New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights 05 June 2008

Volume 8, Number 23

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!

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)

Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline

1-800-984-8523

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

ESGR office

JFHQ 3650 Saylors Pond Road Fort Dix, NJ 08641

Hank Pierre, 609-562-0156, hank.pierre@njdmava.state.nj.us Tammy Cartagena, 609-562-0157, tammy.l.cartagena@us.army.mil Fax 609-562-0158

 

Please submit any articles and all information for DMAVA Highlights to:

PAO Office DMAVA Highlights
ATTN: Staff Sgt. Barb Harbison

Deadline is noon Wednesday

Staff Sgt. Barbara Harbison barbara.harbison@njdmava.state.nj.us Or Call 609-530-7088

 



Phone numbers and Web sites to remember

Directory Assistance:

1-602-293-4907

Verizon Super Pages: http://www.superpages.com

AT&T: http://www.anywho.com/

SBC Yellow Pages: http://www.yellowpages.com/

Telephone and contact information on state employees can be found at http://njdirect.state.nj.us/

 

DMAVA Emergency Hotline:

1-866-232-5798


Quotes for the Week   

 

What’s wrong with being a boring kind of guy?  

- George H.W. Bush

Words may show a man’s wit but actions his meaning.  

- Benjamin Franklin

The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.

- Carl Gustav Jung

Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough.

- George Washington Carver

Whoever gossips to you will gossip of you.  

- Spanish proverb

 


Download PDF Version of this week's highlights

News For Your Views

N.J. Guardsman wins All-Army chess championship

BY Tim Hipps, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command Public Affairs

FORT MYER, Va. (Army News Service, May 29, 2008) - First Lt. Arthur Macaspac honed his game by playing tournaments at New York's renowned Marshall Chess Club and won his second crown in the All-Army Chess Championships May 11-16 at Fort Myer Community Center.

Macaspac, 34, a New Jersey Army National Guardsman, won 10 matches and settled for a draw in his final game to win the six-day tournament with 10.5 points. Macaspac, with runner-up Sgt. Chris Drake, Capt. Chris Pitts, Spc. Jhonel Baniel, Sgt. Darryl West, and Pfc. Christopher King, rounded out the top six players, who are all scheduled to represent the Army in the 2008 Armed Forces Chess Championships June 9-13 at the Desert Lightning Community Center on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.

Macaspac also won the Army Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Command-sponsored tournament in 2006 and finished runner-up to seven-time All-Army champion Staff Sgt. Rudy Tia Jr. in 2007.

Having already played in more than 20 tournaments this year as a member of the Marshall Chess Club in New York City, Macaspac, a New Jersey Army National Guardsman, said he was sharper than ever before for the All-Army Championships.

"Practice was the key to winning here," Macaspac said. "Since I left active duty, I moved to Union, New Jersey - very close to New York, which is the center of chess in the United States - so I've been able to play once or twice a week in good tournaments against a lot of strong players."

Macaspac, who is scheduled to deploy to Iraq in August, also finished runner-up to Drake in the speed-chess competition.

Hooah to our Chess Champ!

Last Call for Col. Shawn Keyes, June 27

Come on down to the Last Call for Col. Shawn Keyes on June 27.  Join everyone as they celebrate his more than 37 years of wearing Army green.  The party will be held at Joint Force Headquarters, building 3650, Fort Dix at 2:30 p.m., and the cost is $12 per person. Attire is duty uniform/civilian clothes.  RSVP no later than June 23 to the Chief of Staff office, 609-562-0959.

Toms River looking to honor deploying Soldiers

Toms River Mayor Thomas F. Kelaher is inviting all 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Toms River Soldiers who are deploying and their families to the June 10 township council meeting for a farewell salute.  All Soldiers who are interested in attending are asked to RSVP to Angela Santoriello, 732-341-1000, extension 8257 prior to June 10.

West Orange FRG family day planned for July 25

The Family Readiness Group for the 50th Brigade Special Troop Battalion and Essex County executive, Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. will be sponsoring an outing at the Turtleback Zoo, West Orange, N.J., on July 25, 10:15 a.m. until ??, for the families/soldiers of the 50th BSTB. Admission is free.  Refreshments, snacks and entertainment provided by the FRG will follow.

