New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights Archives

6 January 2006

Volume 5, Number 2


NJ Dept of Military and
Veterans Affairs

Maj Gen Glenn K. Rieth
The Adjutant General

Brig Gen Maria Falca-Dodson
Deputy Adjutant General

Col (Ret) Stephen G. Abel
Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs


Contacting us is easy!

Office of the Assistant Commissioner

Col (Ret) Michael B. Smith

Mrs. Laura A. Branham

Phone: (609) 530-6987

Fax: (609) 530-7109


We're on the Web!


Veterans’ Organizations Contact Information

State Veterans Service Council

Mr. Richard Clark

NJ Advisory Committee for Women Veterans

Mrs. Anna Hoffman

BG Willam C. Doyle Cemetery Advisory Council

Mr. William Rakestraw


Veterans Hotlines

Benefits & Entitlements

Mental Health


NJ World War II Memorial

For information or to make a donation, call



New Jersey Freedom Loans

What is a Freedom Loan?

* Up to $10,000
* Annual APR 6%
* Term: 5 years (no pre-payment penalty)
* Unsecured Loan (no collateral required)

Who is eligible to apply?

NJ residents who are:
* Members of the National Guard or Reserve
* Mobilized for one year or longer to fight in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) – excluding routine training.


* Served 90 or more consecutive days in the GWOT on federal or state active duty (excluding routing training) and have received orders extending cumulative active duty a year or longer.

How do I apply?

* Contact participating banks. Call or visit your local branch office to obtain an application.
* Guardmembers, Reservists, or family members with Power of Attorney must submit copies of current mobilization orders with the bank’s Freedom Loan application.

Current participants:

Commerce Bank

Credit Union of NJ
609-538-4061, ext. 401

First Morris Bank & Trust

Manasquan Savings Bank

North Jersey Federal Credit Union

Peapack-Gladstone Bank (908)

Pennsville National Bank


Sovereign Bank

Sun National Bank


ABCs of Life

Accept differences.

Be kind.

Count your blessings.


Express thanks.


Give freely.

Harm no one.

Imagine more.

Jettison anger.

Keep confidences.

Love truly.

Master something.

Nurture hope.

Open your mind.

Pack lightly.

Quell rumors.


Seek Wisdom.

Touch hearts.


Value truth.

Win graciously.


Yearn for peace.

Zealously support a worthy cause.

Governor-elect Jon S. Corzine and U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg led a list of dignitaries who participated in Farewell Ceremony for the Troops.

Governor-elect and Senator Jon S. Corzine and U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg joined MG Glenn Rieth, The Adjutant General, in leading a list of dignitaries, who gathered at the Lawrenceville Armory to bid farewell and good luck to members of the 50th Personnel Services Battalion, the 250th Personnel Detachment, and the ANN-ETT, who will be deploying to Afghanistan. Friends, families and supporters filled the large Lawrenceville National Guard Armory along with the Commanders of the state’s major veterans organizations, NJ Assemblyman Craig A. Stanley, Lawrence Township’s Mayor Michael Powers, former Mayor Pam Mount, Mercer County Executive, Brian Hughes, County Freeholders Pat Colavita, Elizabeth Maher Muoio, County Surrogate, Diane Gerofsky, and Mercer County Clerk, Paul Sollami-Covello. With music by the NJ Army National Guard’s 63rd Army Band and MG Glenn K. Rieth’s moving and reassuring remarks, a fond farewell was paid to the men and women of the NJ National Guard as they deploy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. We wish them God Speed!

Members of the 177th Fighter Wing depart for Iraq.

Members of the 177th Fighter Wing Fire Department departed this week for Iraq in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Major General Eugene Chojnacki, Commander, NJ Air National Guard, along with Colonel Brian Webster, Commander, 277th Fighter Wing, and the senior leadership of the Support Group met with the group before they departed the 177th. They will be attached to the 407th AEG.

While deployed to the Area of Responsibility, they will be assigned to the base fire department as the RAMS Team, six firefighters and a combat medic. They will respond to off-base incidents via ground transportation or helicopter that require specialized training in extraction, confined space, haz-mat or other emergency/rescue operations. They received three weeks of Combat Skills Training at Fort Carson, Colorado, and will receive two additional weeks of specialized training in Kuwait before deploying to their final location.

ChalleNGe Academy cadets participated in Christmas play.

On Saturday, 11 December, fifteen ChalleNGe cadets had the privilege of participating in a Christmas play entitled “The Visitor” that was sponsored by the post chapel on Fort Dix. The cadets enjoyed portraying soldiers from biblical times. The rest of the ChalleNGe company was in attendance at the play. According to one cadet, the play was educational as well as entertaining. For more information about the Youth ChalleNGe Academy, visit us on the web at or call toll-free at 1-800-997-5587.

