New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights Archives

27 August 2004
Volume 3, Number 34

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NJ Dept of Military and
Veterans Affairs

Maj Gen Glenn K. Rieth
The Adjutant General

Brig Gen Maria Falca-Dodson
Deputy Adjutant General

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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

Email:
branham@njdmava.state.nj.us

We're on the Web!
www.state.nj.us/military

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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

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Thought for the day..

"Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything."

.. Muhammad Ali

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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

Fleet
1-800-841-4000

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

DMVA receives State certification for document imaging system.

The electronic document imaging system currently in use at DMVA has been certified by the Department of State, Division of Archives an Records (DARM) to be in compliance with the standards, procedures, and guidelines adopted under N.J.A.C. 15:3-4, Imaging Processing of Public Records. The State Records Committee, at its public hearing held last week, certified the software system. Document imaging provides access to information at the desktop computer rather than through paper files, thereby reducing paper handling and improving customer service. The system can scan and microfilm simultaneously saving the Department $7,000 annually in microfilm processing costs. Document imaging was implemented last year in the Records & Archives Section of the Fiscal/Information and Administrative Services Bureau, and has since been installed at Veterans Haven, Challenge Youth Program, and BG Doyle Cemetery.

Eligible National Guard and Reserve members can qualify for automatic extensions from the Motor Vehicle Commission.

Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) Administrative Order 2004-01 entitles active duty National Guard and Reserve members serving in the war on terrorism (including Operations Noble Eagle and enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom) to automatic extensions of valid driver license, registration, and inspection expiration dates. The MVC does not have the ability to code the records of active duty members on their system or to actually change the expiration dates of your documents. Therefore, MVC has decided to provide you with official paperwork to display to law enforcement should that be necessary. The law enforcement community will be notified of the extension process. This extension will not result in a reduced fee at the time that you are able to renew your driver license or registration. Therefore, if it does not represent a physical or financial hardship to renew in accordance with the expiration dates displayed on the applicable documents, or to have your vehicle inspected, you are urged to do so accordingly.

If you have any questions regarding Administrative Order 2004-01, contact the MVC call center toll free from within NJ at 888-486-3339 or 609-292-6500 from outside of NJ (toll call). If any issues remain, you should contact your commanding officer. The Administrative Order is posted on the MVC website at http://www.njmvc.gov

DMAVA Employee (800) Emergency Hot-Line

Starting1 July 2004, department employees now have an (800) toll free telephone number for state employees to call in the event of a declared state of emergency, closing due to inclement weather or other emergency situation(s). The purpose of the toll free number is to provide additional information and guidance to employees for such events as, our building closing due to an unforeseen event, instructions for employees to report to work or to alternate locations; does the state of emergency mean that essential employees report or might other employees be required to report for work, etc… Employees can now dial 1-866-232-5798 to access the automated voice attendant system in order to receive further instructions in the event of an emergency.

Instructions for accessing the new toll free employee emergency hotline are contained in Departmental Bulletin No. 4, DMAVA Employee (800) Number Emergency Hotline, dated 23 August 2004. Employees can access this bulletin from the department web site by clicking here. Managers and Supervisors are asked to give this bulletin the widest dissemination possible to insure that all employees are aware of the new emergency hotline number (866-232-5798) and call-in procedures.

U.S. Veterans Administration improves Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI) information access.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that veterans now can access their Veterans’ Group Life Insurance accounts at any time from any computer or telephone. Using a secure website, the VGLI Online Account Access System allows veterans to obtain basic information on their account through the insurance website at www.insurance.va.gov. Veterans can view their current amount of coverage, premium rate, and billing address. Also available on the website is an insurance calculator that can predict the amount of life insurance needed based on financial information the veteran provides. Veterans can also obtain account information through a new toll-free VGLI interactive voice response system at 1-800-419-1473.

New Jersey National Guard retirees: Are you interested in receiving Guardlife magazine?

Are you a retired member of the New Jersey National Guard, or do you know someone who would like to receive Guardlife magazine, the magazine of the NJ National Guard? If so, please e-mail the following information to Barbara.harbison@njdmava.state.nj.us: First Name, Last Name, Street Address, City, State, and Zip Code.

ESGR sponsored NASCAR car on display – 30 August 2004.

In support of the ESGR Employer Outreach Initiative, ESGR’s NASCAR show car will be on display at the Marriott – Lafayette Yard in Trenton on 30 August 2004 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. As part of the display, visitors will have the opportunity to be photographed with the car and to sign a banner in support of our troops. This banner will be sent to National Guard and Reserve units serving overseas to let them know that Americans support them.

The New Jersey Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve will host a luncheon honoring local employers for the support given to their employees who are members of the Guard and Reserve.

Department of Defense (DoD) introduces Spouses to Teachers pilot program.

Spouses to Teachers (STT), DoD’s latest endeavor to assist military spouses interested in teaching, is serving a similar purpose as the popular Troops to Teachers (TTT) program. The TTT program was created to help recruit quality teachers for schools that serve low-income families throughout America. STT is currently a pilot program, but 3will offer information, counseling, and guidance to eligible, interested individuals. Initially, eligibility is limited to those with a bachelor’s degree who are spouses of active duty servicemembers and members of the Selected Reserve or Individual Ready Reserve on extended duty. The program will also offer limited financial assistance to help defray the costs of meeting state certification requirements in the pilot states.

On the future STT website and in offices that will be handling the program, the goal is to provide information on teacher-certification requirements within a state, what kinds of jobs are available, and what kind of reciprocity exists between the system they’re currently teaching in and systems thy may potentially be transferring into. While the program serves spouses interested in teaching, it also helps ease the burden of a national teacher shortage. Like the former troops who take up chalk and eraser, military spouses bring some of the same skills to the classroom. The national TTT website is the best source of information right now. A Spouses to Teachers web page is being established with a projected start date of 1 Septembers. It will link from the national TTT site: http://www.proudtoserveagain.com.

