New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights 7 July 2006

Volume 5, Number 27


Contacting us is easy!

Public Affairs Office

Phone: (609) 530-7088
Fax: (609) 530-6963



Veterans' Organizations Contact Information

State Veterans Service Council
Mr. Richard Clark
RJClark21@msn.com

NJ Advisory Committee for Women Veterans
Mrs. Anna Hoffman
hoffmanannem@aol.com

BG Willam C. Doyle Cemetery Advisory Council
Mr. William Rakestraw
warjrnj@msn.com



Veterans Hotlines

Benefits & Entitlements
1-888-8NJ-VETS
(1-888-865-8387)

Mental Health
1-866-VETS-NJ4
(1-866-838-7654)



NJ World War II Memorial

For information or to make a donation, call 609-530-7049

WWII Memorial on the web



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.

Or

* 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
1-888-751-9000

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

First Morris Bank & Trust
1-888-530-2265

Manasquan Savings Bank
732-223-4450

North Jersey Federal Credit Union
1-888-78NJFCU

Peapack-Gladstone Bank (908)
719-BANK

Pennsville National Bank
856-678-6006

PNC
1-866-PNC-4USA

Sovereign Bank
1-877-391-6365

Sun National Bank
1-800-691-7701



Quote of the Week

Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is.

-Maxim Gorky


DMAVA Highlights Archive Page

News for your Views

Disabled Veterans' Benefits Bill Becomes Law

On June 15, President Bush signed the Veterans' Housing Opportunity and Benefits Act of 2006 into law.

One provision authorizes the Department of Veterans Affairs to make grants available to assist with housing adaptations at a family member's home in which a severely disabled service member is temporarily residing. Previously, severely disabled veterans had to own their homes in order to qualify for this benefit.

The grants range between $2,000 and $14,000. The act also will allow service members who have been legally determined to be totally disabled at the time of their separation from the service to have up to two years from their separation date to apply for premium-free Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance coverage. In addition, the legislation will enable them to convert their coverage to Veterans' Group Life Insurance, or an individual plan or policy, during the same two-year period.

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DMAVA Hotline

The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Emergency Hotline is:
1-866-232-5798

You will hear the following message:
You have reached the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Emergency Information Number.  Please listen to the following menu choices and select an appropriate option:

State employees – press 1
Federal employees – press 2
National Guard employees – press 3

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Youth Camp Year Book Boosters

Help support our Youth Camp.  Purchase a booster to be placed in the youth camp yearbook. 

SINGLE LINE: $3.00
BUSINESS CARD: $5.00
QUARTER PAGE: $8.00
HALF PAGE: $15.00
FULL PAGE: $20.00
CORPORATE PAGE: $50.00

Send your booster (art work can be included) and your check to: New Jersey National Guard, Youth Camp, P.O. Box 943, Lake Hopatcong, NJ  07849. If you have any questions, please call Marie Durling, 609-562-0739.

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Free WWE tickets to military personnel

Are you a service member and a fan of World Wrestling Entertainment? WWE is offering all U.S. military personnel from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Reserves and National Guard a complimentary ticket to a live WWE event in their local area, provided they come dressed in uniform with a military ID. 

Tickets are available the day of the event. Military personnel can log onto the World Wrestling Entertainment Web site to view a schedule of live events in their area.  Check out www.wwe.com for more information.

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Bon Jovi “Have A Nice Day” tickets

Here is a special offer to military personnel for Bon Jovi's July 18 and July 19 concerts at Giants Stadium.  A special $10 ticket offer is available on tickets regularly priced at $37.50; seats are located in the upper level. 

Two local bands will take the stage at 5 PM. Nickelback and Bon Jovi follow.

This offer is valid from noon, July 5-17 or while supplies last.

There are two ways that you can purchase tickets: 

1. In person at the Continental Airlines Arena box office, cash only. Box office hours are Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.  Bring the order form (see note below) or military identification with you the time of purchase.

2. Fax or e-mail order form – order forms will be accepted until July 10. 5 p.m.  Tickets will not be mailed out after July 10.   Please feel free to call the Giants Stadium office at 201-460-4370 for more information.   The office will be closed from July 1-4.

If you would like an order form, please call or e-mail SSgt. Barb Harbison (609-530-7088 or barbara.harbison@njdmava.state.nj.us). 

