New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights Archives

20 January 2006

Volume 5, Number 4


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


NJ World War II Memorial

For information or to make a donation, call



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)

Pennsville National Bank


Sovereign Bank

Sun National Bank


ABCs of Life

Accept differences.

Be kind.

Count your blessings.


Express thanks.


Give freely.

Harm no one.

Imagine more.

Jettison anger.

Keep confidences.

Love truly.

Master something.

Nurture hope.

Open your mind.

Pack lightly.

Quell rumors.


Seek Wisdom.

Touch hearts.


Value truth.

Win graciously.


Yearn for peace.

Zealously support a worthy cause.

DMVA plays role in Governor Corzine’s inauguration.

Military and uniformed members of the Department were involved in the planning and execution of many of Governor Corzine’s inaugural events at various locations.  The New Jersey National Guard had the honor of providing a 19-gun salute to the new Commander-in-Chief.  Many worked tirelessly behind the scenes and ensured that the day was a pleasant and memorable experience for everyone.

Youth ChalleNGe Academy hosts blood drive.

On 6 January 2006, the New Jersey Youth ChalleNGe Academy sponsored a blood drive in conjunction with the American Red Cross.  Interested individuals were able to donate at the Youth ChalleNGe Academy from the hours of 0900-1600.  The drive was an outstanding success. The goal was to obtain 30 pints of blood, and at the end of the day there were 41 pints and people who still wanted to donate.  Thanks to everyone who came out and donated the most precious gift of all, the gift of life.

Operation Military Kids (OMK)

Operation Military Kids (OMK) is a collaborative outreach initiative to provide support and assistance to geographically dispersed military youth and their families.  OMK has partnerships with the USDA, Child and Youth Services, National 4-H Program, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and American Legion.

- Creates community support network for military youth “in our own backyard” when soldier parents are deployed.

Delivers recreation, social and educational programs for military youth living in civilian communities.

Supports military kids coping with the stress of knowing their deployed parents may be in harm’s way.

Collaborates with schools to ensure that staff is attuned to the unique needs of military students.

Educates the public on the impact of the deployment cycle on soldiers, families, kids and the community as a whole.

The OMK initiative has also developed Hero Packs, which are backpacks that are given to deployed service members’ children.  The backpacks recognize the strengths of military-connected children and thank the youth for the sacrifices they make when their loved ones are deployed.

OMK members will meet on Saturday, February 12, from 2-4:30 p.m. at the RCRE Building, 310 Milltown Road, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 for a brainstorming, meet and greet session as well as Hero Pack assembly.

OMK training will take place on Sunday, February 25, 2006 from 10-3p.m. in Westhampton, Burlington County.

For more information, please contact NJ National Guard Youth Coordinator Amanda Balas at 609-562-0742,, or check out the NJ OMK website at

The Order of the Sword

The Order of the Sword is the highest honor and tribute that noncommissioned officers can bestow upon an individual.  On November 16, 2005, the enlisted members of the Air National Guard celebrated Lt. Gen. Daniel James III’s induction into the United States Air Force’s Order of the Sword.

More than 700 enlisted members of the Air National Guard lined both sides of the San Antonio River Walk from the Marriott Riverwalk to the Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center and inside.  Airmen to Command Chiefs stood side by side, forming the Cordon (two lines) that General James and his wife walked down.

The Order of the Sword is patterned after two orders of chivalry founded during the Middle Ages in Europe:  The Royal Order of the Word and the Swedish Military Order of the Sword, which are both still in existence.  In 1522, King Gustavus I of Sweden enjoined the noblemen commissioned by him to appoint officers to serve him.  These people became the noncommissioned officers as we know them today.  They were accountants, builders, crafts people, teachers, and other leaders responsible for conducting the ordinary daily affairs of the kingdom.  The system worked so well, it was incorporated into the Army as a way to establish and maintain a cohesive, disciplined, well-trained force for protection of lives and property in the kingdom.  These noncommissioned officers would honor their leader and pledge their loyalty by ceremoniously presenting him with a sword.  The sword, a symbol of truth, justice, and power rightfully used, served as a token for all to see and know that there was a leader among leaders and man among men.

The ceremony became known as “The Royal Order of the Sword.”  It was passed through the ages, coming to the United States about the time of the Revolutionary War.  It lay dormant for years after that, with the only known existence of its use being in the 1860s when General Robert E. Lee was presented a sword by his command.  The old “Royal Order of the Sword” ceremony was revised, updated, and adopted by the noncommissioned officers of the United States Air Force in 1967.

In San Antonio, Master Sgt. Donald Newlin, the Air National Guard Honor Guard Program Manager of the Year, led the Posting of the Colors and Retiring of the Colors. 

The Order of the Sword Ceremony, full of tradition and protocol, is a wonderful sight to see and an honor to be a part of.   This was the first time since 1999 that the Air National Guard has chosen to honor an officer with this award.  Lt. Gen. Daniel Jones III is truly “An Airman among Airmen” and most deserving of this prestigious award.

Veterans Outreach Kiosk schedule

The Veterans Outreach Kiosk, which was designed to inform and educate veterans and their dependents about the entitlements and benefits available to them for their service to our great state and nation, will be appearing as follows:

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

America Supports You – Anheuser-Busch Extends Military Tribute

Anheuser-Busch launched “Here’s to the Heroes” in February 2005 to acknowledge the service of military men and women and the sacrifices made by their families. More than 900,000 members of U.S. and coalition armed forces took advantage of the program offering free admission to Anheuser-Busch theme parks. The program provides a single day’s free admission to any one Sea World or Busch Gardens park, Sesame Place, Adventure Island or Water Country USA for the servicemember and as many as three of his or her direct dependents. Additional information can be found at:

The Trenton Titans hockey team will salute the Military on Saturday, 21 January 2006, at 7:00 p.m.

