Christopher Smith

Christopher Smith


<span class="kicker">The Philadelphia Inquirer</span>70 years late, man gets a Purple Heart


BY EDWARD COLIMORE, Inquirer Staff Writer --

Maybe he should have gotten a medal for patience.

After waiting seven decades, World War II veteran Leonard Brotzky was honored Thursday with a Purple Heart for wounds he received during the Battle of the Bulge.

"After 70 years, I'm finally getting it," said Brotzky, 89, of Manchester Township, Ocean County, at a presentation ceremony at the district office of U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.). "I felt I earned it."

The medal should have been awarded in 1944 but was apparently overlooked because of a record-keeping foul-up. It was corrected through efforts begun by Smith more than a decade ago.


At Brotzky's side was his wife, Rose, who was also honored for her trailblazing service as a Marine radio operator in Hawaii during the war. She was presented by Smith with a flag that flew over the Capitol.

"I was waiting for this [the flag] when I passed on," said a smiling Rose Brotzky, 92, who met her husband after the war at a veterans' gathering. "It's just an honor to be here. I'm so proud of my husband."

During a brief ceremony, Smith praised the couple's contributions in and out of uniform.

"We honor today two extraordinary Americans - Lenny and Rose Brotzky - for their courageous service to our nation during World War II," he said. "The Brotzkys are the quintessential example of the 'greatest generation' - patriotic, generous, brave, and selfless.

"They not only saved America and the world from tyranny, but they built and sustained America and American values," he said.

Smith began trying to obtain the medal in 2003 but was asked by the Army to produce more evidence of the wounds. Records surfaced recently and Smith petitioned the National Personnel Record Center, which approved the medal and sent it to Smith on Oct. 2.

"The French honored him with the French Legion of Honor, but the U.S. government is a little bit later than the French," Smith said.

On Thursday, the congressman handed the Purple Heart to Brotzky.

"He definitely deserved it and should have had it long before," Rose Brotzky said.

Leonard Brotzky's division had been "part of the Allied forces that chased the Germans out of Italy and France, and back to Germany and ultimate defeat," said Smith, whose father fought in New Guinea during World War II.

"He was injured in the heat of battle and is fully deserving of this Purple Heart," he said. "I just wish it wasn't 70 years late."

A native of Orange, Brotzky enlisted in the Army in 1943 and underwent basic training at Fort Dix.

In the winter of 1944, he was serving in the 36th Division, 155th Field Artillery Unit, and riding in a Jeep during the Battle of the Bulge when enemy shells rained down around him.

Jumping from the vehicle, Brotzky was struck in a hand and arm by shrapnel, and treated at a field hospital. He also suffered frostbite on his feet because of the extreme cold during the battle.

"It was cold," he said. "We were fighting and doing the best we could."

Brotzky was honorably discharged in 1945 at Fort Monmouth. At the time, he didn't know Rose Katz of Bloomfield, Essex County.

She had signed up with the Marine Corps Women's Reserve in 1943, learned a new skill as a radio operator, and was sent to Hawaii.

"I was 20 when I enlisted," she said. "When we did have the time, we went to the beach . . . but I'd rather be at a Jersey Shore beach than Hawaii."

Rose Brotzky served at the Marine station at Ewa for eight months and returned to the continental United States in October 1945. She was honorably discharged as a staff sergeant.

"Tears fell from my eyes as we approached the Golden Gate Bridge," she wrote in her recollections of that time. "There was a boat escorting us with a band playing 'Sentimental Journey.' "

After the war, Rose Brotzky worked at the Bloomfield Independent Press and West Essex Tribune while Leonard Brotzky graduated from Cornell University with a premed degree and Rutgers University with a hospital administration degree. A pharmaceutical sales representative, he married Rose and they settled in Livingston, where they raised two children.

"These are two extraordinary Americans," Smith said. "This is the ultimate power couple, people who believed in America and did so much to save America."