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Fill Your Date Book

“Good Morning America” looking for OIF/OEF vets for concerts

“Good Morning America” is opening up to 50 spaces in their concert series to OIF/OEF veterans every Friday morning through Aug. 25.  If you are interested in attending one of these concerts, please contact Kryn Westhoven, 609-530-6950 as soon as possible.

The events are 7-9 a.m., with arrival time of 6 a.m. at the concert location – Bryant Park at 42nd and 6th Avenue, which is located directly behind the New York Public Library.  Uniform is ACUs/DCUs with berets.

Soldiers and guests will be in the VIP section near the stage – there is no seating; standing room only. Those who attend must provide their own transportation; parking is several blocks away from the park.

Entertainers on the calendar are:
July 28- Huey Lewis & The News
Aug. 11- Carrie Underwood
Aug. 18- Christina Aguilera
Aug. 25- Lionel Richie

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Concert benefits scholarship fund

The Freedom Concert benefits the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund which provides college scholarships to the children of fallen military heroes who sacrificed life and limb defending our freedom. It also honors the America’s true heroes and brave defenders of freedom:  our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Guardsmen and Marines.  

One time a year Sean Hannity invites you to his BIGGEST party of the year. On Friday, July 21, 77WABC is proud to present the 4th Annual Hannity Freedom Concert at Six Flags Great Adventure! It will feature country music legend Hank Williams Jr., and special performances by Sara Evans and Lee Greenwood.  

Order your Hannity Freedom Concert tickets by calling 1-800-329-5454 or go to: http://www.wabcradio.com/Article.asp?id=207819&spid or http://www. wabcradio.com/goout.asp?u=http://www.sixflags.com/hannity.asp.  Cost of tickets online is $54.99 plus tax that includes park admission and the concert. Season passholders may attend the concert with the purchase of a $26.99 concert upgrade. Concert upgrades are available by calling 732-928-1821 or stop by the VIP Experience Center just outside the Main Gate. Print your tickets at home with Print-N-Go or choose to have them shipped via UPS. Shipping/handling fees apply to shipped orders.

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Essex Troop Association Family Picnic

"The Essex Troop Association" 2/102AR - 102CAV (RSTA) NJARNG will hold its Annual Family Picnic at Sea Girt National Guard Center on Saturday, July 29, at noon.  Activities will be centered at the Essex Troop Memorial Grove and N.J. Military Museum building.  There is no cost to association members and their guests, or any members of the 2/102 Armor or 102D Cavalry (RSTA). Food and beverages will be supplied by the association. Bring your bathing suits and toys/games for the children. There are changing rooms available and the beach is just a short distance away.  Bring the family and friends and enjoy a relaxing day at the shore.  This will be an excellent way to meet some of your new fellow Soldiers from the 5/117th Cav and 2/102 AR, who are being transformed into the 102 Cavalry (RSTA) - Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Target Acquisition Squadron NJARNG.

There will be a short business meeting at 11:30 a.m. for all association members. For further information call 973-736-0952 or email at etroop@verizon.net.

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Honorable Mention

E-mail scam alert

The Philadelphia Network Support Staff is seeing increasing reports of users receiving email from the address abuse@vba.va.gov, asking them to check an account by clicking on a link.

This email is a phishing scam, an attempt to gain personal information. The email address abuse@vba.va.gov is fake and the link in the email is to a web site in Asia. Delete this email if they receive it.   DO NOT OPEN the email.

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SGLI premium changes in July 06

The new SGLI premium rate will increase the monthly premium rate for a member with maximum coverage of $400,000 from $27 to $29. This premium includes an additional $1 per month for Traumatic Injury Protection coverage (TSGLI), which is mandatory and added to any premium rate automatically. In addition the Family SGLI will be reduced. Service members will see a change in the deduction from their pay for the first time in July 2006.

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Political activities of Federal employees

General policy. As a matter of long-standing policy, DoD personnel acting in their official capacities may not engage in activities that associate DoD with any partisan political campaign or election, candidate, cause or issue.

Public commentary by military personnel. All military personnel, including National Guard and Reserve forces, acting in their official capacities may not engage in public commentary, including speeches and written submissions offered for publication, concerning political campaigns or elections absent prior clearance.

