New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights 13 July 2007

Volume 6, Number 28


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 for the Week

Visits always give pleasure-if not the arrival, the departure.
- Portuguese proverb

Some people are so fond of ill luck that they run halfway to meet it..
- Douglas William Jerrold

You can never do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

A yawn is a silent shout.
- Gilbert Keith Chesterton

Download PDF Version of this week's highlights

News For Your Views

57th Troop Command Softball Woes

By 1st Lt. Susan Cook

The 57th Troop Command softball team, the Renegades, are currently 0-2. Their record is a bit deceiving. In the first game of the season the Renegades faced off against Wildcats, the champions from last season. The final score was 9-16.

For the second game of the season, the Renegades played FCI. They defeated the Renegades by 2 runs with a final score of 9-11. Every year FCI puts together a pretty solid team. The Renegades are off to a slow start but they are just beginning. Ask the other MSC; how are their teams doing? GO TC!

TAG's Combat Match results

The results of The Adjutant General's Combat Matches held on June 22-24 at Fort Dix for the members of the New Jersey Army and Air Guard are:

Team Results - score is in parentheses.

Precision Combat Rifle  

1. 108th ARW  (800)

2. A TRP 102nd CAV  (707)

3. 2/113th (681)

Combat Service Pistol  

1. 108th ARW (670)

2. A Co. 2/104th CAC  (632)

3. 102nd CAV (574)

Combat Pistol (EIC)

1. 108th ARW  (449)

2. AVN BNs (combined team) (375)

3. A Co. 2/104th CAC (345)

Overall Team

1. 108th ARW

2. 102nd CAV

3. A Co. 2/104th CAC

Individual results

Precision Combat Rifle

1.                  Maj. Ken Kurtz, 108th ARW (213)

2.                  1st Lt. Benjamin Stoner, G/250th BSB/112th Fires FSC (208)

3.                  Tech. Sgt. Donald Smith, 108th ARW (198)

Combat Service Pistol

1.                    Tech. Sgt. Donald Smith (196)

2.                    Sgt. 1st Class Andrzej Ropel, A Co 2-113th Inf. (179)

3.                    1st Lt. Benjamin Stoner (178)

Combat Pistol (EIC)

1.                  Tech. Sgt. Donald Smith (136)

2.                  Lt. Col. Andrew Kuhtik, 108th ARW (124)

3.                  Tie - Master Sgt. James Johnson, 227th SOF/108th ARW (109) and Sgt. Donald Seymour, A Co 2/104th Avn GSAB (109)

Consultations on State Differed Compensation Plan for state workers

From the desk of Paul Serdiuk, Training Coordinator

Due to the overwhelming demand for information regarding employee's New Jersey State Deferred Compensation plan, an additional date for the representative to meet with state employees regarding the administration of the Prudential Financial administered State Deferred Compensation Plan has been scheduled.

Mike McConnell, from Prudential Financial, will be at DMAVA Central Office on July 27, 2007, in Conference Room A, to discuss individual employee's State Differed Compensation Program.

We are scheduling 30 minute one-on-one consultations with Mike starting at 9:30 a.m.-noon and 12:30-3 p.m. Contact Paul Serdiuk at 609-530-6878 to reserve a time slot.

Pre-retirement seminars slated for AGR, technicians

From the desk of Lorraine Jamison, Human Resource Development Specialist

HRO is sponsoring two retirement seminars on Fort Dix at the JT2DC in August. The technician pre-retirement planning seminar is Aug. 21-22. The AGR pre-retirement planning seminar is scheduled for Aug. 23.

These seminars are important step in planning for your future. For more information, call Lorraine Jamison at 609-562-0874 or e-mail lorraine.jamison@us.army.mil.

Gov. Corzine hosting picnic for returning Soldiers, families

Governor Jon S. Corzine is hosting a picnic for the returning Soldiers and family members of Troop C/5-117th RSTA , Company D/250th BSB, 50th PSB, 250th PSD and the ANA-ETT. The picnic will take place on July 28, noon-4 p.m. at the governor's mansion, Drumthwacket. Parking will be available at Bristol Meyer Squibb, Route 206, Princeton. The shuttle bus will start taking on passengers at 11:30 a.m. Attire is appropriate picnic casual.

