New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights Archives

18 November 2005

Volume 4, Number 46


NJ Dept of Military and
Veterans Affairs

Maj Gen Glenn K. Rieth
The Adjutant General

Brig Gen Maria Falca-Dodson
Deputy Adjutant General

Col (Ret) Stephen G. Abel
Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs


Contacting us is easy!

Office of the Assistant Commissioner

Col (Ret) Michael B. Smith

Mrs. Laura A. Branham

Phone: (609) 530-6987

Fax: (609) 530-7109


We're on the Web!




Veterans’ Organizations
Contact Information

State Veterans Service Council
Mr. Richard Clark

NJ Advisory Committee for Women Veterans
Mrs. Anna Hoffman

BG Willam C. Doyle Cemetery Advisory Council
Mr. William Rakestraw


Veterans Hotlines

Benefits & Entitlements

Mental Health


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



Words of Wisdom

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

…Robert Louis Stevenson


Annual Coat Drive is a great success!!

Special thanks to all of DMVA’s employees who donated coats for our annual drive.

This year we collected 113 coats along with numerous hats, gloves, and scarves, which will be delivered to local soup kitchens and shelters.

Thank you for your generosity.

Laura Branham
Terry Dearden

Coat Drive Chairpersons







Veterans Day celebrated across the state.

BG William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Ceremony
The BG William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony was attended by Governor-Elect Jon S. Corzine. COL (Ret) Stephen G. Abel, Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs, provided a meaningful keynote address, followed by remarks from The Adjutant General, MG Glenn K. Rieth. The Adjutant General introduced Governor-Elect Corzine who spoke regarding the importance of the day and the debt the country owes is veterans. His remarks were well received by those in attendance, an audience flanked on either side by contingents from the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard. Governor-Elect Corzine joined MG Rieth in presenting the Bronze Star Medal for Valor to Mr. Harry Bataille of Toms River. A disabled veteran, Mr. Bataille was belatedly honored for his heroism while serving in the US Navy during World War II. The proceedings concluded with a traditional Flag Retirement Ceremony, wherein the ashes of 2,450 American flags were buried on the grounds of the cemetery chapel.

Veterans Memorial Home at Paramus
The Paramus Veterans Memorial Home held its annual Veteran’s Day Ceremony on Thursday, 10 November 2005. As part of the celebration the USA Northeastern Region Department of the Korean War Veterans Association made presentations. Admiral Chul Kim of Seoul, Korea presented five of the Home’s residents with the Ambassador of Peace Medal. Members of the Korean War Veterans from across the country (some from as far away as California and Washington State) also presented each of the five residents with a Korean War pin, hat, and an official proclamation. BG Frank Carlini, Director, Division of Veterans Healthcare Services, accepted a medal and proclamation for the Paramus Veterans Home on behalf of the Department. Chief Robert Kugler, President of the Bergen County Police Chief’s Association, presented the facility with a check for $1000 to be used for resident activities. The ceremony concluded with a rendition of “God Bless America” sung by Sung Bae Ju Affiliate of the Bergen County Police Chief’s Association.

NJ Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the NJ Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation was host to a Veterans Day ceremony at the NJ Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Holmdel, NJ. Approximately 400 attended the event, which was held in the Memorial’s courtyard, surrounded by the circular black granite wall bearing the names of 1,557 New Jerseyans whose lives were lost in the Vietnam War. The keynote speaker was Major General Joseph T. Anderson, USMC (Ret), Associate Director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum-Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, 1968 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, and Vietnam veteran fighter pilot.

Two NJ Vietnam Veterans were inducted into the “In Memory” program, which honors those who served in Vietnam and returned home, but who died later as a result of wounds received in Vietnam. The two so honored were Leo P. Staub (USMC) from Manahawkin, NJ, who died July 1, 2003, and Andrew L. Toth (USA) from Edison, NJ, who died December 23, 2002. As part of the ceremony, family members spoke about their loved on and lit a candle in their memory.

Following the ceremony in the Memorial, attendees enjoyed an Open House in the adjacent Vietnam Era Educational Center with its museum and research library.