Looking for volunteers for Youth Camp

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

While the camper applications for New Jersey National Guard Youth Camp are closed, applications are being accepted for volunteers to help at the camp.  Go to www.nj.gov/military/familysupport to find applications for volunteer bus drivers, archery and arts and crafts instructors and beach personnel.  Applicants must be over the age of 18.  Call 609-562-0742 for more information.

DMAVA cell phone drive successful; another planned for October

From the desk of Paul Serdiuk, Human Relations

The cell phone drive to help prevent Domestic Violence was a success. We received 31 used, and new, cell phones that will be converted to dial "911" for free and assist any person who may be in a situation that would result in domestic violence. These phones will be donated to the Womanspace, Inc. in Trenton, NJ.

We will repeat the cell phone drive in October which is the National Domestic Violence Awareness month. So please keep your old/used cell phones and donate them for this very worthy cause.

Thank you for your participation.

Help available to students studying for SAT/ACT

In cooperation with the Department of Defense, eKnowledge Corporation, a leading supplier of interactive test preparation products for college entrance exams, along with a group of NFL players, have donated more than $16 million worth of multimedia SAT/ACT Test Preparation products to service members and their families worldwide.

Now in its fourth year, the eKnowledge/NFL player sponsorship effort has shipped more than 90,000 free SAT/ACT test preparation programs, valued at $200, to military servicemembers and their families.

Some of the NFL players who have pledged to support the eKnowledge donation program for 2009 include: Mark Anderson (Chicago Bears), Jon Bradley (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Scott Young (Philadelphia Eagles), Garrick Jones (Atlanta Falcons), Corey Williams (Green Bay Packers), Jason Radar (Miami Dolphins), and Ahmaad Galloway (San Diego Chargers).

The eKnowledge SAT and ACT test prep programs come in either a single DVD or two CD-ROM set that include more than 11 hours of high quality video training/instruction with up to 40 hours of student interactive learning participation. The SAT and ACT test prep programs can be used as a stand-alone instruction tool to prepare thoroughly for the SAT and ACT, or as a supplement to other SAT and ACT preparation materials. Each student can select the areas where they need additional or special training/instruction, and can then study at their own pace using the 120 video lessons which comprise the SAT and Act test prep programs. The program also provides the student with excellent feedback on their learning progress, test readiness and much more.

Those military families interested in receiving free eKnowledge products under this sponsorship can complete an online request form at http://eknowledge.com/military or visit the Department of Defense http://militaryhomefront.dod.mil Web site for more details. Copies can also be requested by calling 951-256-4076 or via e-mail at support@eknowledge.com.

 

Veterans Job Fair at Blue Bell, Pa., June 6

Veterans who are looking for a job, a new career, pursuing a college education or finding out about apprenticeship or technology programs are invited to the Veterans Job Fair being held at the Montgomery County Community College on Friday, June 6, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The job fair will take place in the College Hall, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, Pa.  There will be free parking at the college or Septa transportation to the college via Routes 94 or 96 is available.

There will be more than 40 local employers from southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey about job opportunities so veterans can leave their resume or job application with the employer.  There will be time to have short discussions with the employers about your job skills.

Also available will be information from six colleges about scholarships, grants, loans and other education benefits.  Workshops will be open to the veterans on resume critique, how to interview, stress reduction, education financing and converting military training for college credit.  Everything is available at no charge.

Veterans are asked to bring several copies of their resume and dress appropriately.  A copy of your military transcript will be helpful to assess training for college credit.

For more information, contact Paul Raetsch, Cathy Obey or Tyrone Beach at 215-218-3886.

 

Veterans Workshop at TCNJ June 10

Veterans and their families are invited to the Veteran’s Workshop being held at the College of New Jersey, Loser Hall, 2000 Pennington Avenue, Ewing on June 10 from 9 a.m. to noon. 

The purpose of the workshop is to help veterans of the current war and those of past wars who are looking for information about veterans rights and benefits. To register, call 609-771-2947. Visit www.tcnj.edu/sbdu for more information.

Sponsoring organizations include N.J. Small Business Development Center at TCNJ, U.S. Small Business Administration, N.J. Commerce Commission, N.J. Department of Banking and Insurance, N.J. Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, Medina Law Firm, The Rovner Group and Trenton Veterans Services.