Time to File for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits is running out. Veterans’ surviving spouses must file by December 15, 2004.

The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) and the various veterans’ organizations is attempting to inform all eligible surviving spouses of veterans that the time period for filing for restoration of Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits will expire on December 15, 2004.

The “Veterans Benefits Act of 2003” restored entitlement to DIC for surviving spouses who remarried on or after their 57th birthday. Under previous law, these spouses were not eligible for DIC benefits unless their subsequent marriage ended.

The USDVA generally pays a basic monthly DIC benefit of $967.00 to the surviving spouses of service members who die while on active duty and to spouses of veterans who died of service related causes.

Under the new law, surviving spouses who re-married after age 57 and before December 16, 2003 have one year from the date the law took effect to apply for restoration of DIC benefits. Applications received after December 15, 2004 will not be considered.

New Jersey residents who have questions or need additional information on restoration of DIC benefits should call the New Jersey Department of Military & Veterans Affairs at:

1-800-624-0508 or visit the NJDMVA website at: www.nj.gov/military.

Veterans to be honored at upcoming Medal Ceremonies.

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

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

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.

17 Sep 11 a.m. National POW Recognition Day/Gold Star Mothers Day
18 Sep 1 p.m. “Leave No Man Behind” (re: POW/MIAs) by George J. Veith
11 Nov 11 a.m. Veterans Day Program

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.

Last of the Boys – A world premier play by Steven Dietz is coming to McCarter Theatre (7 Sep – 17 Oct).

In this fierce, funny, and poignant new play, Ben and Jeeter are Vietnam Vets and buddies from way back, whose boys-will-be-boys bond has stood the test of time. United by a war which divided a nation, they come together for one last hurrah, only to discover that their friendship may not survive the one thing they still can't agree on. Last of the Boys is a timely drama for a generation of Americans still missing in action. Groups of ten receive a 50% discount; veteran groups receive an additional 10% discount. For further information call Megan Johnston at 609-258-6526.

101 Critical Days of Summer – Back to School Safety Tips

School bus transportation is safe. In fact, buses are safer than cars! Even so, last year, approximately 26 students were killed and another 9,000 were injured in incidents involving school buses. More often than not, these deaths and injuries didn’t occur in a crash, but as the pupils were entering and exiting the bus. Remember these safety tips:

- Have a safe place to wait for your bus, away from traffic and the street.

- Stay away from the bus until it comes to a complete stop and the driver signals you to enter.

- When being dropped off, exit the bus and walk ten giant steps away from the bus. Keep a safe distance between you and the bus. Also, remember that the bus driver can see you best when you are back away from the bus.

- Use the handrail to enter and exit the bus.

- Stay away from the bus until the driver gives the signal that it’s okay to approach.

- Be aware of the street traffic around you. Drivers are required to follow certain rules of the road concerning school buses, however, not all do. Protect yourself and watch out!

Fun Facts – (courtesy of LTC John Scannell)

* In Shakespeare’s time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. Hence the phrase…”goodnight, sleep tight.”

* It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride’s father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.

* In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So, in old England when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them “Mind your pints and quarts, and settle down.” It’s where we get the phrase “mind you P’s and Q’s.

* Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they use the whistle to get some service. “Wet your whistle” is the phrase inspired by this practice.

Today in History…

Today is Friday, August 27th. It is the 240th day of the year, with 127 days remaining.

* 1667 – Earliest recorded hurricane in US (Jamestown, Virginia).

* 1858 – The first cabled news dispatch was sent and was published by The New York Sun newspaper. The story was about the peace demands of England and France being met by China.

* 1859 – Colonel Edwin L. Drake drilled the first successful oil well in the U.S. in Titusville, PA.

* 1921 – The owner of Acme Packing Company bought a pro football team for Green Bay, WI. J.E. Clair paid tribute to those who worked in his plant by naming the team the Green Bay Packers. (NFL).

* 1945 – American troops landed in Japan after the surrender of the Japanese government at the end of World War II.

* 1972 – North Vietnam’s major port at Haiphong saw the first bombings from U.S. warplanes.

* 1984 – U.S. President Reagan announced that the first citizen to go into space would be a teacher. The teacher that was eventually chosen was Christa McAuliffe. She died in the Challenger disaster on January 28, 1986.

* 1999 – The final crew of the Russian space station Mir departed the station to return to Earth. Russia was forced to abandon Mir for financial reasons.

DMVA’s Fitness Corner – Ernie Razzano, Certified Fitness Trainer

I want to welcome everyone to this new section of DMVA Highlights. My intent is to provide some general, basic information in the area of fitness. Weekly topics will range from resistance training to nutrition to cardio to flexibility and everything and anything in between. All input and questions are welcome. The world of fitness is an ever-growing, ever-evolving science, and if I don’t know the answer, I know where I can find it.

This week we will begin by discussing why fitness is so important. It is critical to accept the premise that regular exercise can play a key role in reducing your risk of medical problems and in decreasing your ultimate costs for health care. Despite the vast number of individuals who lead a sedentary lifestyle, the need for and the value of exercising on a regular basis is an irrefutable fact of life (and death). America is currently undergoing an obesity epidemic with 25% of Americans still remaining sedentary. Americans spend more than $600 billion dollars annually for health care. This figure translates into an expenditure of almost $3,000 for every individual in the entire population.

“Strength is nothing if it does not set you free. Muscles mean nothing if not used to uplift others.”

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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