor, stating that "there were many more men, far more injured than I was, including those who died."
Later, Normile obtained secret level security clearance, served in Alaska as part of the US Arctic Test Center and transferred to the Army Reserves until his honorable discharge in November 1970.
Then, he moved back to the Sea Bright area and worked with the police department here for many years. He was also employed on the maintenance staff for Edgewater East Apartments, and had his own recycling business.
According to his obituary, he had a fondness for animals, especially dogs, and they were drawn to him. His "Litle Girl," Emily, a white toy Poodle, was his companion for many years.
A proclamation honoring him outlining his service to the borough of Sea Bright and his military service was unanimously approved last month.