SCORE seminar free to Guard, vets

On Wednesday, June 11, a seminar will be held at the Princeton Public Library at 6:45 p.m. for people interested in starting a small business.  Topics to be discussed are the Pros and Cons of: buying an existing business, buying a franchise and building a business from scratch. Representatives from Stark and Stark, one of the most prestigious law firms in New Jersey, serving the community for 75 years will be presenting the information and answering questions.

 This seminar is being offered free to the National Guard, Veterans, and their families. Anyone interested in attending may do so by calling 609-393-0505 to register. They may also contact SCORE via e-mail at info@scoreprinceton.org, or go to our website at www.scoreprinceton.org,  for additional information.

The Greater Princeton Area SCORE Chapter has about 30 successful entrepreneurs and business executives who volunteer their time to counsel, coach, and mentor individuals who want to start a small business or improve their existing businesses, This service is provided on an appointment basis at several locations in Mercer and Middlesex Counties, at no cost, in private, and in a confidential manner.

We at SCORE are privileged to be of assistance to those who have so honorably served our country.

114th Infantry Reg. holding golf outing June 23

The 114th Infantry Regimental Association would like to invite everyone to join them for a golf outing and lunch to benefit the Woodbury Family Readiness Group.

The golf outing will be held June 23, at the Pitman Golf Course, 501 Pitman Road, Sewell, NJ. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., shotgun start at 9 a.m. with a 18-hole scramble format.  The entry fee is $95, cocktails and lunch is only $45.  There are also sponsorship opportunities available.  For more information on the golf outing and sponsorship opportunities, contact: Horace MacAdams, 856-779-0610, exarmy@earthlink.com; Robert Nordaby, 856-981-8338, RNordaby@verizon.net; or Karen Russell, 856-430-0852, KGabby@hotmail.com. Registration is due no later than June 12.

Brochures and flyers are also available through the Woodbury FAC, 856-251-6893.

For more info on the course visit: www.co.gloucester.nj.us/golf.

117th Cav Association announces meeting schedule

The 117th Cavalry Association, whose mission is to promote and enhance the friendships and camaraderie of our members, who are mutually bound by service and devotion to our country, announces its upcoming meetings.  They will be held at 7:30 p.m., at the Westfield Armory's Heritage Room.  Meetings will be on June 6, Oct. 17, Nov. 7 and the reunion on Oct. 18 at Fort Monmouth, N.J.

 

Trenton Heritage Day Festival, June 7-8

Looking for something to do this weekend – come on down to the 30th Bank of America Trenton Heritage Days Festival in Trenton to celebrate the city of Trenton’s history and cultural diversity. The annual Festival will be held June 7-8, and includes music on four different stages, dance performances, walking acts, more than 60 ethnic foods and cultural crafts, and activities for families and children.

Stages are located on the State House front steps, the water fountain plaza, the state museum auditorium and the Old Barracks museum.  There you can hear the music of jazz, hip hop, zydeco and others.  You can also watch Irish, Polynesian, Russian and Chinese dancers. The kids can enjoy the puppet theater, magic show, Disney shows and more.  On West State Street traveling acts will entertain festival goers with a drill team, flea circus, mummers, stilt walkers, mariachi band and more.

Check out www.trentonheritagedays.com for more information.

USED BOOK SALE

From the desk of Cindy Warrick, N.J. State Library Senior Public Information Asst.

Visit the New Jersey State Library’s table during the Trenton Heritage Days Festival Saturday and Sunday, June 7-8. We will be located outside the New Jersey State Library, 125 West State Street, on the Museum side.

Paperback books are $1, hardback books are $3.

If you have questions, contact: Sharon at 609-278-2640, extension 144 or Felicia at 609-278-2640, extension 142.