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Affordable vacation spots around the world

Are you looking for an affordable vacation spot?  The Armed Forces Recreation Center has resorts around the world for members of the Armed Forces, their families and other members of the Total Defense Force.  Room rates are based on rank, pay grade, duty status, room size and/or room location. Reservations are required, policies vary by location and guests may not stay more than 30 consecutive days or register again within the following 90-day period.  But if you are thinking of Hawaii, Germany, South Korea or Orlando as a possible vacation destination, this just may be the ticket!  Visit http://www.armymwr.com/portal/travel/recreationcenters/  for more information.

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Easy tick removal tip

They say ticks are going to be abundant this year, so here’s a tip we all may need to remember. This comes from a school nurse.

I had a pediatrician tell me what she believes is the best way to remove a tick. This is great, because it works in those places where it’s sometimes difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc.   Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20), the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away. This technique has worked every time I’ve used it (and in Ky., that was frequently), and it’s much less traumatic for the patient and easier for me.   Unless someone is allergic to soap, I can’t see that this would be damaging in any way.  I even had my doctor’s wife call me for advice because she had one stuck to her back and she couldn’t reach it with tweezers.  She used this method; then immediately called me back to say, “It worked!”

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Doyle cemetery seeks volunteers

The Cemetery is working toward designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. We are enlisting the support of community volunteers for Outreach & Education. Scouting Groups, Veteran Service Organizations, Youth Groups, and other interested individuals are encouraged to contact Iven C. Dumas 1st Sgt, USMC (Ret) Assistant Superintendent, at 609- 758-7250 ext. 17 or by e-mail at Iven.Dumas@njdmava.state.nj.us.

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JT2DC Memorial Walkway offers engraved pavers

The Joint Training and Development Center (JT2DC) recently unveiled the Memorial Walkway to the center.  The purpose of the pond and walkway are to serve as a reminder that there are Soldiers in harm’s way protecting the freedoms that we all cherish and enjoy.

The concept of the Memorial Walkway was to have Soldiers create a mark by dedicating inscribed bricks.  Soldiers have chosen to honor loved ones, family members, friends, and personnel with whom they served.

Anyone interested in purchasing an engraved paver for $50, can contact Command Sgt. Major Timothy Maskery at (609) 562-0539.

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Enlisted Association of the National Guard of New Jersey

Membership
Give our state a larger voice by becoming a member of the Enlisted Association.  The increased numbers will help us speak on all legislative issues that will benefit you and your families. The association works hard for you at the Federal & State level on all important issues. Visit the web site EANG-NJ.org, click on Become a Member for the application and find out more about what the association does.

Conference
The Enlisted Association invites you to the Annual Conference at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Atlantic City West, October 6-8, 2006, to Honor and Salute our Airmen and Soldiers who supported the War on Terrorism. Saturday during the Military Ball will be our way to say thank you for their dedication and sacrifices that they and their families shared. Friday night will feature a Hawaiian luau with a show and an Army and Air challenge. Our mission is to have fun. Visit our web site EANG-NJ.org, click on EANG-NJ Conference to find out more. Thank you for your support. You can reach the membership chairman Jerome Zebrowski at 609-214-6959 or jcptfalc@aol.com or co-chairman Edward Goetschius at 609-965-1972 or esgtmaj@comcast.net.

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For the Families

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Grants available for assistance and recreation

Happy Summer!  Now is the time that many families and kids enjoy vacations and day trips, camps, picnics, and family visits.  Unfortunately, because of increased deployments and the financial and emotional stress associated with them, many military families might find these activities difficult to arrange.  This is why The Women’s Opportunity Center at the YMCA of Burlington County in Mt. Laurel, N.J., is pleased to remind military members that grant funds are available not only for financial emergencies and crisis situations, but also to provide recreational and stress relieving activities such as camps and classes. 

This grant, provided by the Department of Community Affairs is available to spouses of deployed military personnel in all branches of service in the state who are income eligible.  Applicants can expect to fill out very minimal paperwork (one page) and receive their approval and funds within a week of completed application. 

Director of the Center, Cathi Rendfrey, said the YMCA and the Women’s Opportunity Center are proud and honored to be able to come to the aid of the military at such a critical time. 

For more information and an application, contact Fawn Mutschler at 856-234-6200, ext. 235 or e-mail: fawnm@ymca-bc.org.

