Issue 007
Fall 2022
Dezil's Dispatch is sponsored by the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund.
Welcome to our quarterly newsletter!
In each edition of Dezil's Dispatch, we will share exciting news of our happenings and accomplishments. Family and friends will give us "A Dose of Dennis" so you will learn more about our hero and son.
A Dose of Dennis
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
Told By: Alan Van Saun

"Why would you jump out of a perfectly good airplane?" is a question paratroopers often hear. There is no doubt that Dennis was probably asked that question a few times by his family before heading to Airborne School. And while I never heard his answer to the question, I can safely assume that his response would be, "why not?" while showing that huge smile of his.

Like many Infantry officers, Dennis attended the Army Airborne School at Ft. Benning, GA. But what many people don't know is that Dennis also completed a much different jump - a tandem skydive from over 10,000 feet in Hawaii. I know, because I was there right alongside him.

Dennis and I spent a month together in Hawaii as cadets, learning how to be future Platoon Leaders with the 25th Infantry Division. On one of our weekends off from training, Dennis called me up and simply told me, "we're going skydiving." And with that, we were off to Skydive Hawaii.  

I didn't even think twice because Dennis' energy was contagious, and he was a natural leader. I, like so many who served with him, would follow him anywhere. Whether it was out of a perfectly good airplane, or into combat, Dennis led the way.

We had an amazing jump, and it's one I'll never forget. I still jump out of perfectly good airplanes to this day (it's actually part of my job!) and whenever I do, I can't help but remember Dennis' grin as he tumbled out of the jump door all those years ago over the island of Oahu.

Pictured: Dennis; Alan; & their West Point classmate Shaun. In our last issue, fellow West Point classmate Lindsey shared a great story from Shaun about Dennis. Sadly, we lost Shaun this year to the ever tormenting demons we call PTSD.
*If you'd like to share a short story about Dennis in an upcoming issue, please send us an email at
The Zilinskis Honored Among Gold Star Families at BlueClaws Military Appreciation Night

The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund was honored that BlueClaws First Basemen Rixon Wingrove wore the “Zilinski” name on the back of his jersey on Military Appreciation Night at First Energy Park in Lakewood. Gold Star families received special recognition at the ball game with each player wearing the last name of a warrior on his jersey.

After the game, the “Zilinski” jersey was presented to Lt. Dennis Zilinski’s father, Dennis, and his sister, Michele Vaughn. Fox and Friends Anchor Pete Hegseth, a Monmouth County resident who threw out one of the first pitches, also took time out to recognize the Zilinski Memorial Fund for assisting veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and our troops overseas.

“We are grateful that Pete Hegseth appreciates our mission to help veterans and our service members, and that he thanked our family for our sacrifices. His presence helped lift the spirits of veterans, active military, and their families who enjoyed the night out at the ballpark. We are also thankful to Lt. Col. Matt Horn for representing our Memorial Fund with one of the first pitches. I know my son was looking down at us with a smile on his face during this very special event,” said Dennis Zilinski, Co-Founder and Board Member of the Memorial Fund.

“I was extremely humbled when the Zilinskis bestowed the honor of representing the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund on me by throwing out the first pitch in Dennis' memory. Their organization leads the way in honoring our fallen comrades, caring for our wounded heroes, and supporting our deployed Warfighters,” said Lt. Col. Horn. 

Our Friends at Circle BMW

THANK YOU to Circle BMW for donating a portion of its proceeds from its Memorial Day Sales Event to The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund!

This was the sixth time that Circle BMW selected the Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund to be the recipient of a philanthropic donation to help us continue our mission to help veterans and deployed troops. The donation amount was determined by the number of cars Circle BMW sold during their Memorial Day Sales Event. Circle BMW committed to donating $100 per vehicle and twenty-three vehicles were sold during the holiday weekend sales event. Again, THANK YOU!
Westlake's Very Own Golf with Dennis
The First Inaugural Westlake Golf and Country Club Outing benefitting The LT. Dennis W. Zilinski, ll Memorial Fund was a huge success on August 22, 2022! We are grateful for the support, and we were blown away by the incredible turnout - 220 people!

Our Dennis and Marion Zilinski spoke to the crowd about our mission to help veterans with PTSD and our deployed troops! Special thanks to Joe and Debbie Panico and family for spearheading the incredible event! The family and their committee went above and beyond. Plans are already underway for next year - stay tuned!
A Toast to Dennis - A Night of Remembrance
Our gala at Eagle Oaks Country Club in Farmingdale was a tremendous success! On behalf of the Zilinski family, the Board of Directors, and the Toast Committee, we thank everyone who came out on September 9, 2022 to help us raise much needed funds for our veterans in need and our deployed soldiers. It is the generosity of all of you that makes it possible for us to sponsor service dogs for warriors suffering from PTSD and TBI.

Our Matt Zilinski served as Masters of Ceremony with lots of wit and humor, making the program unforgettable. We also honored Colonel Patrick Callahan with the NJ State Police for his dedicated service to our state and for his support to the Memorial Fund. We were grateful to have some of our wounded warriors and their service dogs at our event, their appreciation for what we do is everything.

Finally, it was such an honor to host Rev. John Bradley, MSG, along with his granddaughter, Clarese Bradley, and her fiance and wounded warrior, David Crenshaw, MSG, along with his service dog, Doc. Rev. Bradley served in both Korea and Vietnam. Many of us were moved to tears when he came out onto the dance floor to be recognized. It was certainly a special and well deserved moment for this incredible 92-year-old veteran.

Our sincere appreciation also goes out to all of our sponsors for the night! Our Champagne Sponsors - Dean and MaryAnn Janeway, & The Timothy 6:17 Foundation; Cabernet Sponsors - The Tort Family & Railroad Construction; Chardonnay Sponsors - Adopt A Soldier Platoon, Circle BMW, D'Annunzio and Sons, Inc., Steve and Beverly Hoptay, NJ Troopers Assisting Troopers, Ellen and Quentin Walsh, and Wakefern ShopRite. As well as our Dessert Wine Sponsors - The Rodgers Family, Dr. MaryBeth Morgan, and State Troopers NCO Organization. We would also like to give a special thank you to MCFA Global, our new Corporate Sponsor.

And make sure to mark your calendars for next year... our next gala will be held on September 8, 2023. Hope to see you there!
NJ Run for the Fallen
We had a beautiful afternoon for the 15th Annual NJ Run for the Fallen honoring our Dennis and all the other fallen heroes. Our family and supporters gathered at Dennis' alma mater, CBA in Lincroft, at his mile marker to greet the group of runners. Our Matt Zilinski was leading the way!

The Annual Run started in Cape May on Wednesday, September 21st when Gold Star Families and the Run Team came together for a "Remember" Ceremony and Dinner. The Run ended on the grounds of the NJ Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Holmdel on Sunday, September 25th. Thank you to all who participated!
Recent Media Coverage
2022 Upcoming Events

Golf with Dennis @ Pine Barrens - October 17th SOLD OUT!

Run with Dennis - November 6th SIGN UP HERE

Wreaths across America - December 3rdSponsor a Wreath CLICK HERE!
Stay tuned for information on our bus trip to lay wreaths at West Point!
The Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski, II Memorial Fund is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law (Tax ID # 03-0601077).
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