New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights 8 September 2006

Volume 5, Number 37


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)



DMAVA Highlights Archive

DMAVA Highlights Archive Page



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

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall.  I would go to more dances.  I would ride more merry-go-rounds.  I would pick more daisies.

-Nadine Stair

Download PDF Version of this week's highlights
News for your Views

Patriot Day, 2006

A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

On the fifth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, we recall the fire and horror at the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field. America will always remember the thousands of innocent lives taken by the enemies of freedom that morning.

In the face of these unspeakable attacks, we were reminded that the great strength of America is found in the hearts and souls of our citizens. We witnessed firefighters, police officers, other public safety officials, and ordinary Americans demonstrate extraordinary courage, risking their lives to save innocent victims. We saw our country united in compassion as Americans came together to provide relief and bring hope to others.

Today, America is fighting a war that is testing our Nation's resolve. We are once again answering history's call with confidence, and we know that freedom will prevail. Our brave men and women in uniform have stepped forward to fight our enemies abroad so that we do not have to face them here at home, and we are grateful for the courageous individuals bringing terrorists to justice around the world.

We are also confronting the extremists in the great ideological struggle of the 21st century. September the 11th made clear that, in the long run, the only way to secure our Nation is to advance liberty and democracy as the great alternatives to repression and radicalism. By working together with our friends and allies, we are helping spread the blessings of freedom and laying the foundations of peace for generations to come.

The events of September 11, 2001, will always be a defining moment in our history. We hold the victims and their families in our hearts, and we lift them up in our prayers.

By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of each year as "Patriot Day."

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2006, as Patriot Day. I call upon the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half staff on Patriot Day. I also call upon the people of the United States to observe Patriot Day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and remembrance services, to display the flag at half staff from their homes on that day, and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. eastern daylight time to honor the innocent Americans and people from around the world who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-first.

GEORGE W. BUSH

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Graduation of Class 24 from the NJ Youth ChalleNGe Academy

On August 26, one hundred and one New Jersey Youth ChalleNGe Academy students graduated at the War Memorial in Trenton, N.J.  This ceremony was the culmination of 5 ½ months of hard work for the graduates, not all of which was in the classroom.  As cadets, they trained hard on the PT field and worked within the community as well.  The ceremony was attended by hundreds to include proud family members, mentors, VIPs and members of the New Jersey legislature.  Special thanks go out to Command Sgt. Maj. Jerome Jenkins, the Academy’s keynote speaker, for his heartfelt speech. 

The ceremony concluded with recognizing the achievements of the graduates who demonstrated superior performance in various academic areas and leadership roles.  Of particular note for Class 24 was that this was the first time an entire platoon received their State of New Jersey High School diplomas.  Congratulations to all of the graduates and to the Youth ChalleNGe staff who helped them achieve their dreams and started them on the path to success!

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National Guard Month at Six Flags

September is National Guard month at Six Flags.  During September, National Guard members can receive free general admission one-day tickets to any U.S. Six Flags theme park, water park or property.  Just go to www.sixflags.com/nationalguard/, print out the voucher and take it to the park’s ticket window with your active military ID to get your tickets.

The voucher is good for up to four complimentary admissions and there is a limit of one voucher per Guard member during the month of September.  If the Guard member is on active duty, the spouse can use their military ID and voucher for admission.

All of the parks are listed on the web site along with the dates they are open in September.

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Family Day at the commissary

Monday, Sept. 25 is Family Day.  Go to www.commissaries.com and find out how the Defense Commissary Agency is celebrating this day – with a special contest and other promotions.

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Fill Your Date Book

Special show offered on Sept. 11 at Tweeter Center, Camden

On Sept. 11, the Pennsauken Alliance for the Performing Arts is planning a special presentation, “Proud To Be An American.” The show will honor all who have given the last full measure to protect our liberty by recognizing our veterans of all wars, our police, firefighters, everyday service personnel and those who perished on 9/11. This year’s show will be at the Tweeter Center on the Waterfront in Camden, N.J. “Proud to be an American” is a show you will always remember, a day “We Shall Never Forget.”

Admission is free and the show starts at 7:30 PM. Please visit our website at www.papashows.org for additional information.