 

Families urged to be award of Casualty Phishing Scam

HRC Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center (CMAOC) has asked that the field be advised that a phishing scam concerning families of fallen Soldiers has been identified.  The scam purports to be from DFAS and Army Human Resources Command and informs the families of deceased Soldiers that they are entitled to monetary compensation in excess of $12 million that will be available to them in one week.  Those families receiving the correspondence are instructed to provide sensitive personal information, such as SSN, DOB, addresses, etc., and are instructed to come to either visit the Army Human Resources Command Offices in Alexandria, Va., or email the information to an overseas Yahoo account.  A copy of the bogus solicitation is attached at the below link on S1NET.  Recommend that any staff, CAOs, CNOs, chaplains, and any other members that may be in contact with families review and be aware of this phishing scam.

https://forums.bcks.army.mil/secure/CommunityBrowser.aspx?id=570572&lang=en-US 

 

Motorcycle safety urged by ARNG deputy director, rider

From the desk of Maj. Gen. James W. Nuttall, Deputy Director, Army National Guard

I have been an avid motorcycle rider for more than four decades and I have a great passion for riding. That is why I am extremely concerned by the increasing number of Guard Soldiers we are losing this year due to motorcycle accidents. According to the Department of Transportation, more than 6 million registered motorcyclists are driving on our back roads and highways. Even though they represent only two percent of vehicles on the road, they are responsible for 10 percent of the crashes. This is not an innocuous statistic.

The ARNG has had 16 motorcycle fatalities this fiscal year compared with 8 at this time last year. Of the 16 fatalities, four occurred while Soldiers were in a duty status and 12 occurred when Soldiers were in a non-duty status. Trend analysis has indicated that he typical Guard Soldier profile for motorcycle fatalities includes a rank of E1 to E5, less than 25 years of age, operating a sport bike on the weekend in the early afternoon, no deployment history, no record of motorcycle training and seldom wearing personal protective equipment. None involved alcohol. The causes for these fatalities have varied from excessive speed to being struck by other drivers, and while the latter may look like a freak of chance, consider it the last in a long line of causation.

Experienced riders and seasoned leaders must mentor younger and less experienced riders. Make it your business to know who owns a bike now and who is in the process of purchasing one. Ask yourself, “Who will be the next ride in my formation to have a motorcycle accident?” Then take the appropriate corrective action. We share this obligation for our Soldiers and their family members.

 

Calls to ill or injured veterans completed; next round starts

WASHINGTON (May 30, 2008) -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today it has completed making calls to veterans potentially identified as being ill or injured from Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OEF-OIF), and will immediately begin targeting over 500,000 OEF-OIF veterans who have been discharged from active duty but have not contacted VA for health care. 

"We promised to reach out to every OEF and OIF veteran to let them know we are here for them -- and we are making real progress in doing so," said Dr. James B. Peake, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

A contractor-operated "Combat Veteran Call Center" is making the initial calls on behalf of VA.  All potentially sick or injured veterans on VA's list received an offer to appoint a care manager to work with them if they do not have one already.  VA care managers ensure veterans receive appropriate care and know about their VA benefits.

In the new phase, beginning today, veterans who have not accessed health care from VA will be called and informed of the benefits and services available to them.  Additionally, military personnel received information about VA benefits when they left active duty, and the Department had sent every veteran a letter with this information after their discharge.

For five years after their discharge from the military, these combat veterans have special access to VA health care, including screening for signs of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.  VA personnel have been deployed to the military's major medical centers to assist wounded service members and their families during the transition to civilian lives.

"VA is focused on getting these veterans the help they need and deserve," said Secretary Peake. "I expect these calls to make a real difference in many veterans' lives."

 

DISCOM alumni golf outing, July 10 in Princeton

Come join the 15th Annual New Jersey Army National Guard DISCOM Alumni golf outing on Thursday, July 10 at the Bunker Hill Golf Course, Princeton.  Cost is $100 and the shotgun start is 8 a.m.  The cost includes you fees, cart, refreshment cart on the course, awards, door prizes, burgers and dogs at the turn and luncheon after the game.

Checks, made payable to DISCOM Alumni Assoc. are due no later than July 4, to Alumni Golf, PO Box 262, Belleville, NJ 07109-0262.

The association is also looking for cart ($25) and hole ($50) sponsors.  For more information, contact retired Master Sgt. Roger M. Colarusso Sr., at 973-667-8067.

 

N.J. Vietnam Memorial celebrates Memorial Day

From the desk of Sibley Smith, Director of Education, Vietnam Era Educational Center

At 11 a.m. on Memorial Day, May 26, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Foundation (NJVVMF), with assistance from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, held its annual Memorial Day ceremony at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in Holmdel.  Approximately 500 people attended the commemorative event, which was held in the Memorial’s courtyard, surrounded by the circular, black granite wall bearing the names of 1,562 New Jerseyans whose lives were lost in the Vietnam War.