To make a reservation, call the State Family Program Office at 609-562-0739.

Farewell dinner for Command Chief Ortu of 108th ARW

Come say your goodbyes to Command Chief Master Sgt. Joe Ortu of the 108th Air Refueling Wing on Aug. 4, at the Community Center, McGuire Air Force Base. Cocktail hour with a cash bar begins at 5 p.m. and the spaghetti buffet will begin serving at 6 p.m.

Cost for the dinner is $15 per person for E-5 and below and civilians; $20 for E-6 and above. "Uniform" for the evening is civilian casual.

Members of the 108th ARW can sign up with their duty section Chief Master Sgt., others can RSVP by calling 609-754-3683 or e-mail 108ARWCCE@njmcgu.ang.af.mil.

Youth trip to Camp May zoo, lighthouse on Aug. 23

Family Programs is conducting a youth trip to Cape May zoo and lighthouse on Aug. 23 for youths, ages 8-15. Cost is $5 per child for the T-shirts

The Family Programs staff is renting a charter bus for the day and taking 35 children and 10 staff members as chaperones. There will be two pick-up and drop-off points - Fort Dix Reserve Center on Route 68 at 7:15 a.m./5:15 p.m. and the Hammonton Armory at 8:30 a.m./4:30 p.m.

Reservations can be made by calling Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator, at 609-562-0742 or by e-mail at Amanda.balas@us.army.mil. They will be taken on a first come, first serve basis and children of deployed service members have priority.

Military Family Day at Six Flags on Aug. 21

Bring the family to Family Appreciation Day at Six Flags, Great Adventure, Jackson, on Aug. 27. The park opens at 10:30 a.m. and the discounted tickets cost $20 per person, children under 3 have free admittance. Parking will cost $15 per car.

Tickets includes all the rides and the safari.  Tickets can be purchased at JFHQ', Family Program's Office (see Marie or Amanda) or at any Family Assistance Center. For further information, please contact the Family Program Office at marie.durling@nj.ngb.army.mil or amanda.balas@us.army.mil. This is a one-day ticket only not a season pass.  This offer is available to all New Jersey National Guard soldiers, airmen and DMAVA State and Federal civilian employees.

VSOs helping veterans receive benefits

From the desk of William Devereaux, Program Coordinator

The Middlesex/Somerset counties Veterans Service Office assisted a widow in receiving Dependent Indemnity Compensation benefits on her first husband who died in WWII.  DIC is the payment made to a surviving spouse of a deceased service connected disabled veteran. The claim started in 2005.  She received approximately $17,000 in retroactive payments.

Joseph Battito, who is the VSO for the Middlesex/Somerset office, also assisted a veteran with 100 percent service connected disability to receive an additional $1,000 a month in benefits, plus a special housing grant and $14,000 in retroactive benefits.  

Military golfers have chance to win $10,000

Hey all you military golfers - here is a contest for you!

On August 11, at Greely Field, Fort Monmouth, at 1 p.m., the 2007 Military Long Drive Championship is being held. Take your best shot and you could win $10,000. You can win an all-expense paid trip, luxury hotel, premier golf outings and play in a pro-am event in Mesquite, Nevada.

For rules and information, or to register, call 732-532-8404 or visit www.armymwrgolf.com.

FEHB open season nearing

From the office of J1-HRO

The tentative 2007 open season dates for Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) are Nov. 12-Dec. 10, 2007

During the annual FEHB open season, anyone eligible to participate in the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program may change health plans or options, cancel or suspend their FEHB enrollment, and request plan brochures and information.

You can find information at www.opm.gove/insure/ or Air Guard federal technicians can all Carmen Fattore at 609-562-0887 and Army Guard technicians can call Jacquelyn Bertrand at 609-562-0866.