Jubilee of Liberty Medal presented in Paramus.
Created by the French Government in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944, the Jubilee of Liberty Medal is presented to veterans of the Allied Forces who participated. Congressman Scott Garrett (R-5th District) facilitated the award of this medallion to eligible constituents in a ceremony held on Friday, November 11, 2005, at Bergen County Community College. Assisting with the ceremony was a color guard comprised of soldiers assigned to the Teaneck Armory and Gary Englert, Director of the Division of Veterans Services, who was the keynote speaker and Master of Ceremonies. Some 45 veterans of the Normandy invasion were honored at the event.

DMVA provides support at Belleville Veterans Day Parade & Memorial dedication.
Members of the NJ Army National Guard from the West Orange and Teaneck Armories provided a color guard, marching unit, and vehicle convoy as part of a Veterans Day Parade on Sunday, 13 November 2005, sponsored by the Joint Veterans Council of Belleville, NJ. The parade culminated with the dedication of the newly erected Belleville War Memorial. Gary Englert, The Director of Veterans Services, was the featured speaker.

Welcome Home Troops Ceremony to be held on Monday, 21 November 2005, in Hammonton.

A Welcome Home ceremony for returning members of the 119th Corps Support Battalion (CSB) New Jersey Army National Guard will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, 21 November 2005, at St. Joseph’s High School, 328 Vine Street, Hammonton, NJ.

You’re invited - 63rd Army Band and 112th Field Artillery Association celebrate Veterans Day!

Join the 112th Field Artillery Association and the 63rd Army Band as they celebrate the service and sacrifice of our citizen soldiers in the defense of our country. To commemorate our veterans and the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, a concert will be held on the Drill Floor at the Lawrenceville National Guard Armory beginning 11 a.m. There will also be an artillery salute and museum tours will be available.

Governor’s Annual Gifts for Kids 2005 Holiday Drive begins.

The annual Gifts for Kids Holiday Drive begins this week, and will run through December 8th. Gifts are needed for all ages, however, the greatest need each year is for children ages 10-17. New/unwrapped toys/gifts should be placed in the collection boxes located in many of our facilities. If you have any questions, please call Laura Branham or Terry Dearden at 609-530-6987/6893.

9/11 Flag to be displayed at the 177th Fighter Wing.

Technical Sergeant Ronald Murray from the 177th Maintenance Group attended and participated in “9/11” flag ceremony at his alma mater, Pennridge High School, on Veterans Day. While there, he had the privilege of meeting the designer of the “9l11” Flag, Mr. Thomas W. McBrien IV. The 9/11 Flag is 23 feet high and 25 feet long. Its design is complete with approximately three thousand small flags with the names of all the people who perished on 9/11. There are also flags of every country that lost citizens on that day. There is a banner across the bottom with patches from every Fire Company or Group who served at Ground Zero. This Flag is an awesome tribute to the memory of every citizen affected by the tragedy of 9/11. TSgt Murray, through his contact with Mr. McBrien, has arranged for the 9/11 flag to be displayed at the 177th Fighter Wing over the December Unit Training Assembly on 10-11 December 2005.

Division of Veterans Programs (DVP) assists members of the National Guard returning from mobilizations.

As part of the de-mobilization briefings that are being given for our returning Army National Guard troops (119th CSB, 42nd DISCOM, 150th FI DET, 350th FI DET, 42nd MP, 50th MSB, and D-112th FA), the Division of Veterans Programs has briefed 775 soldiers/airmen on their benefits. The Division has issued 350 Powers of Attorney, processed 700 1010EZ healthcare enrollments, and has filed 150 Initial Compensation Claims for service-connected injuries/trauma. Future briefings will be scheduled as additional troops return home in early December.

DVP Director, Bill Devereaux, and Dr. Shawn Evers will do an onsite briefing at the 177th Air Wing at Pomona Air National Guard Base. This project will be the first of it’s kind addressing our returning Air National Guard troops concerning their benefits, entitlements, and counseling opportunities both through Federal and State channels. Approximately 125 personnel will be scheduled for the briefing.

Pancake Breakfasts are scheduled to support New Jersey National Guard Families.

* A Support the Troops Pancake Breakfast to benefit the families of soldiers serving in the NJ National Guard will be held from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 20. The breakfast will be held at Oakcrest High School, 1824 Dr. Dennis Foreman Drive, Mays Landing. Proceeds will support the NJ National Guard Family Readiness Council. The Council estimates that 40% of mobilized National Guardsmen earn significantly less while they are on active duty.