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Marriage Enrichment Seminar

Due to the success of the Marriage Enrichment Seminars, also known as Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program (PREP), we have requested and have been approved for additional funding.  Another seminar has been scheduled for Sept. 22-23.  This will be the last seminar for FY06.  If you have never attended the seminar, call Marie Durling at 609-562-0739 for more information and or to register.    This seminar is open to all NJNG Soldiers.  Soldiers that have been deployed will be given priority. 

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Kaleidoscope Kids – summer camp in New Jersey

There is still time to enroll in this enrichment day camp focused on Astronomy and Space Travel!

The New Jersey State Museum’s summer academy, KALEIDOSCOPE KIDS, for ages 6-12, will explore the universe this year!  Five weekly sessions, July 10 through August 11, will be devoted to “ENVIRONMENTS IN TIME AND SPACE.”

Campers will view the current exhibition: “Heavens Above: Photographs of the Universe from the Hubble Telescope.” The State Museum Planetarium will provide special programs for the campers. Field trips will be held every Wednesday, featuring astronomy, rocketry and space exploration.

There will be five difference one-week sessions; enrollment may be for any combination of weeks. Cost is $160 per child per week, with discounts for State employees and members of The Friends of the New Jersey State Museum. For more information, call 609-292-6310.

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Guard Family Action Plan

The Guard Family Action Plan (GFAP) identifies issues of concern to Guard members, spouses, parents, children, retirees and civilian employees.  The GFAP determines actions necessary to resolve issues and assigns responsibility for actions to the proper staff agency. 

The proper staff agency begins at unit level within the chain of command and can include the Departments of the Army and Air Force and the Congress of the United States.  You can submit an issue along with your recommendation for a solution through the GFAP website at www.gfap.org. If you have any questions, you can call Marie Durling in the State Family Programs Office at 609-562-0739. 

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Spouses invited to go on orientation flights

The 108th Air Refueling Wing would like to extend an invitation to the spouses of New Jersey Army and Air National Guardsmen and women who would like to see an aerial refueling up close.

The wing will be having a spouse-only orientation flight on August 18.  This is a great opportunity for spouses to see the skills needed to fuel an aircraft more than 20,000 feet in the air.  Seats will be on a first-come, first-served basis.  If you are unable to get a seat, don’t worry.  The 108th will have more flights to follow to give everyone a chance to fly.

If you are interested, please call Staff Sgt. Beth Pritchard at (609) 754-4173 or e-mail at elizabeth.Pritchard@njmcgu.ang.af.mil for the form needed to request a seat.

Guard members who would like an orientation flight or would like to nominate their bosses for a flight can also contact Staff Sgt. Pritchard for information and forms.

 

Youth trip to the Intrepid on August 9

A trip to the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum is scheduled for Wednesday, August 9, from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.  The Family Programs staff will be taking 40 sons and daughters (ages 10-17) of National Guard Soldiers and Airmen to the Intrepid in New York City from.  The slots will be filled on a first come, first serve basis, however, those with a deployed parent will have first priority.

The day will begin with a charter bus picking up youth at the Lawrenceville Armory at 7:30 a.m. and then on to the Teaneck Armory around 9:30 a.m. to pick up the rest of the crew.  We will cruise into New York City and begin the festivities.  The day will include a self-guided tour of the Intrepid, a video on the history of the Intrepid, lunch from McDonald’s, tattoos, rock climbing wall and a 4-D experience ride.  We will leave the Intrepid by 3 p.m. to head back to the Teaneck Armory and then on to the Lawrenceville Armory.  Are you ready for the fun to begin?

How much does this cost?  $5 ... this will cover the costs of the T-shirts we will all wear.

How do I sign up?  A parent/guardian must contact Amanda Balas at 609-562-0742 or amanda.balas@us.army.mil to reserve a spot and receive the forms necessary to attend.  Needed will be: each child’s name, age, shirt size, location of pick up/drop off, permission forms filled out and lunch choice.  Lunch will be served on the Intrepid at the in-house McDonald’s café. 

When can I sign up?  You can sign up from now until Friday, June 30 by 4 p.m. (or until all slots are full). 