State workers should look for changes in upcoming paychecks

From the HR office, Lawrenceville

On pay period 14 with a check date of July 13, the number of days in the fiscal year for twelve month employees increases from 260 days in Fiscal Year 2007 to 261 days in Fiscal Year 2008.  For this reason, your biweekly gross wages may decrease slightly even though your annual salary has remained the same.  For ten month employees, the number of days in Fiscal Year 2008 remains at 216 and, therefore, will not change the calculation of your biweekly salary. 

As of July 7, Executive Branch employees covered under labor agreements with the CWA, AFSCME, and IPFTE, and employees not covered by a labor agreement, are required to contribute 1.5 percent of their annual base salary for health and/or prescription drug coverage under the State Health Benefits Program.  Employees affected by this agreement will see the new deduction beginning with pay period 15 and a check date of July 27.

Effective July 7, for all members of the PERS and TPAF retirement systems employed by the Executive and Legislative Branch of State Government, the pension deduction will increase from 5 percent to 5.5 percent of compensation.  Employees affected by this change will see the increased deduction beginning with pay period 15, and a check date of July 27.  

New TSP account numbers being issued to make accounts more secure

From the office of J1-HRO

Be on the lookout in late fall for a mailing from the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) with your new TSP account number. This account number will replace your Social Security number as your primary ID for your TSP account. You will need to use your account number when filling in TSP forms. You will use it with your TSP password when entering the Account Access section of the TSP Web site. You will use it with your TSP Personal Identification Number (PIN) to gain access to your account through the ThriftLine. If you send the TSP loan payments from your own funds, you will need to include your account number on the loan coupon that accompanies your check or provide it to your on-line bill-paying service if you have one. Substituting this randomly selected account number for your Social Security number will make your TSP transactions more secure. We at the TSP are doing all we can to protect the security of your personal information. The rest is up to you. Be careful about giving out your account number, and don't write it down where it can be seen by others who should not have access to it.

Tax-free rules for deployed service members, families

From the Military Officers Association of America

Military pay received while deployed in a combat zone or other qualifying hazardous duty area is tax-free. But what specific rules apply? Here's a quick refresher course, which summarizes how you can take advantage of these savings opportunities.

All pay received (including base pay, special pays, and bonuses) is income tax-free up to the maximum enlisted pay rate of $6,381.90 per month, plus imminent danger pay.
Reenlistment bonuses received during a qualifying deployment month also are tax-free. Be aware, however, if a reenlistment bonus is taken in installment payments instead of a lump-sum, installment payments received after leaving the combat zone are not tax-free.

Thrift Saving Plan (TSP) contributions made while in a combat zone are not taxed on withdrawal or distribution.

Due to the Heroes Earned Retirement Opportunities (HERO) Act of 2006, servicemembers who were deployed in a combat zone or other qualifying hazardous duty area have up until May 28, 2009, to make IRA contributions for tax years 2004 and 2005. If the servicemember qualifies for a deductible traditional IRA, this can result in a tax refund for contributions made. For those under 50, the IRA contribution limits are $3,000 for 2004 and $4,000 for 2005. For those over 50, the limits are $3,500 and $4,500, respectively. You will need to file Form 1040X, Amended Tax Return, to claim any benefit. For more information, visit www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=161175,00.html.

TRICARE dental coverage; enroll today

From the office of J1-HRO

Did you know..... Your patriotism ENTITLES you to dental coverage. The TRICARE dental program is affordable and comprehensive.

It's the ONLY dental insurance plan sponsored by the Department of Defense for:

v    National Guard and Reserve Members

v    National Guard and Reserve Family Members

v    Active Duty Family Members

Enroll today to claim the dental benefits you've earned and experience the service you and your family deserve. Call 800-866-8499 or visit www.TRICAREdentalprogram.com for more information.

Safety message: cell phone usage and driving a vehicle

From the desk of Sgt. Maj. Nick Kampf, NJARNG Safety and Occupational Health

This is a safety warning that should be practiced 24/7/365. This is one of the top four causes of privately-owned-vehicle accidents.