Bring your friends and family for a great night of fun as the Trenton Titans offer a special night of family entertainment in a Salute to our Military. The Titans will pay tribute to the members of the military by wearing camouflage jerseys that will be auctioned off following their game against the Dayton Bombers. Reduced price tickets are $10 for adults and $8.50 for kids 14 and under. You will get a lower bowl seat to see every shot, save, and score.

Call Ed Levin at 609-599-9500, ext. 135 for more information or visit our Department’s website at the link shown here for a ticket order form:

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

21 Jan, 1 p.m.
Poetry Reading and Oral History Discussion called “Remembering the Battle of Khe Sanh – in Poetry and Prose”

January 21, 2006 will mark the 38th anniversary of the enemy attack that started the Battle of Khe Sanh – the battle that launched the war’s pivotal Tet Offensive of 1968.

To remember and honor the American military effort in that action, a panel of Vietnam Veterans of the Khe Sanh Battle will discuss their personal recollections and reflections.

Please RSVP to (732) 335-0033. A donation of $5 is suggested.

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.

Family Readiness Council Grants available.

The State Family Readiness Council has established a Grant Program that will provide both Family and Business Grants to deserving New Jersey National Guard families impacted by deployment. Additional information regarding these grants is available at Family Assistance Centers and Family Readiness Groups throughout the state. Those interested should contact Family Assistance at 1-888-859-0352.

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

Fitness Corner –

10 Tips to Healthy Eating and Physical Activity for you.

Start your day with breakfast.  Breakfast fills your “empty tank” to get you going after a long night without food.  East to prepare breakfasts include cold cereal with fruit and low-fat milk, whole-wheat toast with peanut butter, yogurt and fruit.

Get moving.  It’s easy to fit physical activities into your daily routine.  Walk, bike or jog to see friends.  Take a 10-minute activity break every hour while you read, do homework or watch TV.  Climb stairs instead of taking the elevator.  Try to do these things for a total of 30 minutes a day.

Snack Smart.  Snacks are a great way to refuel.  Choose snacks from different food groups – a glass of low-fat milk and a few graham crackers, an apple or celery sticks with peanut or raisins. 

Work up a sweat.  Vigorous work-outs – when you’re breathing hard and sweating – help your heart pump better, give you more energy, and help you look and feel your best.

Balance your food choices –don’t eat too much of one thing.  You don’t have to give up foods like hamburgers, French fries, and ice cream to eat healthy.  You just have to be smart about how often and how much of them you eat.  Balancing food choices from the Food Guide Pyramid and checking out the Nutrition Facts Panel on food labels will help you to get all these nutrients.

Get fit with friends or family.  Being active is much more fun with friends or family.  Encourage others to join you and plan one special physical activity event, like a bike ride or hiking, with a group each week.

Eat more grains, fruits, and vegetables. These foods give you carbohydrates for energy, plus vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  Besides, they taste good!  Try whole-wheat breads, pita, spaghetti and oatmeal.  Try vegetables on a sandwich. 

Join in physical activities at school/work.  Whether you take a physical education class or do other physical activities at school, such as intramural sports, structured activities are a sure way to feel good, look good, and stay physically fit.

Foods aren’t good or bad.  A healthy eating style is like a puzzle with many parts. Each part is different.  Some foods have more fat, sugar or salt, while others may have more vitamins or fiber.  There is a place for all these foods. 

Make healthy eating and physical activities fun!  Take advantage of physical activities you and your friends enjoy doing together and eat the foods you like.  Try new sports, games, and activities as well as new foods.  You’ll grow stronger, play longer, and look and feel better

NJ Air National Guard Girls Softball Team plans St. Patty’s Day event.

Join the NJ Air National Guard Girls Softball Team for a St. Patty’s Day Dance and Chinese Auction on 18 March, 6-10 p.m., at the VFW in Cookstown, NJ. Tickets are $25 and include a buffet, music, door prize, cash bar and auction items. Buy your tickets by March 11 from Master Sgts Bonnie Gaskell, 609-562-0925, Tania Prairie, 609-754-2308, Keith Hyde, 609-754-6870, and Staff Sgt Stephanie Marshall, 609-754-8903.

On the day in history...

Today is Friday, 13 January 2006.  It is the 13th day of the year with 353 days remaining.

1265 –The first English parliament met in Westminster Hall.

1783 – Hostilities cease in Revolutionary War.

1885 – L.A. Thompson patented the roller coaster.

1887 – The U.S. Senate approved an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base.

1929 – The movie “In Old Arizona” was released.  The film was the first full-length talking film to be filmed outdoors.

1937 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to be inaugurated on January 20th.  The 20th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution officially set the date for the swearing in of the President and Vice President.

1952 – In Juarez, Mexico, Patricia McCormick debuted as the first professional woman bullfighter from the United States.

1953 – First live coast-to-coast inauguration address (Eisenhower).

1964 – “Meet the Beatles” album released in the U.S.

1985 – Most watched Super Bowl game in history was seen by an estimated 115.9 million people.  The San Francisco 49ers downed the Miami Dolphins, 38-16 (Super Bowl XIX).

1986 – The U.S. observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

1994 – Shannon Faulkner became the first woman to attend classes at The Citadel in South Carolina.  She joined under court order, but soon dropped out.

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.

Thought for the week...

“Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again?” - A.A. Milne


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