Chefs and students from the Academy of Culinary Arts at Cape Community College will prepare and serve the food, which will be donated by Tropicana Hotel Casino. Local high school bands and choral groups will provide entertainment, and AtlatiCare will provide childcare.

Tickets to the breakfast are $5 for adults, $3 for children under 12, and free to military personnel with identification. Tickets will be available at the door or by calling 609-345-4524. Sponsorship opportunities are also available by calling 609-345-4524 or emailing

DMVA Employees receive flu shots.

On 17 November, Ms. Patricia Christensen, RN, Employee Health Nurse, and Ms. Claire Brown, RN, Supervisor of Nursing, from the NJ Veterans Memorial Home at Menlo Park visited DMVA’s Central Office and administered the flu vaccine to 67 DMVA employees. Upon completion of their duties in Lawrenceville, they traveled to the BG William C. Doyle Cemetery to administer flu shots to another 20 employees. Additional flu serum was provided by the NJ Veterans Memorial Home at Vineland for employees at Veterans Haven. The support of both Veterans Memorial Homes is greatly appreciated, and a special thanks to our two Menlo Park nurses for their assistance and time.

Congratulations to Scott Brewer, Eagle Scout.

Scott Brewer of Wall, New Jersey recently achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honor in the Boy Scouts. He received his badge at a Court of Honor on 7 November. Scott’s Eagle Scout project was overseeing the building of an extension to the bandstand at the National Guard Training Center in Sea Girt, NJ. Scott acted as the foreman on the construction job by his fellow Scouts from Troop 333. He prepared the architectural plans to extend the bandstand by 4 feet in width and 36 feet in length – extending the bandstand by 17%. His efforts have provided the State Police with a larger area to use for their graduation ceremonies, and the 63rd Army Band a wonderful bandstand for summer concerts.

Toys R Us plans Military Appreciation Weekend.

Toys “R” Us cordially invites you to a Military Appreciation Weekend on Saturday and Sunday, December 3-4, 2005. On Sunday, 4 December 2005, from 6-8 p.m., all Toys R Us stores will close their doors to the public to allow the Military and their families to enjoy a private shopping evening! The families can participate in games, activities, and meet Geoffrey the Giraffe! Contact Al Granda or Tina Matreale (609) 625-3666 for more details. or

DMVA represented at the National Organization of Veterans’ Advocates (NOVA) conference.

Mr. Bill Devereaux, Division of Veterans Programs, attended the NOVA fall conference in Washington, DC on 10-12 November 2005. This association provides legal representation and acts as an advocate for Veterans and their dependents, and is considered the leading authority in their attempts to insure proper representation and presentation for our service connected veterans.

Training seminar held for Veterans Service Organizations.

A training seminar was held on Thursday, 17 November 2005, for approximately 55 state and county veterans service organizations’ representatives. Chris Kulkosky and Joan Edwards provided updates in Veterans’ Administration regulations and guidelines regarding benefits, entitlements, appeals, job, and educational opportunities.

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

17 Dec, 6pm
Holiday Lighting Ceremony

21 Jan, 1 p.m.
"The Khe Sanh Veterans Book of Poetry" - Written by veterans of the Battle of Khe Sanh during the 1968 Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War, these are about Khe Sanh, the war, friends, and the aftermath of war. Poetry reading and author lecture by a contributor, Khe Sanh Vietnam Veteran Joe Belardo.

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.

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

Armory Happenings – Listed below are events taking place at your local armory.

Date/Time Event Location
18-19 Nov (9am-6pm) Home for the Holidays Gift Fair Morristown
20 Nov (9:30am-3:30pm) Sports Card & Memorabilia Show
Joey Jay (former Reds and Braves star) will sign autographs ($12 any item)
25-27 Nov (9am-4pm) Craft Show Freehold
27 Nov & 18 Dec (8:30am-2pm) NASCAR Collectibles Bordentown
3 Dec (8:30am-4pm) Coin Operated Arcade Game Auction Cherry Hill

Fitness Corner– Ernie Razzano, Certified Fitness Trainer,

The Skinny on Splenda

I have been doing research on the new “healthy” sugar alternative, Splenda. Splenda is also known as sucralose. Sucralose is a non-caloric sweetener and is 500-600 times as sweet as aspartame.