The ceremony began with a welcome address by Vietnam veteran Jim Cusick, president of the NJVVMF.  Cusick announced that two names had recently been added to Memorial wall—John W. Barbee of Florence (7/19/44 – 8/6/68) and Roy D. Hutting of Emerson (12/16/46 – 9/25/66).  The Department of Defense lists their homes of record as being in other states; however, documentation of their New Jersey connection was provided by relatives.  Following the welcome, the colors were posted by the color guards of Chapter 200 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 899 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, and the Wall Township High School Navy Junior ROTC.  The National Anthem was sung by Lisa Coppola, West Orange, and the invocation was given by Joseph Formola, Chaplain of the New Jersey State Council of the Vietnam Veterans of America. 

The guest speaker was U.S. Army Lt. Col. Andrew Burns, commander of the 1079th Garrison Support Unit, Fort Dix.  He told the attendees that it’s up to everyone to see that the sacrifices made by the military are always remembered, even as the numbers of veterans decrease.  “Many Americans today have never met a soldier.  The challenge is to reconnect the American people to the armed services,” he said.  “You are doing an important thing here.  You are all present to honor the true meaning of Memorial Day.”

Vietnam Veteran George Dousis, chair of the NJVVMF’s Scholarship Committee, assisted NJVVMF Executive Director Kelly Watts with the presentation of two $2,500 scholarships to two college-bound New Jersey high school seniors, Barbara J. Slaugh of Fanwood and Stacey M. Milliman of Budd Lake.  These students’ essays were chosen as best from among more than 300 essays submitted for the scholarship competition.  The essays described their thoughts and emotions about their visit to the N.J. Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial. Slaugh and Milliman read their winning essays to the Memorial Day crowd.

Watts and Dousis announced that the NJVVMF inducted a Vietnam veteran into the “In Memory” program.  “In Memory” honors veterans who served tours of duty in Vietnam and returned home, but later died as a result of their tour.  Family members were acknowledged and given an opportunity to speak about their loved one They placed a lit candle in memory of their loved one at the base of the Fallen Soldier statue.  The veteran honored was retired Master Sgt. Francis X. Scollan, U.S. Air Force, Norwood, who died May 12, 2006.  His death was due to complications from exposure to Agent Orange during his 1970-71 tour in Vietnam.  A paver, engraved with his name, was added to the “In Memory” walk in the Memorial courtyard, in the shade of the centerpiece red oak tree.

Various veteran and service organizations next placed wreaths under the oak tree, facing the Fallen Soldier statue.  Coppola then lead the audience in singing “God Bless America,” and Chaplain Formola closed the service.  Following the ceremony, attendees enjoyed an open house at the adjacent Vietnam Era Educational Center, which includes a museum and research library.

 

For Your Calendar

Musical fundraiser for ARMS

ARMS and Overdose Music will be hosting a “Six-String” Salute to the Military Benefit Concert, a fundraiser for ARMS so they can continue to support our troops and their families on Saturday, June 7, 4 p.m. to midnight, at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park, N.J.  Donation for the event is $15.

Free day at Casino Pier, Seaside Heights for the family

Come enjoy a free day at Casino Pier, Seaside Heights, N.J., on Saturday, June 7 (rain date is Sunday, June 8), from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.  The pier is located at Casino Beach Pier, 800 Ocean Terrace, Seaside Heights.

Check in will be from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the waterpark entrance located on Grant Ave.  This is open to all Air/Army National Guard service members and their immediate families.  Each person will receive a bracelet to use for the waterpark and/or unlimited rides (excluding the Skyscraper and Go-Karts), from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.  If you have any questions, please e-mail marie.durling@nj.ngb.army.mil. Soldiers/Airmen or spouses must show an ID card to staff to receive the bracelet(s).  Children do not need ID cards if accompanied by their parent(s) that have ID cards.