Originally published at:
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Smith Calls for Visa Ban on Travel From Ebola-Affected Countries


As the number of confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola in the United States increases, Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations, has called for a visa ban on travel from the three Ebola-affected countries in West Africa: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

     It is the duty of U.S. government officials to protect U.S. citizens and ensure their health, welfare and well-being.  That must be our first priority,” Smith said.  If the U.S. military is establishing an air bridge to Liberia as a major part of its role in combating the West African Ebola epidemic, then either military or charter flights could sufficiently ensure that volunteers could be evacuated in a timely manner when necessary and supplies can be transported.”

There are no longer any direct flights to and from the three countries to the United States.  Currently, only Air France, Royal Air Maroc and Brussels Airlines fly to there.  Additionally, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire closed their borders to the affected countries, and an increasing number of other countries have ended air flights to and from the three countries.

    The visa ban called for by Smith and other members of Congress would affect only non-American travelers from the three countries and would exempt volunteers helping in the international response.  U.S. citizens in the three countries would not be prevented from returning to the United States, but could be isolated if they demonstrated symptoms of the disease.  Meanwhile, the more robust screening of visitors at airports in New Jersey, New York, Washington, Chicago and Atlanta should continue.

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<span class="kicker">From the Greatest Generation…</span>World War II Husband/Wife Vets Honored at Ceremony


U.S. Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) presented a long-overdue Purple Heart to a World War II veteran for being injured in the Battle of the Bulge, and a U.S. Flag flown over the Capitol to his wife to recognize her own service as a U.S. Marine serving in Hawaii during the war.

    Mr. and Mrs. Leonard and Rose Brotzky, a retired couple from Manchester, N.J., both served in uniform during the Second World War. Mr. Brotzky, 89, a native of Orange, N.J., entered the U.S. Army in July 1943 with basic training at Fort Dix. Serving with the 36th Division 155th Field Artillery unit, he was injured by shrapnel during artillery exchange with the enemy in the Battle of the Bulge. He also suffered from extreme cold exposure during the battle, the coldest winter on record for 30 years. He was honorably discharged in 1945 at Fort Monmouth at the rank of Technician-5. Then Rose Katz, a native of Essex County, from Bloomfield, N.J., Mrs. Brotzky signed up for the Marines in 1943, serving in Pearl Harbor and separating with an honorable discharge as a staff sergeant in 1945 at the end of the war.

    “Mr. Brotzky is receiving the Purple Heart Medal today for battlefield injuries sustained during the Battle of the Bulge—70 years late,” said Smith, the former Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “The French have honored him with the French Legion of Honor—the U.S. government is a bit slower.”

    Mr. Brotzky was happy that the long wait for the medal was over. “After 70 years, I’m finally getting it,” he said.

    Smith’s office had been attempting to obtain the medal since 2003, but the Army insisted on more evidence to satisfy requirements for the medal. Recent VA records surfaced, and Smith petitioned the National Personnel Record Center which finally approved the medal and sent it to Smith on Oct. 2.

    After the war he graduated from both Cornel University with a pre-med degree and Rutgers University with a hospital administration degree. He met Rose at a veterans’ meeting. They married and settled in Livingston, N.J., raising two children. He worked for many years in pharmaceutical sales.

    Mrs. Brotzky, 92, indicated that as soon as she read an article in the newspaper the women were being invited to sign up as Marines, she wrote to enlist and later had her father take her to New York City to be inducted. She served as a radio operator in the Marines, including being stationed at Pearl Harbor. A clerk at a motor company before the war, she later worked at the Bloomfield Independent Press and the West Essex Tribune after the War in advertising and feature writing.

    She wanted the focus today to be on her husband’s Purple Heart, but said she was glad to have enlisted in the Marine: “I’m so happy I did it. When I saw it in the newspaper, nothing held me back.”