Chief Leopardi captures Cosgrave Chief’s Award.

Chief Master Sergeant James Leopardi of the 177th Logistics Readiness Squadron captured the 2005 Major General Richard C. Cosgrave Chief’s Award. This prestigious award is given annually to an outstanding Chief Master Sergeant who has shown, through word and deeds, the best qualities of a Chief Master Sergeant. The selection criteria for the award is individual initiative, professionalism, demonstrated abilities of a Chief, and examples of the Air Force Core Values – Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence In All We Do.

Congratulations, Chief Leopardi!

U.S. Department of Labor issues new rules regarding returning Guard and Reserve members.

The Labor Department issued new rules spelling out the rights and responsibilities of returning Guard and Reserve members – and of their employers.

The rules become effective this month and are designed to enforce a law that has been on the books for 11 years. This is the first clarification of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, known as USERRA, since that law was enacted in 1994.

The 268 page document includes a large section in question-and-answer format that explain how USERRA protects against discrimination and retaliation because of military service and gives service members time to report back to jobs following completion of their service obligations.

The new regulations can be found at

Meet the 108th Air Refueling Wing’s (ARW) new Chaplain, Captain Christopher L. Miller.

Coast Guard, Navy, Marine Corps, and now Air Force – the 108th ARW’s new chaplain, Captain Christopher L. Miller, had had a well-rounded military career.

The chaplain began his military career as an enlisted Coast Guard Reservist in 1976. Almost 20 years later, he was commissioned into the United States Navy as an Ensign in the Chaplain Candidate Program. In 1998, Chaplain Miller became a full chaplain in the Navy and served as a Reserve chaplain. His last command before transferring to the Air National Guard was as a Reserve Station Chaplain for Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, N.C. Chaplain Miller says that although he jokes about serving in the Army so that he can have the full set of uniforms hanging in his closet, his wife tells him there is no more room.

After six years as a licensed, local pastor, Captain Miller was ordained in the United Methodist Church in 1996. He has served in New Jersey churches located in Gibbstown, Pennsville, Buckshutem, Millville, Port Norris, and Pemberton. Capt Miller also worked for three years on the Bishop’s staff as the Director of the 9/11 Long-Term Recovery Program for the United Methodist Church throughout New Jersey.

Chaplain Miller currently serves as the Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church of Delran, N.J. He and his wife Linda have two daughters, Adia and Danica, and one granddaughter, Mayden.

NJ Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and Vietnam Era Educational Center’s upcoming event schedule.

21 Jan, 1 p.m.
Poetry Reading and Oral History Discussion called “Remembering the Battle of Khe Sanh – in Poetry and Prose”

January 21, 2006 will mark the 38th anniversary of the enemy attack that started the Battle of Khe Sanh – the battle that launched the war’s pivotal Tet Offensive of 1968.

To remember and honor the American military effort in that action, a panel of Vietnam Veterans of the Khe Sanh Battle will discuss their personal recollections and reflections.

Please RSVP to (732) 335-0033. A donation of $5 is suggested.

For more information, please call the NJ Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation office at (732) 335-0033. or (800) 648-VETS.

The Vietnam Era Educational Center is located adjacent to the NJ Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial off the Garden State Parkway at Exit 116.

National Guard’s Youth Rendezvous Essay Contest open to Juniors and Seniors.

Students who will be high school juniors or seniors by August 2006 are eligible to participate in the National Guard’s Youth Rendezvous essay contest. Ten students from each state and territory will be involved in this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and earn an all-expenses paid trip to North Dakota (August 13-18, 2006).

“Throughout its involvement in the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration, the National Guard has emphasized the educational applications of this extraordinary American adventure. To culminate its involvement in the Bicentennial, the National Guard is sponsoring this Lewis and Clark Youth Rendezvous.

By way of an essay contest, our nation’s high school juniors and seniors will be afforded the opportunity to compete for one of the 540 spots in this immersion into history,” said Stephen L. Stearns, Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration project officer. Students will walk in the footsteps of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Through multiple activities and events, selected students will follow the Lewis and Clark trail, experience American Indian culture of yesterday and discover military history firsthand.

Students need to write an essay that addresses the following question: “In your opinion, what military value most describes the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery journey and why? “ Essays are to be a minimum of 1,000 words, but not more than 1,500 words, and can be submitted online or by mail, and must be received by midnight February 28, 2006.

To submit an essay or learn more about planned events, activities, and essay contest rules, go to

The Trenton Titans hockey team will salute the Military on Saturday, 21 January 2006, at 7:00 p.m.