Vehicle operators on a DoD installation and operators of government-owned vehicles will not use cell phones unless the vehicle is safely parked or unless they are using a hands-free device.

NJARNG Education Office hosting open house for Roger Williams U

From the Education Office, New Jersey Army National Guard

The New Jersey Army National Guard Education Office is hosting an open house for Roger Williams University on July 25 at 6 p.m., in the main conference room at Joint force Headquarters, 3650 Saylors Pond Road, Fort Dix, N.J.

The School of Continuing Studies at RWU offers six distance learning bachelor degrees. College credit is awarded for military training and experience, civilian or military certifications and licenses and prior college attendance. RWU may accept up to 90 credits for military , transfer and other experiences toward your degree.

All National Guard members, spouses, veterans and NJNG civilian employees are welcome and offered the reduced military tuition rate.

On July 26, Dean John Stout from RWU will be available to meet with potential students from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact him at 800-458-7144, ext. 3530. For more information, call the N.J. Army National Guard education office at 609-562-0654.

AKO has help to create sites for FRG members

From the AKO newsletter

Did you know you can create a site on AKO for all the family members of the soldiers in your unit?  Did you know you can have AKO help you populate - and even maintain - your virtual family member group as soldiers move in and out of your unit?  It's easy - all you need to know is your unit's Unit Identification Code (UIC), the six digit code that uniquely identifies every unit in the Army! 

If you are willing to put in about ten minutes of work, you can get a group on AKO that contains every family member related to a soldier within your unit.  FRG Leaders - request an FRG group now!  Review the AKO Rules-Based Groups policy and get started today!  (Make sure to include your unit's UIC and the fact that the group is for the unit's family members when you make your request.)

TSP is 20 years old and still helping government employees, military

From the office of J1-HRO

This year, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is celebrating its 20th birthday as the largest retirement savings plan of its kind - with more than 3.7 million participants and assets of approximately $225 billion. Since 1987, the TSP has changed a lot. We've introduced four new funds and the L (Lifecycle) Funds, moved from a monthly to a daily valued plan, and brought the uniformed services on board. We've eliminated contribution restrictions (except for the IRS limits!), and participants continue to increase the amount they're saving for retirement. On average, we receive $1.6 billion in contributions each month. Age now has its advantages, too, with the introduction of the age 50 and over catch-up contributions. Benefits and services also have been added (like the general purpose loans and the toll-free number for the ThriftLine). While participation and assets have been going up, the TSP's expense ratio has been going down - so you're saving even more!

"Veterans Journal" has online version for its readers

From the desk of David S. Snedeker, Chief Information Officer

The New Jersey "Veterans Journal" Summer 2007 edition is now available on the world wide web in a user friendly on-line version at the following web address: http://www.nj.gov/military/veterans/journal/summer2007/index.html

The Veterans Journal is intended to serve New Jersey's veterans, their families, friends, and concerned individuals and groups. The journal provides up-to-date information on veterans' events, news, entitlements and services. Take a look at the new edition today.

Tickets to preview of "Hairspray" available

From the USO of Metropolitan New York

In appreciation of your service, you and your family are cordially invited to attend a special preview of "HAIRSPRAY" by the USO of Metropolitan New York and New Line Cinema on Tuesday, July 17 at the Regal E-Walk Theater, 247 W. 42nd St. (at 8th Ave).

"HAIRSPRAY" is directed by Adam Shankman, produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Chicago), and stars John Travolta, Queen Latifah, and Michelle Pfeiffer. The movie will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Please RSVP no later than 4 p.m., Monday, July 16 by calling 212-695-5590 ext. 226 and advise us of the number of dependents you will be bringing. We look forward to sharing this special event with you and your family.