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Fort Dix Annual Retirement Day, Sept 16

On Saturday, Sept. 16, Fort Dix will host their annual Retiree Appreciation Day. This is a day that Fort Dix has set aside to honor the retired community with guest speakers, information tables, refreshments, medical screenings and a luncheon. The day's activities, held at Griffith Field House, begin at 8 a.m. and end at 2 p.m.

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Rolling Thunder Freedom Run, Sept. 17

Rolling Thunder Chapter2 is holding Freedom Run XI on Sunday, Sept. 17 at Warinanco Park, Roselle, N.J.  Departure time is 8 a.m., riding to N.J. Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, Holmdel.  You will need $3 to cover tolls, expenses and donation to the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation and Vietnam Era Education Center.  For more info, please call 609-971-3544.

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3rd Annual Frank T. Carvill scholarship dinner Sept. 21

The third annual Frank T. Carvill scholarship dinner honoring Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas H. Slowinski will be held Thursday, Sept. 21, at The Landmark II, 26 Route 17 South, East Rutherford, N.J., 07073, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Cost is $85 per ticket, for a full buffet dinner, open bar and a live band.  For tickets, call 201-457-9000.

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Military pricing on tickets to Sesame Street show

The Theater at Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, is offering discount tickets to military members and their families to attend Sesame Street Live “Elmo Makes Music.”  The show will be held on Sept. 21 and 22 at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., Sept. 23 at 10:30 a.m. 2 and 5:30 p.m. and Sept. 24 at 1 and 4:30 p.m.  Tickets range in price from $8-22 each depending on day and show time.

If you are interested in purchasing tickets, please e-mail Barbara.harbison@ njdmava.state.nj..us or call (609) 530-7088 for the form needed to send with payment for the tickets.

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Ceremony, plaque dedication in memory of Staff Sgt. Carvill

The Schmidt-Hoeger VFW Post # 3149 of Carlstadt, N.J., will honor the memory and sacrifice of New Jersey Army National Guardsman Staff Sergeant Frank T. Carvill.  On Thursday, Sept. 28 at 11 a.m., during a special ceremony, a plaque will be placed on the Memorial Stone in the Memorial Park of Carlstadt at the corner of Division Ave. and Hackensack St.  Everyone is invited to attend the ceremony.

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Honorable Mention

Guard gate now has phone line

The Guard Booth Telephone Number is 609-671-6623.

Effective immediately all Directors, Managers, Supervisors and Employees that interface with outside personnel for hosting on-site meetings here at the Lawrenceville Headquarters are directed to notify the security guard when expecting scheduled visitors.

You are to provide the date, time and name of the visitor in advance whenever possible, also the DMAVA employee they are visiting and/or meeting they are attending. The Guard will issue a visitors parking permit. If you are expecting a large party for a meeting or event please provide a roster of attendees, with the meeting date time and location to the gate guard prior to the event.

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Civil Air Patrol looking for BDU donations

The New Jersey Civil Air Patrol is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.  They perform inland search and rescue missions, aerial reconnaissance for homeland security and disaster relief missions.  CAP has an active cadet program and aerospace education program for young people.  All of the members are unpaid volunteers and must purchase their own uniforms, although CAP does try to provide uniforms for their cadet members without charge to them.

CAP is looking for donations of BDUs (woodland pattern) in wearable condition for use by their members.  They can use pants, shirts, field jackets and caps.  They will also accept Air Force Service Dress uniforms for cadet’s use.

If you have uniforms to donate, please contact Maj. Rick Ulmer, (732)364-7755 or e-mail: caplawyer123@comcast.net.  He will make arrangements for pick-up.

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Tax-free in New Jersey!!

Does your shopping list have either a U.S. Flag or New Jersey flag on it?  One good piece of news – the sales tax hike does not affect that purchase; in fact purchase of either flag is TAX FREE in New Jersey.  Please visit the following web page to check out the particulars: http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/taxation/index.html?flag.htm.

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Army offers free courses for Soldiers, DA civilians

If you are an Army Soldier or DA civilian, you can access more than 2,600 information technology, business, self-development and 30 foreign language courses for FREE through Army e-Learning.  Visit www.us.army.mil and select “my education.”  In Fiscal Year 2006, almost a quarter million courses were completed.  Some of the top 10 courses of the month for July were: Rosetta Stone Spanish and Arabic, Windows XP: Fundamentals, Accounting Fundamentals and Encryption Technologies.