    Mr. Brotzky previously earned other honors, including the European-African-Middle Eastern Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal, the bronze Arrowhead Medal, the Victory Medal and the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal. Mrs. Brotzky earned the Honorable Service Label Button and the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal.

    “The Brotzkys are the quintessential example of the Greatest Generation—patriotic, generous, brave and selfless,” Smith said. “They not only saved America and the world from tyranny, they built and sustained American values.”


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<span class="kicker">ABC Channel 6 Feature</span>70 years later, Ocean County WWII vet gets Purple Heart


(WPVI) -- A World War II veteran from Ocean County received a long overdue honor Thursday and there was even a surprise in store for his wife, who also served in the war.

Seventy years after he was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge, the bloodiest U.S. battle fought in World War II, 88-year-old Army veteran Lenny Brotsky finally received his Purple Heart.

"Means everything in the world because I earned it. If I didn't earn it, I wouldn't have got it," said Brotsky.

Brotsky was a member of the 155th Field Artillery Unit fighting to beat back Hitler and the Nazis when he was injured by shrapnel during an attack

"Jumping out of the jeep from mortar fire and I hit the ground," he said.

Brotsky was awarded the French Legion of Honor years ago.

In 2003 he asked Congressman Chris Smith for help getting his Purple Heart. After years of searching through military records, his office found the paperwork needed.

"We finally got that piece of evidence in a VA document that opened it up and they were able to convey to this very brave and courageous man what should have been given to him 70 years ago," said Congressman Smith.

Brotsky's 92-year-old wife Rose was also honored for her service.

She enlisted in the Marines in 1943 and was among the first women to enter that branch of the service. She was stationed at Pearl Harbor years after the attack.

"I ended up as a radio operator, communications chief in Hawaii and I felt I was doing it for my country. I'm a trailblazer," said Rose.

The Brotsky's are really a power couple, but if Rose wants to pull rank she's entitled. Lenny left the service as a tech, but she left as a sergeant. Read More

<span class="kicker">News12 New Jersey Report</span>World War II couple awarded military medals


NEWS12 New Jersey - A husband and wife who both served during World War II have been presented with military awards 70 years later. 

Leonard Brotsky, 89, was injured by shrapnel and suffered frostbite while fighting in the Battle of the Bulge.  However, his Army discharge papers left out his injuries.

Now, with the help of Rep. Chris Smith, Brotsky has finally been presented with the Purple Heart Award. 

READ MORE: New Jersey Top Stories

The congressman's office has been working on getting the award for Brotsky since 2003, but the Army kept asking for more evidence.


Brotsky's 92-year-old wife Rose was also honored for her service with the United States Marines.  She was a radio operator at Pearl Harbor.

Originally published at:

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Smith keynote at Heritage Foundation Event on China’s One-Child Policy


U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), co-chairman of the U.S. Commission on China, (CECC) and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs global human rights subcommittee, called China’s one child policy announced in 1979 state sponsored violence against women and children—including and especially girls—and constitutes massive crimes against humanity. He made the remarks today as a keynote speaker at a Heritage Foundation event on the Chinese government’s brutal implementation of the policy.

    “The Nuremberg Nazi war crimes tribunal properly construed forced abortion as a crime against humanity—nothing in human history compares to the magnitude of China’s more than 34-year assault on women and children,” said Smith, who has held almost 50 hearings on human rights violations in China. “Abortion is a weapon of mass destruction. Hundreds of millions of lives have been exterminated.” Click here to read Smith’s speech.

    Held to mark the International Day of the Girl Child on Oct. 11, the event was entitled “China’s One Child Policy: A Discussion on Valuing Women and Girls in the 21st Century.”

    “Today in China, rather than being given maternal care, pregnant women without birth allowed permits are hunted down and forcibly aborted. They are mocked, belittled, humiliated and exploited. A mother has absolutely no right or legal standing to protect her unborn baby or herself from state sponsored violence,” he said. “There are no single moms in China—except those who somehow evade the family planning cadres and conceal their pregnancy.  Beijing’s One Child Policy bans single moms from obtaining government permission to carry the child to term. For more than three decades, most brothers and sisters have been illegal.”