NGB looking for Soldiers to participate in All-American Bowl activities

From the National Guard Bureau, Public Affairs Office

There is an excellent opportunity for 20 Soldiers to participate in the Army's All-American Bowl festivities in San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 1-6, 2008. The Army teams up high schools' greatest football athletes with members of its "Heroes" program. As a hero, you will have the opportunity to participate in a multitude of game-week festivities, interact with tomorrow's generation, and enjoy America's greatest sport on earth.

Here are the requirements. To volunteer, you must be:

v    OIF/OEF Soldier

v    Recipient of the Silver Star and/or Bronze Star with V device and/or Purple Heart or higher medal

v    Able to go TDY in San Antonio, Texas, Jan. 1-6, 2008

v    Willing to participate in media interviews for hometown news

You will tell your story of your experiences in the military, not answer questions about Army policies, etc. You will receive media training beforehand and USAAC will cover all direct costs (lodging, transportation, per diem, shipping of special equipment). Mandays must be obtained from respective commands.

Last year, 88 Active, Guard and Reserve Soldiers were honored at game-week festivities. See pictures here: http://www.army.mil/-slideshows/2007/03/14/2254-army-all-american-bowl-soldier-heroes-2007/

Job assistance for military spouses, retirees, injured military

From the desk of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes, Family Assistance Specialist

Re/Max in conjunction with the US Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Initiative launched Operation Re/Max in 2006 to help mentor interested military members and their family members in a career in real estate.  Interested military spouses, retirees and injured soldiers can obtain detailed Operation Re/Max information at http://www.remax.com/inside_remax/become_an_agent/new_to_ real_estate/index.aspx or contact operation remax@remax.net or 1-800-826-7720.

Programs assist injured service members

By Gerry J. Gilmore, American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 5, 2007 - Servicemembers who've suffered serious injuries resulting from their wartime service can get financial help thanks to two congressionally legislated programs, a senior U.S. military officer said July 3.

Congress established the Traumatic Servicemembers Group Life Insurance program in 2005 in response to the experiences of some former and current military members who found themselves financially strapped after they suffered severe injuries during the war against terrorism. Coverage applies to active-duty and reserve-component members.

"This program provides up to $100,000 per event, depending on (the type of) injury," Army Col. John Sackett, a disability compensation expert with U.S. Army Human Resources Command in Alexandria, Va., said during a telephone interview with online journalists and "bloggers."

All servicemembers covered under the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance program, whether active duty, reserve or National Guard, were enrolled for TSGLI coverage on Dec. 1, 2005.

To date, the Army has paid out a total of more than $130 million under TSGLI, Sackett said.

The TSGLI benefit has both retroactive and prospective aspects, Sackett said. The benefit is provided retroactively for servicemembers who suffered severe combat-zone-related injuries between Oct. 7, 2001, and Dec. 1, 2005, he said. The prospective aspect, he added, applies to servicemembers with injuries received "any time, anywhere" from Dec. 1, 2005, forward.

Currently, TSGLI doesn't offer compensation for veterans who've developed post-traumatic stress disorder as the result of battlefield service, Sackett said. "TSGLI hasn't allowed for that loss at this point in time," Sackett said. But, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is working to include other types of injuries, including PTSD, under TSGLI program coverage, he said.

Yet, military veterans who suffer from combat-zone-related PTSD may be eligible for financial aid under the Combat-Related Special Compensation program, which became effective June 1, 2003, said Sackett, who is chief of the CRSC and TSGLI divisions at U.S. Army Human Resources Command.

The CRSC program provides compensation for eligible retired veterans with combat-related injuries who have 20 years of military service and have received a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs disability rating of 10 to 100 percent, Sackett said.

Sackett said the military is considering asking for congressional legislation that would enable medically retired servicemembers discharged under Chapter 61 to receive compensation for PTSD. There's also military interest in petitioning Congress for authority to provide compensation assistance to servicemembers with PTSD who have between one and 19 years of military service.

For Your Calendar

Traveling Vietnam Wall in Long Branch July 26-29

The city of Long Branch will host the traveling Vietnam Wall, "The Wall that Heals," July 26-29. During the opening ceremony, retired Col. Stephen G. Abel, Deputy Commissioner for NJDMAVA will be one of the speakers.