In the five-step patented process of making sucralose, three chlorine molecules are added to a sucrose (sugar) molecule. A sucrose molecule is a disaccharide that contains two single sugars bound together, glucose and fructose.

The chemical process to make sucralose alters the chemical composition of the sugar so much that it is somehow converted to a fructo-galactose molecule. His type of sugar molecule does not occur in nature, and therefore, your body does not possess the ability to properly metabolize it.

That being said, as of 2005, only six human trials have been conducted on Splenda (sucralose). Of these six trials, only two of the trials were completed and published before the FDA approved sucralose for human consumption. The two published trials had a total of 36 human subjects. The longest trial at this time has been four days and looked at sucralose in relation to tooth decay, not human tolerance. For more information you can go to

Trenton Titans ice hockey team will salute Veterans at their game against the Long Beach Ice Dogs on December 7, 2005.

Be part of a special evening as the Trenton Titans offer a special night of fun, affordable family entertainment in a Salute to Veterans! Discounted tickets are being offered for lower bowl seats that will let you see every shot, save, and score at great savings. Discount food coupons are also available. Come out and see the New Jersey National Guard ChalleNGe Youth Program present the colors. For more information, call Ed Levin at (609) 599-9500, ext 135.

NJ National Guard Magazine “Guardlife” Vol 31, No 5 now available on the world wide web.

"Guardlife" Volume 31, Issue No 5 is now available on the world wide web in a user friendly on-line web version on the Department's website at The “Hometown Team” magazine, Guardlife, provides up-to-date information on the happenings within the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard both at home and abroad. For all the current news on our soldiers and airmen, take a look at the new issue today. To view past issues of Guardlife magazine on-line you can visit the DMAVA publications homepage.

Today is Friday, 18 November 2005. It is the 322nd day of the year with 43 days remaining.

On this day in history…

1307 – William Tell shoots apple off his son’s head.

1805 – 30 women meet at Mrs. Silas Lee’s home in Wicasset, Maine, organizes Female Charitable Society, the first woman’s club in America.

1820 – U.S. Navy Captain Nathaniel Palmer became the first American to sight the continent of Antarctica.

1894 – First Sunday colored comic section published (NY World).

1903 – The U.S. and Panama signed a treaty that granted the U.S. rights to build the Panama Canal.

1928 – Mickey Mouse debuts in the first successful sound-synchronized animated cartoon – “Steamboat Willie.”

1936 – Main span of the Golden Gate Bridge joined.

1966 – U.S. Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating met on Fridays.

DMVA’s new Kiosk will be coming to a mall near you.

The Department’s new Kiosk Mall Visit program is in full swing. On 11-12 November, the kiosk was on display at the Quakerbridge Mall. The kiosk drew hundreds of veterans and their dependents to the mall for information packets concerning their benefits, entitlements, and veterans’ updates. DMVA employees, John Balenta, David Martin, Joe Battito, Dave Walther, Chris Kulkosky, Carl Lang, and Jack Stoffa, provided staffing during the two-day mall visit.

Our new kiosk is scheduled for future mall visits as shown below:

Menlo Park Mall – 26-28 January 2006
Livingston Mall – 16-18 February 2006
Brunswick Square Mall – 23-25 March 2006

Military postal agency offers holiday mailing advice.

“Pack it well” and “mail it early” are two tips a military postal official offered for holiday mail being sent to servicemembers overseas. The Defense Department recommended the following mailing deadlines:

November 12 was the deadline for parcel post items headed overseas to APO and FPO ZIP codes.

Deadlines for other mail classes continue with:

* November 26 for space-available mail

* December 3 for parcel-airlift mail

* December 10 for priority mail

* December 19 for express mail.

Here are additional mailing tips:

* Use nylon or reinforced packing tape on packages because other tapes tend to come off

* Buzzing, ticking, or vibrating items will be “red flagged.” Remove batteries from electronics.

* Fill out customs labels completely.

* Use proper military address to help move the package through the system.

* Boxes with hazardous substance or alcohol markings won’t make it through the system.

* Boxes should be strong and well-packed because of the long distances traveled and the high volume of packages moving with them.

Individuals who may not personally know a servicemember overseas, but want to share the holiday spirit should visit the website.

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

If you are able to assist the families of our deployed soldiers and airmen, please call our Family Readiness Center at our toll-free number 888-859-0352.


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