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Army offers free courses for Soldiers, DA civilians

If you are an Army Soldier or DA civilian, you can access more than 2,600 information technology, business, self-development and 30 foreign language courses for FREE through Army e-Learning.  Visit www.us.army.mil and select “my education.”  In Fiscal Year 2006, almost a quarter million courses were completed.  Some of the top 10 courses of the month for July were: Rosetta Stone Spanish and Arabic, Windows XP: Fundamentals, Accounting Fundamentals and Encryption Technologies.

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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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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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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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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. 22-24.  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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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.

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Family Programs on the calendar

Sept. 16, 10 a.m.

Kid’s Crafts, Burlington Armory

Sept. 17, noon

42nd RSG Family Day, Somerset Armory

Sept. 17, noon

250th Signal Bn Family Day, Westfield Armory

Sept. 23

Mystery and Silent Auction at Cookstown VFW

Sept. 24, 9:30 a.m.

Iron Horse Cavalry – Motorcycle Poker Run; Riverdale Armory start, Morristown Armory end.

Sept. 30, 10 a.m.

Reunion workshop, Lawrenceville Armory

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Family Readiness Group Meeting schedule

Bordentown Armory – B Co 250th SBF & Co D 250th BSB – Sept. 16, 10 a.m.
Hammonton Armory – 119th SB Corps – Sept. 21, 7 p.m.
Jersey City Armory – D Co 2-113th – Sept. 20, 7 p.m.
Lawrenceville Armory – 50th PSB – Sept. 21, 7 p.m.; 50th Fin Bn – Oct. 14, 2 p.m.
Morristown Armory – 3-112th & 5/117th –
Newark Armory – A, B, E Co’s 2-113th Inf – Sept. 20, 7 p.m.
Port Murray Armory – 2-102nd Arm –
Teaneck Armory – 50th SBM – Sept. 21, 7 p.m.
Toms River Armory – C/3-112th FA –
Vineland Armory – 5/117th Cav – Sept. 9, TBD
West Orange Armory – B Co 5/117th Cav – Sept. 23, 1 p.m.
Woodbury Armory – Trp C 5.117th Cav –

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Recreation and Sports

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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LT. Col. Dave Savino Memorial Golf Tournament

The 10th Annual Lt. Col. Dave Savino Memorial Golf Tournament will be held at the Fountain Green Golf Course, Fort Dix on Monday, Sept. 18.  Format will be two person scramble (best ball).  Donation to play is $85 per person which includes greens fees, cart, refreshments and door prizes.  A buffet lunch will be held after the tournament.  For more information, call 609-754-2048.

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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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Governor’s Surf Fishing Contest

Applications for the 2006 Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament, held each year at Island Beach State Park, are now available. Early registrants save on adult registration fees, are eligible for special prizes offered to pre- registrants and avoid delays - pre-registration ensures timely entry to the park.

The tournament will be held Sunday, October 1st. Fishing begins at 6:30am. A variety of species are eligible for entry in the tournament, and there are winners in male, female, teen and child categories. Don't miss this exciting family event!

For more information and a link to the application form visit:

http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/gsft.htm on the NJ Div. of Fish and Wildlife website.

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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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Scholarship News

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:

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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Northern New Jersey Stand Down will be held Sept. 9

The Northern New Jersey Stand Down 2006, a one-day outreach to assist homeless veterans and their dependents, will be held at the Essex County College gymnasium, Sept. 9, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Many services will be offered to the veterans who take part in the program, including veterans and medical benefits information, social services, employment services, substance abuse programs, recovery programs, photo ID, PTSD counseling, legal services, clothing and more.

The college is located at Market Street and Martin Luther King Blvd, Newark, N.J.  A hot lunch will be provided.  For more information, please call (973) 748-0980.

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Pennsylvania War Dog memorial dedication

On Sept. 16, at 1 p.m., there will be a dedication of the Pennsylvania War Dog Memorial at the Bristol Township Municipal Building.  The memorial will honor the military dogs and their handlers who have served our country proudly in both war and peace.