The Wall that Heals has been traveling around America, Canada and Ireland for more than 10 years. Along with the scale replica of the monument in Washington, D.C., a traveling museum and information center completes the exhibit. The museum reports the history of the Vietnam War Era and the interesting healing powers of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The information center gives visitors the opportunity to learn about friends and loved ones lost in the war.

The "Wall" is open 24 hours a day during its stay.

N.J. Korean War Commemoration Ceremony, July 27

The 2007 Korean War Commemoration Ceremony will take place on July 27 at 11 a.m. at the New Jersey Korean War Memorial, at Park Place/Boardwalk, near Brighton Park, Atlantic City. Hosted by the New Jersey Korean War Veterans Association in cooperation with the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, it will be the 54th Anniversary Commemoration Signing of the Korean War Armistice. There will also be a presentation of the New Jersey Korean War Commemorative Medal to local Korean combat veterans.

Honorable Mention

Pilot bonus program for Army to aid recruiting effort; reward helpers

From the desk of Cyndi McCoy, NJARNG Recruiting, Marketing Representative

Every Soldier a Recruiter (ESAR) is a pilot referral bonus program of the Active, Reserve and National Guard components of the Army that provides select Soldiers and retired members of the U.S. Army the opportunity to assist with recruiting efforts and rewards those efforts with referral bonuses up to $2,000. For more information, contact NJARNG Marketing Representative Cyndi McCoy at 609-672-6308.

Chance to earn extra money for Guard members through G-RAP

From the desk of Cyndi McCoy, NJARNG Recruiting, Marketing Representative

Sign up today and earn up to $2,000 for each new recruit who enlists into the National Guard and reports to basic training.

The Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP) is a contracted program designed for individuals who voluntarily apply to become eligible to serve as a part-time Recruiting Assistant (RA).

G-RAP is available to Traditional Guard members and National Guard retirees. This opportunity is open to both Army and Air Guard members. For more information, contact Cyndi McCoy at 609-672-6308, NJARNG Marketing Representative.

New Jersey Helmets to Hardhats helps military personnel find careers

The New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council's Helmets to Hardhats Program (NJ H2H) is designed to help transitioning military personnel, National Guardsmen and Reservists find the best careers in the building and construction industry. Our program seeks to honor and reward military service with a solid, family-sustaining career in one of our 15 affiliated trades, such as electrical workers, carpenters and painters.

We work in cooperation with the national Helmets to Hardhats program, adding a personal component to the program's on-line services. NJ H2H offers veterans preparation for successful application to any of New Jersey's registered apprenticeship programs in the building and construction trades. Services include career counseling, entrance test preparation and referral to supportive services.

For program registration and information, visit us online at www.njbctc.org/h2h or contact us at 732-499-7295 or at H2H@njbctc.org.

Honor Guard program searching for people

Looking for a way to serve and get some satisfaction at the same time? The Honor Guard program is looking for members of the Army and Air Guard to join the team to perform honor guard duties at the funerals of veterans. There is an initial eight hours of training for all new enrollees, with on-going sustainment training. As an honor guard member, you will receive a day of pay for each day's mission, minimum of $50, and traditional drilling Guard members receive a retirement point for each day's duties.

If you are interested in applying for the Honor Guard program, call Retired Sgt. Maj. Ed Goetschius at 609-530-7090.

Discounts offered for State employees

Are you a state employee looking to save a few $$$?

Visit www.state.nj.us/personnel/discounts/index.htm and you can find a number of businesses who offer discounts to New Jersey state employees. From amusement parks to fitness to computer to phones and lots of other discounts between, you will find many ways to save money. For more information, please contact Cindy Leese at cindy.leese@njdmava.state.nj.us or call 609-530-7056.

