New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights Archives

17 September 2004
Volume 3, Number 37


NJ Dept of Military and
Veterans Affairs

Maj Gen Glenn K. Rieth
The Adjutant General

Brig Gen Maria Falca-Dodson
Deputy Adjutant General


Contacting us is easy!

Office of the Assistant Commisioner

COL (Ret) Michael B. Smith

Mrs. Laura A. Branham

Phone: (609) 530-6987

Fax: (609) 530-7109


We're on the Web!


Thought for the day..

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

…Mahatma Gandhi



Register and Vote!

"Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never voted President. One hopes it is the same half."

.. Gore Vidal



New Jersey Freedom Loans

What is a Freedom Loan?

* Up to $10,000

* Annual APR 6%

* Term: 5 years (no pre-payment penalty)

* Unsecured Loan (no collateral required)

Who is eligible to apply?

NJ residents who are:

* Members of the National Guard or Reserve

* Mobilized for one year or longer to fight in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) – excluding routine training.


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

How do I apply?

* Contact participating banks. Call or visit your local branch office to obtain an application.

* Guardmembers, Reservists, or family members with Power of Attorney must submit copies of current mobilization orders with the bank’s Freedom Loan application.

Current participants:

Commerce Bank

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

First Morris Bank & Trust


Manasquan Savings Bank

North Jersey Federal
Credit Union

Peapack-Gladstone Bank
(908) 719-BANK

Pennsville National Bank


Sovereign Bank

Sun National Bank

New Jersey Air National Guard Sergeant Garners John L. Levitow Award at NCO Academy Graduation.

Technical Sergeant Andrew T. Matejek of the 177th Maintenance Squadron at Atlantic City won the John L. Levitow Award at the recent NCO Academy graduation at McGhee Tyson Air Base, Knoxville, TN. The Levitow Award is the highest award presented to NCO Academy graduates and was named for Airman First Class John Levitow, the first enlisted member of the United States Air Force awarded the Medal of Honor. He distinguished himself by exceptional heroism while assigned as a loadmaster aboard an AC-47 gunship flying a night mission in support of Long Bing Army post during the Vietnam War. TSgt Matejek is a traditional Guardmember and resides in Summit, New Jersey. Congratulations to TSgt Matejek and his family!

The New Jersey Advisory Committee for Women Veterans will hold its annual luncheon.

The New Jersey Advisory Committee for Women Veterans is holding their annual luncheon on Saturday, 23 October 2004, at 11:30 a.m., at McAteers Restaurant, 1714 Easton Avenue, Somerset, New Jersey. Brigadier General Maria Falca-Dodson, Deputy Adjutant General, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, will e the guest speaker, along with Ms. Cheryl T. J. Rawls, Assistant Director, U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Benefits Administration of the Newark Regional Office. The theme of this year’s luncheon is “Look to the Future – Remember the Past.”

The cost of the luncheon is $25 per person. If you are interested in attending, please contact Ms. Karen Wallace, NJ Department of Military & Veterans Affairs, at 609-530-6766 by 16 October 2004.

Veterans to be honored at upcoming Medal Ceremonies.

The following ceremonies have been scheduled to honor our State’s veterans.

Distinguished, Meritorious & Korean Service Medals
30 Sep - 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Westfield Armory
Union, NJ

Director of Veterans Programs reports on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Meeting.

Mr. Bill Devereaux, Director of Veterans Programs, attended the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Regional VISN 4 (Veterans Integrated Service Network) meeting held at Pennsylvania’s VA Medical Center on Tuesday, 14 September 2004. VISN 4 represents the geographical area covering New Jersey’s seven southern counties. Discussions focused on a variety of topics that are crucial to the delivery of healthcare to our veterans and the availability of on-line information for them.

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

On Saturday, 18 September, at 1 p.m. the NJ Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation will host an author lecture and book signing by Vietnam-Era Veteran George J. Veith about his new book, co-written with Garnett “Bill” Bell, Leave No Man Behind: Bill Bell and the Search for American POW/MIAs from the Vietnam War.

The Vietnam War’s POW/MIA issue has haunted America since the early stages of the war. Shrouded in controversy, a subject of great emotion amid charges of governmental conspiracy and Communist deceit, the possibility of American servicemen being held in secret captivity after the war’s end has influenced U.S. policy toward Southeast Asia for three decades. Bill Bell, the first chief of the U.S. POW/MIA office in postwar Vietnam and the government’s top POW/MIA field investigator, provides an insider’s account of that effort.

George Veith, a former Army captain and tank company commander, served for almost seven years (1979-1986) in different command positions in US combat units in Germany and the United States. An acknowledged expert on the POW issue, he has addressed both the National League of Families and National Alliance of Families conventions on the subject o POW/MIAs, has presented papers at the last three symposiums of the Center for the Study of the Vietnam Conflict at Texas Tech University, and is frequently asked to speak before POW/MIA activist groups.

Lecture attendees are asked to RSVP to 732-335-0033. A donation of $5 per person is suggested.

National POW Recognition Day/Gold Star Mothers Day
17 Sep - 11 a.m.

“Leave No Man Behind” (re: POW/MIAs) by George J. Veith
18 Sep - 1 p.m.

Veterans Day Program
11 Nov - 11 a.m.

For more information about any of these events, please call the NJ Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation office at (732) 335-0033.

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

Important Calendar Dates:

Salute to our Deploying Troops
9 October - 10 a.m.
Sovereign Bank Arena

Pancake Breakfast – Support the Troops
16 October - 7 a.m.-12 p.m.
Westfield Armory, 500 Rahway Avenue, Westfield, NJ

Proceeds of this even will benefit the soldiers and families of NJ National Guard’s Family Readiness Council and the Family Assistance Center at Westfield.

Golf Tournament - Support the Troops
18 October
Oceanair Golf and Country Club

Proceeds will benefit the families of the DISCOM and Artillery units of Toms River and Ocean County whose finances have been affected by the deployment of National Guard members who have been called to duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. For more information call: 609-693-1941.

Today in History…

Today is Friday, September 17th. It is the 261st day of the year, with 106 days remaining.

1778 – The United States signed its first treaty with a Native American tribe, the Delaware Nation.

1796 – President George Washington’s Farewell Address was read before Congress.

1930 – Construction on Boulder Dam, later renamed Hoover Dam, began in Black Canyon, near Las Vegas, Nevada.

1947 – The first U.S. Secretary of Defense, James V. Forrestal, was sworn in to office.

1962 – U.S. space officials announced the selection of Neil Armstrong and eight others as new astronauts.

1995 – Hong Kong held its last legislative election before being taken over by China in 1997.

SAFETY NOTES – Do-It-Yourselfers: Toolbox Safety Tips

In 1998 there were about 98,700 injuries from saws (hand and power) treated at hospital emergency rooms, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Emergency room personnel also treated 42,426 hammer injuries, 17,818 power grinder, buffer, and polisher injuries; 17,199 drill injuries; and 6,771 welding and soldering equipment injuries. Here are some must-do’s for those who do it themselves.

- Plan Ahead – Visualize your project. Think of everything that might be dangerous.

- Prepare your space – Working in a clutter and debris-free, well-lit area is crucial for safety.

- Dress for Success – Safety gear should include: safety glasses, earplugs and muffs, gloves, safety shoes, kneepads, and coveralls.

- Keep tools cleaned and stored – Be sure your tools are in optimal condition. Keep them clean, sharpened, lubricated and in good working order.

- Know what you’re doing – Or don’t do it – You can pay for an injury the rest of your life. If you don’t know what you’re doing, take a class or hire an expert to do it for you.

- Don’t try everything at once – Don’t overdo it. Weekends should include no more than 8-10 hours of do-it-yourself projects. If you overdo it, you run the risk of injury. Pace yourself and set reasonable goals for home improvement projects.

Fun Facts –

- The first product Motorola started to develop was a record player for automobiles. At that time, the most known player on the market was the Victrola, so they called themselves Motorola.

- The mask used by Michael Myers in the original “Halloween” was a Captain Kirk mask painted white.

- Leonardo DaVinci invented scissors. Also, it took him 10 years to paint Mona Lisa’s lips.

- The phrase “rule of thumb” is derived from an old English law, which stated that you couldn’t beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.

DMVA’s Fitness Corner – Low Back Pain (Part 3 of a 5 part series) by Ernie Razzano, Certified Fitness Trainer

Step 3: Increase Muscular Flexibility.

The best time to stretch the muscles of the low back and hamstrings (muscles in back of the upper leg) is first thing in the morning, before you get up. Do a few knees-to-chest and pelvic-rock stretches before your feet hit the floor. Then, take a hot shower and stretch. As simple as it sounds, this technique has helped hundreds of patients who have suffered for years with recurring back pain.

Professional and Olympic athletes realize the importance of stretching and flexibility, so use the techniques they use to stretch and loosen up first thing in the morning, and then several times during the day, to prevent unnecessary pain or injury. Do five two-minute stretches during the day, rather than one 10-minute session, because you usually stiffen up throughout the day from prolonged sitting or standing.

Knee-to-chest stretches specifically stretch the muscles of the low and mid back, and buttocks. The key to knee-to-chest stretching is to relax before beginning to pull. Gently clasp your hands just below your knees, and pull with your arms, relaxing your low back. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds, then release. Remember, start and end this stretch with your knees bent. It takes the stress off the low back.

Hamstring stretching is a critical factor in reducing low back pain. The hamstrings connect to the bottom of the pelvis. If they’re tight, it will inhibit your ability to flex or bend forward. This puts most of the load of bending on the low back, rather than dispersing the load and leverage between the hamstrings, glutes, hips and low back. Contrary to popular belief, toe touching is not recommended. Instead, try Good Mornings. Bend forward at the hip, attempting to keep the buttocks pointed up, and keeping the upper torso straight not curved. Slowly feel the stretch in the back of the legs and hold for about 30 seconds. Do not stretch where it is painful. Repeat several times.

Cat stretches really stretch the muscles and joints of the low back, so start off easy at first. Again, relax, start on your hands and knees with the elbows locked, and then gently allow the low back to sag into an arch (like an old horse). Hold for just 2 to 3 seconds, and then press your low back upward (like an angry cat), and hold for 2 to 3 seconds. Then sit back on your legs and stretch, reaching your arms forward, again really relaxing the muscles of the back, butt and legs. Hold for about 5 seconds, then return to the starting position on your hands and knees, and repeat several times.

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

As the New Jersey National Guard deploys soldiers and airmen around the globe, the families that are left behind need our support and assistance. Can we count on your help? Please call your local Family Readiness center and volunteer.

To reach any NJ National Guard Family Assistance Center

Call toll free 888-859-0352


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