The War Dog Memorial will be part of a newly landscaped memorial garden situated near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial statue and the memorial honoring Bristol Township’s police, fire and emergency services personnel. The municipal building is located at 2501 Bath Road, Bristol, Penn.

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Vets offered free med exams, more on Sept. 20

The Trenton Vet Center is sponsoring a one-day event offering free medical exams and readjustment services with information about VA medical benefits and employment services to veterans on Sept 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sponsored by the VA New Jersey Health Care System, the event will be held at the Trenton Vet Center, 934 Parkway Ave., Ewing.  For more information call (609) 882-5744.

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Vietnam Era Form, Oct. 20

The Vietnam Era Forum will be held this year on Friday, Oct. 20.  The theme is "Coming Home: Vietnam Veterans and Their Families Since the War."  Keynote Speaker will be Jan C. Scruggs, founder of the national Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC.

Click on this link www.njvvmf.org/pdf/06_brochurelynn.pdf for a PDF file-version of our informational brochure for the Forum.

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VA Hotline for identity theft concerns

Veterans having questions about recent incidents involving VA computers and personal information may call 1-800-333-4636 or (1-800-FED-INFO).

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Ocean County opens PTSD counseling for vets

Ocean County veterans now have a place to get Post Traumatic Stress Disorder counseling.  Once a week, counselors from the Trenton Vet Center will offer office hours at the Ocean County Veterans Service Bureau, 1027 Hooper Ave, Building 2, Toms River.

To schedule an appointment, call 732-929-2096.

Ocean County, with the state’s largest concentration of veterans, signed an agreement with the Vets Center, an arm of the Veterans Administration recently. 

John Dorrity, director of the Ocean County Veterans Bureau said that he has a waiting list of veterans who will participate in the counseling. He added that they will start off with once a week, but will possibly increase sessions if the need arises.

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

Charles H. Johnson, Vietnam veteran and poet, will have a reading of his latest book of poetry at the Vietnam Era Educational Center on August 12. Johnson of Hillsborough, N.J., is a graduate of the ROTC program at Rutgers University and a retired captain in the US Army Reserve.  From 1970 to 1971, he was a first lieutenant and an infantry platoon leader for the 1st Cavalry Division in South Vietnam.  He is the author of “Tunnel Vision” and numerous poems about Vietnam.  Three of his poems are engraved on the Plainsboro Veterans Memorial sculpture in Plainsboro, NJ.  Johnson conducts poetry workshops for high school students and teachers throughout New Jersey, and serves as a night editor and poetry reviewer for the Home News Tribune in East Brunswick, N.J.

Johnson's book, Sam's Place, consists of free verse concerning the poet's service as an infantry platoon leader in Vietnam and haiku about his dreams of America while he served overseas.  Other poetry in the collection relates the poet's reaction to the World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and how he deals with the ever-present reality of war and its consequences.

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.

Oct. 14 / 1 p.m. / "Vietnam: A View You Have Never Seen Before," a slide show with discussion about folk life in modern Vietnam by NJ school teacher Ken Mayberg.

Oct. 20 / 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. / "Coming Home: Vietnam Veterans and Their Families Since the War," the 8th Annual Interdisciplinary Forum on the Vietnam Era, featuring as Keynote Speaker, Jan C. Scruggs, Founder and President of the national Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.  Pre-registration required.

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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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

Sept. 8 – National Date Nut Bread Day, Pardon Day.
Sept. 9 – Teddy Bear Day, Col. Sander’s birthday
Sept. 10 – Swap Ideas Day, Hot Dog day and Old-timers Day
Sept. 11– No News is Good News Day, Make Your Bed Day
Sept. 12 – National Chocolate Milkshake Day
Sept. 13 – Defy Superstition Day, Positive Thinking Day
Sept. 14 – National Cream Filled Donut Day

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A Smile for your weekend

Interesting animal facts:

Forty percent of M&M’s ™ are brown.

A soda can can hold 90 pounds of pressure per square inch – three times as much as a car tire.

People in Salt Lake City eat more Jell-o ™ than residents of any other U.S. city.

If you are average, you spend about five years of your life eating.

Alaskans eat twice as much ice cream as the rest of the nation.

Only about eight percent of the weight in a box of cornflakes is corn.

   
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