    According to a report released in 2012 by the Chinese Center for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), there were a staggering 590 female suicidesper day in China, the only country in the world where the female suicide rate is higher than the male. The Beijing Psychological Crisis Study and Prevention Center determined that in China the suicide rate for females is over three times higher than for males.

    “The result of this policy is a nightmarish ‘brave new world’ with no precedent in human history, where women are psychologically wounded, the girl child the victim of sex-selective abortion, and most children grow up without brothers or sisters, aunts or uncles or cousins,” Smith said.

    Four of Smith’s hearings focused on Chen Guangcheng—the blind, self-taught lawyer who defended women from the one child policy, but paid a heavy price for his work, including jail, beatings and torture.

    “Guangcheng testified once in person and twice by phone from his confinement in a Chinese hospital after his heroic escape,” Smith said. “I know of no other person on Earth who has personally suffered so much for attempting to stop this cruelty to women. He is a hero.”

    Smith noted that in 2000, he wrote a law, The Admiral James W. Nance and Meg Donovan Foreign Relations Authorization Act for fiscal years 2000 and 2001, which bars foreign nationals complicit with forced sterilizations and forced abortions from obtaining U.S. visas.

    “Section 801 of Title VIII of that Act requires the Secretary of State not to issue any visa to, and the Attorney General not to admit to the United States, any foreign national whom the Secretary finds, based on credible and specific information, to have been directly involved in the establishment or enforcement of forced abortion or forced sterilization,” Smith said. “Owing to a glaring lack of implementation only a handful of abusers have been denied visas to the United States.”

    Smith also noted China is ground zero in Asia for human trafficking, a main point of the CECC’s 2014 report on human rights in China released today.

    Smith said that China should have not been taken off Tier 3 by the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report released earlier this year. The human trafficking problem in China is linked to severe gender imbalances and challenging conditions in bordering countries that lead to trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced marriage.

    Smith is the author of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, the comprehensive landmark law to prevent trafficking, prosecute traffickers and protect victims from modern day slavery. One provision of the law requires an annual assessment of every country, the TIP report. Last year the TIP Report stated: “China’s birth limitation policy, coupled with a cultural preference for sons, creates a skewed sex ratio in China, which served as a key cause of trafficking of foreign women as brides for Chinese men and for forced prostitution.”

    “I respectfully submit that not only is the Obama Administration turning a blind eye to the atrocities being committed under the one child policy, but it is even contributing financial support—contrary to U.S. law—to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). “Thirty years ago—on May 9, 1984—I authored the first amendment ever to a foreign aid bill to deny funding to organizations such as the UNFPA that are complicit with China's forced abortion and involuntary sterilization policies,” Smith said. “For over three decades, the UNFPA has consistently heaped praise on China’s population control program and repeatedly urged other countries to embrace similar policies.”


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Smith Urges Enhanced Ebola Airport Screening


As the American public becomes increasingly worried about the potential spread of the Ebola virus in this country, Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations, repeated his earlier call for enhanced Ebola testing for those coming from affected countries. He said improved testing will be an important main component of legislation to address the escalating international epidemic which he plans to introduce when Congress reconvenes in November.

     “We need to break the Ebola transmission chain,” said Smith, who has held two hearing on Ebola since the outbreak.  “The first line of defense is testing and isolation overseas. It can make it to the U.S. through air passenger. To protect Americans, we should at a minimum be screening people coming into the United States from Western Africa.”

Dr. Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as other experts, have said stopping all flights to the affected countries will prevent much-needed supplies from getting into these countries at a time when a steady, increasing supply of medicines and medical equipment is desperately needed. Moreover, it is believed that travel restrictions would discourage the necessary flow of volunteers, who will need assurances of evacuation should they become infected.

    Frieden personally updated Smith on the Ebola situation last week, and testified before Smith's global health subcommittee at an emergency hearing in August.

    There is no set U.S. protocol currently to require questioning of travelers from the affected areas about whether they have come in contact with anyone infected with Ebola.  The practice at this point is to detain only those travelers who are visibly ill. Smith called for required taking of temperature and stricter questioning of travelers from affected countries. Visibly sick travelers suspected of Ebola already are tested for the presence of Ebola antibodies and are held until the test is completed. Those who test positive are isolated until they can be transported safely for medical treatment.  There are now only 20 airports in the United States where strict quarantine is possible, including Newark Liberty International Airport.

    Smith’s subcommittee has held two hearings on the West African Ebola outbreak: one on August 7 and another on September 17. As a result of these hearings, as well as numerous other briefings and discussions on the matter, Smith is working on Ebola legislation to ensure a strong U.S. response beyond the expiration of the current funding mandate in mid-December.

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Smith Receives Community Service Award


Congressman  Chris Smith of Robbinsville, N.J. received the 2014 Community Service Award of the Catedral Santa Maria de la Asuncion--St. Mary's Cathedral--of Trenton N.J. for his dedication to serving the public.
    His work on autism, Alzheimer's disease, human trafficking, human rights and other issues were cited by Rosa Rosado, Gala Chairwoman as she presented him with the award at the Oct. 4 event.  Congressman Smith spoke to the over 600 attendees at the Third Annual Community Recognition Gala held at the Princeton Manor on Route 33 in Hamilton, thanking them for the honor, and acknowledging others who were recognized for their service: The Rev. Msgr. John K. Dermond, Gladys Ortiz and Carmen Mercado Garcia. Garcia also received the Father Armand Community Service Award.

    Smith was also honored by the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders at the gala.

    Freeholder Chairman Andrew Koontz presented a proclamation that read: "Chris Smith has been a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing New Jersey's Fourth Congressional District since 1981. During his tenure, he has helped working class families, improved the lives of the country's service men and women and been active in foreign affairs. While active with his faith, he has also been a tireless advocate for treating autism and stopping human trafficking."

    The citation was marked with the seal of the county and signed by Freeholder Vice Chair Samuel T. Frisby, ad Freeholders Anthony Carabelli, Pasquale "Pat" Colavita Jr., Ann M. Cannon, John Cimino and Lucylle Walter.

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Hamilton Officials Announce CDC Results; Mercer Medical Examiner Determines Cause of Death of Township Preschooler to Be Enterovirus D68


Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04) joined Hamilton Township Mayor Kelly Yaede and other township and school officials to discuss last night’s news that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) finding that a Hamilton preschooler who died last week has tested positive for Enterovirous D68 (EV-D68). Mayor Yaede also announced that the Mercer County Medical Examiner determined today that EV-D68 was the cause of death.

    Yaede, who with health officials informed the family of the pre-schooler about the test results last night, this afternoon detailed the steps the school has taken to protect other children from the virus.

    “As a community we will rally behind this family,” Yaede said. “Hamilton is here for you. We will help you move forward.” Noting that officials have been working to protect other children, she said, “What’s more important than a child? Nothing is more important.”

    “We have anguish for the family,” said Smith who represents Hamilton and participated in a town meeting at the Yardville Elementary School earlier this week. Noting that there are over 500 cases of EV-D68 illness across the country, Smith reiterated what CDC Director Thomas Frieden stressed to him in discussion they had on the Hamilton case earlier this week: thorough washing of hands and good hygiene, as well as watching for symptoms are the best ways to protecting young children, whose developing immune systems can be more susceptible to the virus than older children and adults. “There is a significant growth in the number of cases. Those who have asthma or other respiratory illnesses are particularly at risk.”

