Summer 2007 Edition NJDMAVA Veterans

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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 the editor at:

Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

Assemblywoman serves Jersey Vets

Ocean County Donation

Assemblywoman Linda R. Greenstein and retired Col. Stephen G. Abel pose in front of the DMAVA Veterans Outreach Program kiosk.

The story is compelling and all too familiar to Assemblywoman Linda R. Greenstein (14th District). The General Assembly Deputy Speaker stood next to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Outreach Kiosk at the Brunswick Square Mall on Jan. 10, and listened as a man who had served in the Army in the late 1950’s wanted to know why he did not qualify for veteran’s benefits.

“We hear quite a bit from veterans who are very upset that they served honorably, in some cases they are disabled, and because they didn’t fall into those specified periods of time, they are not able to get benefits,” notes Greenstein. “I personally think that we should open it up, and anybody who served, should get certain benefits.”

Greenstein, whose father served in World War II, has always been involved with veterans, and her office was instrumental in making sure that her constituents were aware of the DMAVA kiosk at the mall. The kiosk is run by Veterans Service Officers and is there to help inform veterans not only about the federal enefits they may be entitled to, but of the specific benefits that the state of New Jersey offers to those who served honorably.

In addition, Greenstein has recently been involved in a project with vets and school children.

“We got the stories of more than 80 veterans on tape for the Library of Congress,” she says with pride. “I worked with all the high schools in my legislative district. I was amazed y the success because what we did is we trained the tudents to do the interviewing, and then we went to the high schools to interview the veterans.”

Because of her tireless efforts on behalf of New Jersey’s veterans, Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs retired Col. Stephen G. Abel, presented Greenstein with his personal challenge coin when she visited the kiosk.

“I think that we should put other priorities aside, to make sure that they (the veterans) get what they really deserve” said Greenstein, after accepting the coin.

Assemblywoman serves Jersey Vets

When you see elk in the wild they are found in herds. In New Jersey the herd is found in 120 lodges with more than 41,000 members, and the only thing wild about these Elks is their enthusiasm for helping veterans.

“It has been the mission of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks to be involved with our nation’s veterans and we began that mission in 1918,” said Robert Jani, President of the New Jersey Elks referring to the year the National Elks built the nation’s first veteran’s rehabilitation hospital outside Boston.

“Our local lodges provide more than just money to our vets, we provide them with fellowship and camaraderie, and we spend time with them,” added Jani as he proudly spoke about the aseball games, bingo, movie parties and picnics that Elks Lodges provide to veterans across the state.

The New Jersey Elks saw a need to support the service members serving in the current Global War on Terrorism and the Army of Hope kicked into high gear in 2005 raising $170,000 in four months.

“Our initial mission statement was to assist the families of those New Jersey residents who have carried the flag home for the last time,” said Jim Hall, State Chair of the N.J. Elks Army of Hope Committee.

In December 2005 the Elks provided financial grants to 37 New Jersey families whose loved one gave the ultimate sacrifice to this country.