FREEHOLD — Veterans came to the aid of  Bruce Springsteen after he broke down on a Monmouth County road on Veterans Day. The New Jersey rocker has been known to be a big supporter of Vietnam vets.

Dan Barkalow and Bob Grigs, members of Freehold American Legion Monmouth Post 54 along with friend Ryan Bailey went for a ride on Friday afternoon and came upon Springsteen broken down near Allaire State Park in Wall Township. They offered Springsteen a ride and went to Mulligan's in Farmingdale and had a beer waiting for help to arrive. According to a post on the American Legion's Facebook page, Barkalow said "Bruce was a very down to earth regular guy who fit right in with his fellow, not so famous, Freehold boys."

According to Tom Cunningham - Springsteen aficionado and host of the Bruce Brunch on 105.7 The Hawk - the Boss became a big supporter of Vietnam vets after meeting "Born On The Fourth of July" author Ron Kovic in 1978. Together they visited the Venice Vet Center in Los Angeles, an experience Springsteen called "unforgettable" in an intro written by Springsteen for the 40th anniversary release of the book.

"I love the karmic symmetry of the way these paths crossed. That those who stopped to help Bruce were on their way back from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Veterans Day is perfect, as it was Bruce & The E Street Band's benefit show in Los Angeles in 1981 that jump-started the Vietnam Vets organization. Springsteen's $100,000 donation that night was a game changer," Cunningham said. "A couple of weeks ago, Bruce was back on stage at the 10th annual Stand Up For Heroes fundraiser for injured vets, which he's played every year, helping to raise millions of dollars for that cause. His poignant song 'The Wall' from his most recent album really personalizes his thoughts."

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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