50th IBCT Farewell Ceremony at Doughboy Field,  Fort Dix, June 14

Come say farewell to the more than 3,500 Soldiers of the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team on June 14 at 10:30 a.m. on Doughboy Field at Fort Dix.  These hometown heroes will be leaving for pre-mobilization training at Fort Bliss, Texas, prior to deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Entrance for the event will be at the Fort Dix Sports Gate.  Individuals 14 years and older must have ID.  Accepted IDs are: student ID for those under 18 years old, drivers’ license, military ID or U.S. passport.  Seating is limited, so be there early; lawn chairs are welcome.

Important note: Fort Dix police will run vehicle/individual ID checks at the gate and detain any person and/or vehicle that does not have proper identification.

Directions to the Fort Dix Sports Gate:

From North Jersey:  New Jersey Turnpike south to Exit 7; merge onto US Route 206 South; take the right hand jug handle to get across onto Route 68 South; turn right at Fort Dix Road; turn left at CR-669/Juliustown Road; turn left at CR-630/Pointville Road; the Fort Dix Sports Gate will be on the left.

From South Jersey: I-295 North toward Trenton; take exit 40A to merge onto Route 38 East toward Mt. Holly; continue on CR-530/South Pemberton Road; Continue to follow CR-530; turn left at CR-530/CR-516/Hanover Road; turn right at CR-630/Pointville Road; the Fort Dix Sport Gate will be on the left.

From Central Jersey Shore: Take Route 37; left at Route 70 West; at the traffic circle, stay on route 70 West; slight right at CR-530/Lakehurst Road; continue on CR-669/Juliustown Road/Juliustown-Browns Mill Road; turn right at CR-630/Pointville Road; the Fort Dix Sport Gate will be on the left.

Family members of 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team soldiers can get Fort Dix event passes through the Soldier’s unit which can facilitate gate processing.

 

Hop on your Hog and Ride for the Red Shield on June 21

Hop on your motorcycle and “Ride for the Red Shield” on Saturday, June 21.  The second annual ride will benefit The Salvation Army, New Jersey Division’s Emergency Disaster Services Program and Camp Tecumseh.  The ride will start and finish at Camp Tecumseh.

The ride will be a Scrabble Scramble Ride with trophies for the best bike, best tattoo and a complimentary photo of each rider and their bike.  There will be donuts and coffee at the start of the ride and barbecue at the finish; no alcoholic beverages will be served or allowed.

Cost is $25 per bike, $10 per passenger. Cost for lunch only, for family and friends is $5, children under 7 are free.  If you sign up early, before May 31, cost is reduced to $20 and includes a complimentary T-shirt.

For more information or to register, contact Ron Yuhas,

908-851-8239, or ron.yuhas@use.salvationarmy.org.

 

Purple Heart dedicates Glassboro chapter to Iraqi casualty

For the first time in the history of the Military Order of the Purple Heart in New Jersey, a chapter of the MOPH will bestow the honor of naming their chapter after a fallen hero of the Iraqi War.  Chapter #336, Glassboro, N.J., will name their chapter in honor of Pfc. David J. Bentz III who died on June 20, 2007.

The ceremony will take place on June 22 at 2 p.m. at the Glassboro VFW Memorial Hall, Post #679, 275 Wilmer Street, Glassboro.

For more information, check www.purpleheart.org or www.djbentzscholarship.org.

FRG training for leaders, volunteers in September

There will be Family Readiness Group Training for leadership and volunteers on Sept. 6-7.  Save the date.  More information on location will be put out at a later date.   Activities for children ages 8-16 will be available at the hotel during the training sessions.  We are not able to accommodate children under the age of 8. We will also be having a speaker for parents of deployed Soldiers/Airmen on Sept. 6.

HRD presents seminars for training

From the desk of Paul Serdiuk, DMAVA Human Resources Division

The Human Resources Division is offering a number of free seminars presented by the Human Recourse Training Section.  Reservations are needed for each seminar; contact Paul Serdiuk at 609-530-6878 or at paul.serdiuk@njdmava.state.nj.us. All seminars will be held in Conference Room A at DMAVA Central Office. All are welcomed.

June 12: Automobile Insurance – We all have it, are required to have it, but do we really know what it is about? A representative from the Department of Banking and Insurance will present a one hour overview on what you need to know about automobile insurance in New Jersey, decipher many of the terms and jargon of your policies and give an overview of what a policy should include in it to protect you.