Bring your friends and family for a great night of fun as the Trenton Titans offer a special night of family entertainment in a Salute to our Military. The Titans will pay tribute to the members of the military by wearing camouflage jerseys that will be auctioned off following their game against the Dayton Bombers. Reduced price tickets are $10 for adults and $8.50 for kids 14 and under. You will get a lower bowl seat to see every shot, save, and score. Call Ed Levin at 609-599-9500, ext. 135 for more information or visit our Department’s website at the link shown here for a ticket order form:

Family Readiness Council Grants available.

The State Family Readiness Council has established a Grant Program that will provide both Family and Business Grants to deserving New Jersey National Guard families impacted by deployment. Additional information regarding these grants is available at Family Assistance Centers and Family Readiness Groups throughout the state. Those interested should contact Family Assistance at 1-888-859-0352.

Part-time opportunities in Military Funeral Honors Program.

The New Jersey Army National Guard Military Funeral Honors Program has several part-time employment opportunities immediately available across the state for TDGs and Technicians. Earn one day’s base pay and one retirement point for a few hours work providing Military Funeral Honors for our Veterans. If you are interested, please contact SGM Edward Goetschius, Military Funeral Honors Coordinator, at 609-530-7090 or by e-mail at

Air National Guard Council of the Air Force Association (AFA) seeks your input.

The Air National Guard Council – ANG’s official liaison to the Air Force Association – solicits input from any member of the Air National Guard on quality of life and/or force modernization issues. All issues (problems, comments, suggestions) will be thoroughly staffed and forwarded to the AFA Executive Committee and Board of Directors for evaluation and further action by the AFA.

In its 50 year history, the ANG Council has identified and staffed numerous issues that have ultimately led to improvements directly affecting the men and women of the National Guard – such as TRICARE and BAH enhancements, as well as the modernization of our equipment.

If you have a “great idea,” forward it today to Lt Col Randy Johnson, ANG Liaison to the AFA Council at

Fitness Corner – Ernie Razzano, Certified Fitness Trainer,

Motivational Quotes

It’s that time for all of us to make those New Year’s resolutions. With that in mind, hopefully the following quotes will help you stay motivated to keep your resolution.

“Excellence…is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” – Jim Ryun

“Avoiding the phrase: I don’t have time - will soon help you to realize that you do have the time needed for just about anything you choose to accomplish in life.” – Bo Bennett

“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s when you had everything to do, and you’ve done it.” – Margaret Thatcher

“Failure, although never sought after or planned for, does serve a noble purpose – as an educator; it teaches us what not to do – again.” –Anonymous

“The pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist, the opportunity in every difficulty.” -- L.P. Jacks

“Problems are to the mind what exercise is to muscles, they toughen and make strong.” – Norman Vincent Peale

“The only way to define your limits is by going beyond them.” - Anonymous

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi

NJ Air National Guard Girls Softball Team plans St. Patty’s Day event.

Join the NJ Air National Guard Girls Softball Team for a St. Patty’s Day Dance and Chinese Auction on 18 March, 6-10 p.m., at the VFW in Cookstown, NJ. Tickets are $25 and include a buffet, music, door prize, cash bar and auction items. Buy your tickets by March 11 from Master Sgts Bonnie Gaskell, 609-562-0925, Tania Prairie, 609-754-2308, Keith Hyde, 609-754-6870, and Staff Sgt Stephanie Marshall, 609-754-8903.

On the day in history...

Today is Friday, 6 January 2006. It is the 6th day of the year with 359 days remaining.

1759 – George Washington and Martha Dandridge Custis were married.

1838 – Samuel Morse demonstrated the telegraph for the first time.

1898 - The first telephone message from a submerged vehicle was sent by Simon Lake.

1912 – New Mexico became the 47th U.S. state.

1914 – Stock brokerage firm of Merrill Lynch founded.

1942 – The first commercial around-the-world airline flight took place. Pan American Airlines was the company that made history with the feat.

1945 – The Battle of the Bulge ended with 130,000 German and 77,000 Allied casualties.

1952 – “Peanuts” debuted in Sunday papers across the United States.

1964 – Rolling Stones’ first tour as a headline act (with the Ronettes)

1994 – Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the right leg by Tonia Harding’s bodyguard and ex-husband.

Call today to volunteer at a Family Readiness Center near you.

If you are able to assist the families of our deployed soldiers and airmen, please call our Family Readiness Center at our toll-free number 888-859-0352.

Thought for the week...

"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." - Carl Bard

Contact Us | Privacy Notice | Legal Statement | Accessibility Statement
NJ National Guard Family Programs Open Public Records Act
The Governor's Office The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs The Department of State The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs