New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights 18 August 2006

Volume 5, Number 34


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

I expect to pass through life but once.  If, therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do for any fellow being, let me do it now … as I shall not pass this way again.

-William Penn

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

NJNG Appreciation Day at the beach, September 4, 2006

Sept.  4 is New Jersey National Guard Appreciation Day at The Jenkinsons Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach.  Open only to NJ National Guard Personnel (with IDs) and their immediate family, festivities will start at 11 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m.  NJNG members will present military ID at the welcome table on the Boardwalk (foot of parkway, opposite the aquarium).  They will be issued VIP wristbands entitling the wearers to free passage to the beach, unlimited rides, Fun House entrance and aquarium.

All attendees are invited to attend the Labor Day Concert honoring troops given by Air Guard Chaplain Alphonse Stephenson and the Orchestra of St. Peter By The Sea at 7:30 p.m., concluding with a huge fireworks display at 8:45 p.m.

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State, Federal employees and accepting gifts

Employees are not allowed to accept any gift, favor, service, or other thing of value from any person or entity under circumstances from which it might be reasonably inferred that the thing was given or offered in order to influence the discharge of official duties. Some things of value are obvious, such as money, real estate, or automobiles. But less obvious things also have value, including offers of employment, loans, price discounts, entertainment, and meals.

State employees are required to disclose and turn in to the Department’s Ethics Officer any offer or receipt of a thing of value from any person or entity. If keeping the gift is allowed it will be returned to you. If it is inappropriate under the ethics rules to accept the gift, the Ethics Officer will return it directly to the donor or, if it is perishable, give it to a nonprofit entity in the name of the donor.

Other Resources. For a more complete discussion of this subject, see Guidelines Governing Receipt of Gifts and Favors by State Officers and Employees, www.nj.govllpslethics/giftcode.htm or Paragraph 8 of the Department’s Code of Ethics (DD 010.1), http://www.state.nj.us/ethics/docs/ethics/dmvacode.pdf

NJDMAVA employees are encouraged to contact their Ethics Officer, Jack Dillie, at (609) 530-7107 or john.dillie@njdmava.state.nj.us with questions or concerns related to Ethics or Conflicts of Interest. Federal Technicians and military personnel should direct similar inquiries to Lt. Col. Eugene Ingrao at (609) 562-0942.

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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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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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VA will encrypt computers to improve security

WASHINGTON (Aug. 14, 2006) -- Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary R. James Nicholson Monday announced that all VA computers throughout the agency will be upgraded with enhanced data security encryption systems beginning immediately.

"I have promised America's veterans that I intend to make VA information security a model of data security and this expedited encryption program is a major step in that direction," said Nicholson.  "A system-wide encryption program will be a tremendous step forward in improving the safety and security of sensitive veteran information."

The computer encryption program follows the award of a $3.7 million contract August 11 to SMS, Incorporated, a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business located in Syracuse, New York.  The encryption solution consists of GuardianEdge and Trust Digital products.

Under the terms of the award to SMS, all laptop computers across the entire VA system will be the first to receive critical data security encryption programs followed by desktop PCs.  Portable media, like flash drives and CDs, are also included in the security encryption program.

Final testing of the software is underway, and implementation and training materials are currently being developed with the actual encryption of laptops scheduled to begin August 18.  The agency expects to have 100 percent of its laptop computers fully encrypted within four weeks.

While the laptop and desktop computer encryption program is underway, Nicholson has also directed advanced enterprise encryption solutions to be explored as a follow-on to the laptop and desktop encryption program, including all VA servers and data centers.

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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:
Aug. 25 - Lionel Richie

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Honorable Mention

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.

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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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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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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Extreme heat pointers

As the summer progresses, the heat will get to each of us sooner or later.  Please stop by the Center for Disease Control web site for more information on what to do during extreme heat, symptoms of heat stroke, exhaustion and cramps and other great pointers. Here is the link: http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heat_guide.asp.

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Helping one of our own

One of our fellow employees, Ms. Sandra Langley, suffered a terrible loss last weekend.  A tragic fire resulted in the loss, not only of her home, but most importantly, her daughter and two grandchildren.

Ms. Langley, who is a Nurses Aide at the Veterans Memorial Home at Vineland, can use our help as she begins to rebuild her life.

A collection box has been placed in our lobby for your donations of clothing and household items for Sandra.  Monetary donations are being collected by Ms. Cindy Leese in our Human Resource Division.  Checks should be made payable to: Sandra Langley Fire Relief Fund.

Because of the generosity of the DMAVA employees, along with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3020 and Leonard Saxton Memorial VFW Post 6590, more than $4,000 has been collected to this point.

Thank you for your generosity.

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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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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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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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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

Aug. 20, 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.

108th ARW Family Day, Doughboy Field, Fort Dix

Aug. 20, 10 a.m.

50th PSB FRG Beach Party, Sea Girt Beach

Aug. 26, 1 p.m. End of Summer Barbeque, Kenvil VFW Post

Aug. 26

Mystery Auction and dinner at Cookstown VFW

Aug. 30, 6-10 p.m.

Teaneck Children’s Day, Teaneck Armory, Front Lawn

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Family Readiness Group Meeting schedule

Bordentown Armory – B Co 250th SBF & Co D 250th BSB – Aug. 19, 10 am
Hammonton Armory - 119th SB Corps - Sept. 21, 7 pm
Jersey City Armory – D Co 2-113th – Sept. 20, 7 pm
Lawrenceville Armory – 50th PSB – Aug. 24, 7 pm; 50th Fin Bn - Aug. 6, 2pm
Morristown Armory – 3-112th & 5/117th –
Newark Armory - A, B, E Co's 2-113th Inf - Sept. 20, 7pm
Port Murray Armory – 2-102nd Arm –
Teaneck Armory - 50th SBM - Sept. 21, 7pm
Toms River Armory – C/3-112th FA –
Vineland Armory – 5/117th Cav –
West Orange Armory – B Co 5/117th Cav – Aug. 26, 1 pm
Woodbury Armory - Trp C 5-117th Cav -

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Recreation and Sports

Run For Ryan

On August 19, the Knights of Fire III, NJ will sponsor a 75-mile ride with the proceeds going to the Sergeant Ryan E. Doltz Foundation.  Sgt. Doltz was a member of the 3rd Battalion, 112th Field Artillery who deployed to Iraq.  He was killed on June 5, 2004 when his vehicle was attacked by rocket propelled grenades and improvised explosive devices.  Cost is $20 for drivers, $15 for passengers or $15 for just the picnic.  For more information go to the Knights of Fire website at www.knightsoffire3nj.com

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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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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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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.

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

Aug. 17 - National Thriftshop Day
Aug. 18 - Bad Poetry Day
Aug. 19 - National Aviation Day - the birthday of Orville Wright who piloted the first self-powered flight in history on Dec. 17, 1903.
Aug. 20 - National Radio Day
Aug. 21 - National Spumoni Day
Aug. 22 - Be an Angel Day

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A Smile for your weekend

Strange Laws

- Public kisses lasting more than a second are illegal in Halethorpe, Md.
- Taxicabs are required to carry a bale of hay in the trunk in Australia.
- It is forbidden to bring bears to the beach in Israel.
- Pet owners may not name their pigs Napoleon in France.
- In Kalamazoo, Mich., it’s illegal for a man to serenade his wife.

   
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