For the Families

FRG looking for "web savvy" volunteer

The New Jersey National Guard Family Readiness Council is looking for an IT or "web savvy" individual to donate their services. Your talents are needed to set up and maintain a Web site for the Family Readiness Council. Anyone who is interested should call Terry Dearden at 609-530-6893 to set up a meeting with the members of the Council.

The National Guard State Family Readiness Council is a nonprofit organization developed to assess and implement solutions to challenges that our Guard families experience during their Soldier's or Airman's deployment. One of the functions of the council is to add support to the Family Assistance Centers scattered throughout the state.  The council is accessible to individual families and other military organizations. Financial support is provided by the council to military activities through generous donations and fundraising activities.  Resource services and emotional support are also available.

Youth Camp Forms Available

The thirteenth Annual New Jersey National Guard Youth Camp will be held July 29 to Aug. 4 at the New Jersey National Guard Training Center, Sea Girt.

Applications are available at: www.state.nj.us/military/familysupport/youth_camp.html

Children, ages 9-13 are invited to apply. The camp fee is still $100. Campers must be children, grandchildren or legal dependents of an active or retired member of the New Jersey National Guard. A variety of volunteer positions are available. For more information, call the Family Programs Office at (609) 562-0668.

Deployed Military Spouses Assistance Program Award

The Deployed Military Spouses Assistance Program provides direct assistance and referrals to existing programs for spouses of deployed military personnel (active duty, reserve and National Guard) who face unusual financial and emotional stress as a result of the deployments. 

Applicants should contact Fawn Mutschler at 609-543-6200 ext. 325 or wocmilitarygrant@ymca-bc.org to obtain an application.  In addition to the completed application form, applicants will also need to submit the following documentation: LES/paystub for applicant and spouse; statement of Financial Need (i.e. reason for applying and how the grant will help); bill or pricing of expenditure as well as any other supporting information the applicant feels may be helpful. Additional information can be found at: www.state.nj.us/dca/dow/depmilspouseasst.shtml

Family Readiness Council offers Tier I and II grants

The New Jersey National Guard State Family Readiness Council has expanded its Family Grants Program to include an additional grant.  There are now two levels of Family Grants; TIER I is the $2,500 grant that has been in place for the past couple of years.  The TIER II opens family grants to New Jersey Army and Air National Guard non-deployed service members who were on State Active Duty or State Missions (e.g., hurricanes, floods, border missions) for more than 20 consecutive days.  Service members meeting these criteria are eligible to apply for a financial hardship grant up to $1,500.  Applications are available at all New Jersey Army and Air National Guard Family Assistance Centers.

Sports and Entertainment

Baseball, food and supporting the Fisher House Foundation

Come watch the Lakewood Blue Claws play baseball, eat lots of hot dogs and hamburgers and support the Fisher House Foundation all at the same time.

On Aug. 6, The Fort Monmouth chapter of the Association of the United States Army is sponsoring a "Night at the Baseball Park" to salute disabled service members and their families. For the cost of $20 for adults or $15 for children, you can get all you can get all you can eat hot dogs and hamburgers. Sponsors at various levels are also needed. To make payment, reservations or for sponsorship, contact Kit Roache at 732-380-9500 or kit.roace@gdc4s.com.

Proceeds from the night are being donated to the Fisher House Foundation. The Fisher House Foundation supports America's military in their time of need; the Foundation provides "a home away from home" that enables family members to be close to a loved one (military member) at the most stressful time -- during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.

Trenton Vets Center, Trenton Thunder offer "cheap" seats

The Trenton Vet Center with support from our community partner, Trenton Thunder Baseball, will sponsor baseball tickets at a special rate for Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard, separated, and retired veterans.  A regular $10 season ticket will be offered at $7 for veterans and family members.  The primary purpose of the program is to allow veterans and their families an opportunity to experience Trenton Thunder baseball due to their service and sacrifice for our country. If you have questions, call Matt Petima, director of ticket operations for the Trenton Thunder at 609-394-3300, ext 1200 or the ticket box office at 609-394-3300.

Proof of Veteran Status:  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.