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Youth Camp 2006
This year’s Youth Camp will begin Sunday July 16, 2006 and will end with closing ceremonies on Saturday July 22, 2006.   There are many activities scheduled for the week at the National Guard Training Center in Sea Girt, NJ.  The campers will be able to enjoy the beach, arts and crafts, archery, sports and presentations by other organizations.  Campers ages 9-12, Helpers ages 13-15, Junior Volunteers ages 16-17 and Volunteers ages 18 and up are all encouraged to attend.  The fee for campers is $100 and volunteers are free.  For an application, please go to http://www.state.nj.us/military/familysupport/youth_camp.html.

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Family Programs on the calendar

July 8

Family Picnic, Mount Holly Armory

July 9, 1pm

West Orange FRG Baby Shower, West Orange Armory

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Family Readiness Group Meeting schedule

Bordentown Armory – B Co 250th SBF & Co D 250th BSB – July 15, 10 a.m.
Lawrenceville Armory – PSB/OSACOM/JFHQ Det 19 – July 28, 7 p.m.
Morristown Armory – 3-112th & 5/117th –
Newark Armory – A, B, E Co’s 2-113th Inf – July 19, 7 p.m.
Port Murray Armory – 2-102nd Arm – July 12., 7 p.m.
Teaneck Armory – 50th SBM – July 20, 7 p.m.
Toms River Armory – C/3-112th FA –
Vineland Armory – 5/117th Cav – July 15, noon
West Orange Armory – B Co 5/117th Cav – July 29, 1 p.m.

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Recreation and Sports

1st Annual Baker-Spakosky Poker Run benefits scholarship fund

Come to the 1st Annual Ryan T. Baker/Philip I. Spakosky Memorial Poker Run on July 16.  Registration time is 9-11 a.m., at Tattoo Everything, 558 Lakehurst Road, Browns Mills, N.J. (609-893-1626).  Donations are $10 per rider, $5 per passenger.  The run ends at the American Legion, 39 Pemberton-Juliustown Road, Pemberton, N.J. (609-894-2203). 

Proceeds of the run will benefit the Ryan T. Baker/ Philip I. Spakosky Scholarship Fund.  Scholarships will be awarded to Pemberton Township High School graduates.  Both Spc. Baker and Spc. Spakosky were residents of Browns Mills and casualties of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The run is sponsored by Rolling Thunder®, Inc, New Jersey Chapter 2 and Tattoo Everything.  There will be door prizes, live music, and a food vendor.  For more information, call 609-971-3544 or visit www.rollingthunder-nj2.org.

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ESGR Golf Outing on August 9

The N.J. Friends of the Guard and Reserve is proud to present the 2006 State Chairman’s Annual Golf Outing.  The golf outing will be held on Wednesday, August 9, at the Cream Ridge Golf Club in Cream Ridge, N.J.  The $95 per golfer registration fee includes greens fees, cart, registration, food and beverages on the course, door prizes and a luncheon at the Green’s Café at the golf club.  Corporate, hole and cart sponsors are also being sought.  All proceeds benefit the activities of the N.J. Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.  For additional information please contact Hank Pierre at 609-530-6879. 

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Trenton Thunder offers reduced tickets to military personnel, vets

The Trenton Thunder baseball team and its community partner, the Trenton Vet Center, has collaborated to sponsor reduced ticket prices for veterans and their families during the 2006 Trenton Thunder baseball season.

A regular $9 season ticket has been reduced to $7 for veterans and their family members.

Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard, separated, and retired veterans are eligible for this program.  Interested veterans must have a picture I.D. and provide proof of their veteran status by showing one of the following documents:

- Military I.D. card
- Federal Department of Veteran Affairs medical I.D. card
- DD Form 214

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New Jersey State Park passes for 2006

All Active New Jersey National Guard Members are entitled to Division of Parks and Forestry State Park Passes. When parking fees are in effect this pass entitles the NJNG member (and passengers) free parking at all New Jersey State Parks, Forests, Recreation Areas and Historic Sites (Does not pertain to Campground fees) ID Card must be shown with this Pass. See your Orderly Room for your pass.

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Anheuser Busch extends complimentary ticket program

Anheuser Busch has announced its program offering free amusement park tickets to the service members and their families has become so popular it will be extended another year. The "Here's to the Heroes," is open to active duty service members, active members of the National Guard or Reserve, and up to three direct dependents for one complimentary admission per year. Participants can go online to fill out a form for free admission at http://www.herosalute.com/.