    Township Health Officer Jeff Plunkett noted that a second child in the same grade but a different class at the same school is being tested for EV-D68. That student’s health is improving, he said.

    For more information about protection from EV-D68 including facts from CDC, click here.


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Rep. Chris Smith says more should be done at airports to stop spread of Ebola


A New Jersey congressman says drastic measures could be needed to stop the spread of Ebola.

Rep. Chris Smith is calling for a protocol to be put in place. He sits on the Global Health committee and gets regular briefings from the CDC.

Smith says New Jersey faces unique risks with a major international airport and seaports. "The next flight that comes here could carry a risk of contamination," he says. (Click here or on image below to watch video)



Information for those returning to New Jersey From West Africa

The congressman suggests that the state begin screening at Newark Liberty International Airport. 


Over the summer, the U.S. grounded flights to Israel over terrorism fears, and Smith says that should be considered for flights to West Africa.

A spokesperson for the UN secretary general doesn't agree with limiting flights to West Africa. He says the countries should not be isolated, especially from aid workers.

The CDC has faced criticism for its handling of America's first Ebola patient. Smith believes the agency's efforts overseas could stop the spread, but more is needed. "Frankly, our government needs to step up and make sure we leave no stone unturned on breaking the transmission chain," he says.

Kerry McKean Kelly, with the New Jersey Hospital Association, says the state's hospitals have been watching for Ebola for months. "We would like to reassure the public that their local hospital is prepared," she says.

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Contact Information

2373 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone 202-225-3765
Fax 202-225-7768

Committee Assignments

Foreign Affairs

Elected in 1980, Rep. Chris Smith (R-Robbinsville, N.J.) is currently in his 17th term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and serves residents in the Fourth Congressional District of New Jersey. Smith, 60, currently serves as a senior member on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and is chairman of its Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization Subcommittee. In 2011-2012 he chaired both the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. He also serves as “Special Representative” on Human Trafficking for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and as an executive member of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Previously, he served as Chairman of the Veterans Committee (two terms) and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs’ Subcommittee on Human Rights and International Operations and the Subcommittee on Africa.

Smith has long chaired a number of bipartisan congressional caucuses (working groups) including the Pro-life (31 years), Autism (15 years), Alzheimer’s (13 years), Lyme Disease (nineyears), Spina Bifida (nine years), Human Trafficking (nine years), Refugees (nine years), and Combating Anti-Semitism caucuses, and serves on caucuses on Bosnia, Uganda and Vietnam.

According to the independent watchdog organization Govtrack, as of January 2014 Smith ranks fourth among all 435 Members of the House over the last two decades in the number of laws authored.

He is the author of America’s three landmark anti-human trafficking laws including The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, a comprehensive law designed to prevent modern-day slavery, protect victims, and enhance civil and criminal penalties against traffickers, as well as more than a dozen veterans health, education and homeless benefits laws, and laws to boost embassy security, promote democracy, religious freedom, and health care.

Smith is the author of the $265 million Stem Cell Therapeutic and Research Act of 2005 which established a nationwide program for ethical research and treatment using umbilical cord blood and bone marrow cells. That landmark law was reauthorized in September 2010 for another five years.
In October 2011, Smith’s bill, HR 2005, the Combating Autism Reauthorization Act (CARA) of 2011, was signed into law (Public Law PL112-32), a follow-up to his Autism Statistics, Surveillance, Research, and Epidemiology Act (ASSURE) of 2000.

A lifelong New Jerseyan, Congressman Smith graduated from The College of New Jersey with a degree in business administration. Prior to being elected to Congress, he helped run a small business– his family’s wholesale sporting goods corporation. He is also the former Executive Director of the New Jersey Right to Life Committee.

The congressman is married to his wife of 35 years, Marie, and they have four grown children.

Serving With

Frank LoBiondo


Jon Runyan


Scott Garrett


Leonard Lance


Rodney Frelinghuysen


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