Here's To The Heroes

Here's to the Heroes provides a single day's free admission to any one SeaWorld or Busch Gardens park, Sesame Place, Adventure Island or Water Country USA for the service member and as many as three direct dependents.

Any active duty, active reserve, ready reserve service member or Guard member is entitled to free admission under the program. He or she need only register, either online at www.herosalute.com or in the entrance plaza of a participating park, and show a Department of Defense photo ID.

Scholarship, Education News

Free SAT/ACT Offer Extended

A group of NFL, NFL Europe, AFL, and CFL football players have announced they are extending their sponsorship of the SAT/ACT training to all military families.

The sponsorship allows any military person (active, Guard, reserve, or retired) to request as many programs as they need for the students in their lives.  There is a secure website to confirm a person's military status before directing the user to the software order site. Logon to::

www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/portal/page/itc/MHF/MHF_DETAIL_0?current_id=20.20.100.30.0.0.0.0.0

Programs are shipped to domestic U.S. addresses and APO addresses. The sponsorship covers the purchase price of $199 and the family pays only the shipping and handling of $9.95.

American Legion offers scholarships, booklet on their Web site

The American Legion has scholarship information on their Web site - www.legion.org - including the 152-page booklet, Need a Lift, which is a complete financial aid reference guide for veterans, veterans' dependents and members of the American Legion family. When you get on the site, click on "Scholarship Information" in the "Useful Links" block.

Association News

Enlisted Association of the National Guard of New Jersey

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.

Enlisted Association of NGNJ slated for Oct. 5-6

The 34th annual conference of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of New Jersey will be held at the Radisson Hotel, Valley Forge, Penn., Oct. 5-6.

Proceeds from this weekend event are spent directly on our membership. It is a nice feeling to know that for every 50/50 ticket and Chinese Auction ticket you buy helps fund the scholarship program, allows junior enlisted to attend the National Conference and supports legislative actions for benefits and so much more.

Friday night features "The American Game Show Challenge," which is a series of fun trivia contests and physical challenges.

Saturday is back to business for a bit, with a business meeting and elections for the executive counsel. The new Junior Enlisted Team is sponsoring the Chinese Auction. Local attractions are abundant; register for trips to Valley Forge and/or Longwood Gardens. Saturday Night wraps up our conference with our customary formal Military Ball.

There are several package plans to fit your particular needs. If you have any questions, call retired Sgt. Maj. Jerome Zebrowski at 609-214-6959 or e-mail at jcptfalc@aol.com or Co-Chairman retired Sgt. Maj. Edward Goetschius at 609-965-1972 or e-mail at esgtmaj@comcast.net. Visit the association's web site at www.eang-nj.org for additional information, updates and applications.

 

NGANJ's calendar for members in 2007

The National Guard Association of New Jersey will be conducting the following event. All members (active and retirees) are encouraged to participate:

       National Guard Association of the United States (NGAUS) 129th Conference - this conference will be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico from August 25-27, 2007. The New Jersey delegation will be staying at the Caribe Hilton (15 minutes from airport). Our hotel is located on the beach, has a great pool for the family and is located close to the convention center (10 minutes). We have reserved 30 rooms on a first come, first gets basis. Additional information and registration forms will be coming out shortly. If you are interested, please contact Capt. Jose Maldonado.

       NGANJ Website - The above information is posted on the NGANJ website. If you need copies of the forms, specific contacts or additional information, please go to the website at: www.nganj.org.

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:

August 8, 9, 10

Newport Centre Mall

September 12, 13*, 14

Livingston Mall

October 2, 3, 4

Deptford Mall

October 30*, 31, November 1

Brunswick Square Mall

November 27, 28, 29

Quaker Bridge Mall

*Medal ceremonies begin at 10:30 a.m. on these dates.

The kiosk will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., July-Sept.; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Oct. and Nov.

N.J. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

N.J. Vietnam Veterans' Memorial and Vietnam Era Educational Center's upcoming events:

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Free guided tours of the Memorial are offered on the first Saturday of each month at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

 

   
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