The amusement parks participating in the program are: Sea World  parks in Orlando, Florida; San Diego and San Antonio;  Busch Gardens parks in Tampa, Florida, and Williamsburg, Virginia; Sesame Place, a children's play and water park, near Philadelphia; Adventure Island water park in Tampa; and Water Country USA water park in Williamsburg. 

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Operation Oasis vacations for military personnel

Operation Oasis Outreach at Sandy Cove, North East, Md., offers a free, 3-day, 2-night time for rest and relaxation for military personnel who were deployed to the Middle East area during OIF/OEF with their spouse and children.  Sandy Cover is located at the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay.  If you are interested, contact Carol Lee Lynch: toll free 1-800-287-4843 or e-mail c.lynch@sandycove.org.

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Picatinny Waterpark and Golf Course open to Vets, Guard, families

Picatinny Arsenal Morale, Welfare and Recreation Office is proud to announce new opportunities for Veterans.  As part of the Army's "Always a Soldier" program, Picatinny's Frog Falls Waterpark and Golf Course are now open to veterans as well as Active Duty and Retired Military and Reservists.  Frog Falls Waterpark offers annual memberships to veterans through our partnership with Rockaway Township Recreation.   Active Duty and Retired Military and Reservists can purchase an annual membership or visit the Waterpark for a $3 daily fee. Guest passes (for non-dependents) can be purchased at the gate for $7 (limit of 4 per visit).  Please call (973) 724-7275 for more information.  Picatinny Golf Course is also open to Veterans.  Please call (973) 724-GOLF for more information.

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Memorial Golf Tournament, Sept. 11

The 3rd Annual Tom Laffey Memorial Golf Tournament will be held Monday, Sept. 11, with a 10 a.m. shotgun start at The Meadows at Middlesex Golf Course, Plainsboro.  The tournament is sponsored by The Keeping the Faith Foundation which was created in 2004 by the children of Tom and Virginia Laffey as a way to honor the memory of their parents.  The proceeds from the annual golf tournament are donated to a special cause; this year’s proceeds will be given to the family of 1st Lt. Howard Gwin, whose daughter Ashleigh has been diagnosed with Krabbe Keukodystrophy. For more information about the tournament, please call Bill Laffey (732) 822-5814, Helene Wahl (732) 922-6539 or Tom Laffey Jr. (732) 846-1775.

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Support our Troops Motorcycle Run

The Freedom Riders “Support Our Troops” Motorcycle Run is scheduled for October 14, 2006 (October 15 – Rain date).  Proceeds benefit the Freedom Alliance Foundation providing:  Educational scholarships to the children of American’s Military Heroes that have given the Ultimate Sacrifice; pre-paid long-distance phone cards, gift cards for clothing, food, toiletries, books and magazines for the injured in our hospital; and funding for family members to travel to see and encourage their loved one.

For registration and information on the run go to:  www.citikids.org/freedom.htm

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Scholarship News

Freedom Alliance scholarships for children of military heroes: The Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund provides college scholarships to children of military personnel sho have been killed or permanently disabled (100 percent VA rating) in the line of duty during the War on Terror. Deadline for submission is July 31, 2006 for the 2006-2007 school year. For more information, go to www.freedomalliance.org/scholarship.htm.

Grantham University scholarships: Grantham University offers a scholarship program to severely injured service members and their spouses and adult children.  Go to www.grantham.edu for more information.  They also have scholarship programs for military veterans, service members, and family members.

Widener University CARES Scholarship: Widener University, Chester, Pa., has a full scholarship program for children of Global War on Terrorism service members who were killed in action.  Contact the Office of Admissions at 610-499-4126 for more information.

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Veterans Information

DMAVA Veterans Outreach Campaign continues.

The DMVA Veterans Outreach Campaign continues with kiosk displays at selected malls throughout New Jersey.  The schedule is as follows:

July 13-15

Cherry Hill Mall

August 10-12

Quakerbridge Mall

September 14-16

Livingston Mall

October 12-14

Deptford Mall

November 9-11

Menlo Park Mall

January 11-13

Brunswick Square Mall

February 9-11, 2007 Moorestown Mall
March 1-3, 2007 Hamilton Mall

The kiosk will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the identified dates.

