Spring 2009 Edition NJDMAVA Veterans

About NJ Veteran Journal:
The New Jersey Veteran Journal is an official publication of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and is intended to serve New Jersey's veterans, their families, friends and concerned individuals and groups. All correspondence should be sent to:

Veteran Journal Editor, NJDMAVA/PA, PO Box 340,
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

All the right moves

The key to serving New Jersey’s veterans is simple: be there for them.

For the Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, that means being in the places veterans can find them, said Gary R. Englert, the director of veterans services.

“The idea is to have our guys spread out over the population centers,” Englert said recently.

And they are, in 14 stand-alone offices, several satellite locations and

VSO Anthony D’Errico unpacks at his new office at the Woodbury Armory. He and VSO David Joost and secretary Diane Rosci moved from leased space in Thorofare in January.
inside the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offices in Newark and Philadelphia.

But a few of the VSO offices have moved over the past few months and at least one more will relocate in the next several months. Englert and other DMAVA officials want to make sure that the word gets out.

The VSO offices that have moved cover the following counties: Atlantic/Cape May, Camden/Gloucester, Hudson and Union. None moved a distance greater than five miles. The Atlantic/Cape May VSO is now in the Atlantic City armory, the Camden/Gloucester VSO is now in the Woodbury armory, the Hudson VSO has relocated to the Jersey City armory and the Elizabeth VSO can now be found in the VA’s Newark office. The moves will save DMAVA about $130,000 in lease payments.

The most recent move was the Camden/Gloucester VSO, from leased space on Crown Point Road in Thorofare to the Woodbury Armory at 685 N. Evergreen Ave., about two miles away, in the heart of the Gloucester County seat.

The two VSOs assigned to that office, Anthony D’Errico and David Joost, and secretary Diane Rosci spent a recent day carrying boxes, checking phone lines and settling in to their new office on the first floor in the rear of the armory.

D’Errico said his biggest concern about his new digs is being found. “The last thing we want is for a veteran who hasn’t been here in a couple of years to show up at our old office and panic,” he said. “We want to get the word out that we moved.”

Word got out quickly. The first veteran showed up less than an hour after they opened up their new office on Jan. 27.

Joost, who has been a VSO since 1977 and has occupied a number of different offices around the state during the years, figures all of the new locations will work because they’re in armories.

“An armory is a good place to be found,” Joost said. “Go into any town and ask where the armory is and just about everybody will be able to direct you there.

” Englert said keeping the VSO offices easily accessible is a top DMAVA priority. New Jersey’s VSOs helped more than 6,000 claimants collect more than $700 million in federal benefits in the last fiscal year – a 10 percent jump from the year before.

“These offices take care of veterans – and serve as economic engines for the state of New Jersey,” he said.

Atlantic/Cape May VSO
New Location: Atlantic City Armory, 1008 Absecon Blvd.
Atlantic City, NJ 08401-1999
609-441-3060/3061, Fax: 609-441-3899
Old Location: 1601 Atlantic Ave., Atlantic City

Camden/Gloucester VSO

New Location: Woodbury Armory, 658 N Evergreen Ave.
Woodbury, NJ 08096
856-853-4184/4185/4186, Fax: 856-384-3781
Old Location: 215 Crown Point Rd., Thorofare
Hudson VSO
New Location: 678 Montgomery St.
Jersey City, NJ 07306
201-536-3401/3402/3403, Fax: 201-536-3404
Old Location: 438 Summit Ave., Jersey City

Union VSO
New Location: VA Regional Office, 20 Washington Pl.
Newark, NJ 07102-3230
973-297-3220, Fax: 973-648-2356
Old Location: 1196 Chestnut St., Elizabeth