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

July 9 / noon / Twilight's Last Gleaming, a film telling an imagined story of a Gold Star Mother suffering from Alzheimer's, who struggles to retain her memories of her son, killed in action in the Vietnam War.  The screening of the film will be followed by a discussion led by its director, Paul Schneeberger.  This program is part of the day's activities at the N.J. Vietnam Veterans' Memorial for the annual convention of the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

Aug. 12 / 1 p.m. / Sam's Place, a book of poetry about the Vietnam War experience -- readings and lecture by the poet, N.J. Vietnam Veteran Charles H. Johnson.

Sept. 9 / 1 p.m. / 36 Years and a Wake-Up, a Vietnam veteran's memoir -- lecture by the author, Vietnam Veteran Carey Spearman.

Sept. 15 / 11 a.m. / National POW/MIA Recognition Day and Gold Star Mothers Day ceremony.

Sept. 17 / 12:30 p.m. / Arrival of the Rolling Thunder-NJ motorcycle run for POW/MIA awareness, leaving Warinaco Park, Elizabeth at 11 a.m.

Lecture attendees are asked to RSVP to (732) 335-0033.  A donation of $5 per person is suggested.  The Educational Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.  Regular admission is free for veterans and active-duty military personnel.  Regular adult admission is $4; student and senior citizen admission is $2; and children under 10 are admitted free.

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. 

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Vets’ federal hiring preference changes for Guard, Reserve

Beginning June 9, National Guard and reserve members released from active duty will get the same veterans’ hiring preference for federal jobs as those who are separated or retired from regular active-duty assignments.

Under the new rules, which Congress approved last year as part of the 2006 Defense Authorization Act, the definition of a veteran expands for the purposes of getting extra credit when seeking a federal job. Previously, veterans’ preference applied only to people “separated” from active duty under honorable conditions.

Under the new policy, hiring preference would extend to any person discharged or released from active duty if they had more than 180 consecutive days of duty since Sept. 11, 2001, served in a war or in a campaign for which a campaign badge or expeditionary medal was authorized. Also, the person who is discharged or released must have received an honorable or general discharge.

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Trenton Vets Center open for counseling services

Located at 934 Parkway Ave, 2nd Floor, Ewing, N.J., the Department of Veteran Affairs, Trenton Vet Center, provides free readjustment counseling services to combat zone veterans and their families.

The Vet Center services include:

· Individual readjustment counseling
· Group readjustment counseling
· Screening for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
· Counseling for PTSD
· Substance Abuse counseling
· Marital and family counseling
· Sexual Trauma counseling    
· Community education and liaison
· Referral for benefits assistance
· Employment Assistance

Heading the Trenton Vet Center Staff is James Gordon, team leader.  Other staff at the center to help veterans and their families are Jeanne Morrison, Master Social Worker, Rawle Gaskin, Readjustment Counseling Therapist, Darryll Johnson, Readjustment Counseling Technician and Burnice Rice, Trenton Vet Center Office Manager.

The center is open Monday thru Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with Wednesday and Thursday extended hours by appointment only.

All services provided to veterans and their families are at no cost and clients’ rights are protected by HIPPA.  For more information call (609) 882-5744.

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“The Moving Wall” is scheduled to visit New Jersey

"The Moving Wall" is the half-size replica of the Washington, DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial and has been touring the country for almost twenty years.  When John Devitt attended the 1982 dedication in Washington, he felt the positive power of "The Wall." He vowed to share that experience with those who did not have the opportunity to go to Washington.

On June 14-19, 2006, the Medford New Jersey Township Council will sponsor “The Moving Wall” exhibit at Freedom Park, 86 Union Street, Medford, New Jersey.  Opening ceremonies are planned for Wednesday evening, June 14.  For further information, please contact the Recreation Department at 609-654-2512, or visit www.medfordtownship.com or www.themovingwall.org.

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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 Edward.goetschius@nj.ngb.army.mil.

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Mark your calendar

July 11 – National Cheer Up the Lonely Day
July 12 – National Pecan Pie Day
July 13 – Fool’s Paradise Day
J uly 16-22 – National Guard Youth Camp (Sea Girt, NJ)

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Where to send your submissions to “Highlights”

If you have submissions for the newsletter, please e-mail them to Staff Sgt. Harbison at barbara.harbison@njdmava.state.nj.us - for those of you who have global accounts, the address you see on the global listing is NOT the DMAVA address, so you will have to type it.  You can also contact her at (609) – 530-7088, fax: (609) 530-6963.

   
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