Sep. 17: State Deferred Compensation – Mike McConnell from Prudential Financial will meet with State employees to discuss their participation and contributions to their deferred compensation account. A 30 minute consultation will be scheduled per each employee.

 

Retirement Happenings

Enjoy an evening with a “retiring” Colonel

Col. Barry Johnson, formerly of the 117th Fighter Wing, 108th Air Refueling Wing, Headquarters New Jersey Air National Guard and National Guard Bureau is having a retirement dinner following a round of golf at the Blue Heron Pines Golf Club, Cologne, on June 20.

Cocktails begin at 5:30 p.m. and the buffet dinner starts at 6 p.m. There will be a cash bar.  Cost is $40 per person. Attire is sport casual.

RSVP no later than June 13 to Maj. Yvonne Mays, 609-645-6206, Yvonne.mays@ njatla.ang.af.mil or Connie Cisek, 609-562-0901, connie.cisek@njmcgu.ang.af.mil

 

Play a round of golf with Col. Barry Johnson before he retires

Come play a round of golf with Col. Barry Johnson and check up on his plans for retirement.  Golfing will take place at the Blue Heron Pines Golf Club, 550 West Country Club Drive, Cologne on June 20.  Tee time is 10 a.m. and the cost is $80 per person and includes cart and golf fees.

RSVP no later than June 13 to Maj. Yvonne Mays, 609-645-6206, Yvonne.mays@ njatla.ang.af.mil or Connie Cisek, 609-562-0901, connie.cisek@njmcgu.ang.af.mil.

 

Say Again?

The Uniformed And Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) allows the following U.S. citizens to vote absentee:

        Members of the U.S. Uniformed Services (on active duty) and merchant marine,

        Their family members, and

        U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S.

Members of the U.S. Uniformed Services or merchant marine and their family members may vote absentee while away from their place of voting residence, wherever stationed, inside or outside the United States.

U.S. citizens residing outside the United States and its territories may vote in the state or territory where they last resided immediately prior to departing the United States, even if many years have elapsed and the citizen maintains no residence in the state or territory and the intent to return to that state or territory may not be certain.

1. http://www.fvap.gov/pubs/onlinefpca.pdf

2. http://www.fvap.gov/pubs/vag.html#ch3

 

Help for small business owners

If you are ready to start your own business, grow or expand, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can help.  The SBA offers many programs and services to help Veteran entrepreneurs succeed.  For more information on how SBA can help you start, grow and build your business, contact: Frank Burke at 973-645-6049 or e-mail frank.burke@sba.gov  Visit the SBA New Jersey website at www.sba.gov/nj

No handbooks available for NJDIRECT

Inquiries about NEW handbooks and directories for NJDIRECT has prompted this reply from Pensions and Benefits: 

"Unfortunately, we do not have NJ Direct Handbooks to give to members and will not be receiving a supply. Members may visit the NJ Direct website www.horizonblue.com/shbp. Members without computers are encouraged to use their local library or a relative's computer or call the plan directly". 

You may also look up benefit information and visit the Unified Provider Directory on the Pensions and Benefits website under State Health Benefits Program.

State employees who move, marry must contact HR department

From the desk of Lisa Dandrea, Human Resources Office

Please remember if you have an address change and/or a name change, it is extremely important that you contact Lisa Dandrea in the Human Resources Office. There have been a lot of issues with tax W2s, pension statements and pay checks being returned to our office, as well as some employees not receiving their new health cards, all due to incorrect addresses. Your address change is not automatic and it is not limited to completing a new W4. There are specific forms for employees to complete that updates their new information statewide. Your change of address or name affects your paycheck, your pension statements, W2s, loans, any information sent out by your health care provider, promotional announcements from Dept. of Personnel, etc. If you have had an address/name change and have not updated your information, please make sure you contact Lisa Dandrea in HRD-ESB at 609-530-6888 or e-mail Lisa.Dandrea@njdmava.state.nj.us.

 

Christmas tickets for Radio City now on sale

Tickets are now on sale for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the Rockettes. Discounted tickets are on sale through the U.S. Coast Guard Sector NY MWR office.  Dates of the discounted performances are Nov. 14, 8 p.m., $53 for orchestra seats, $39 for second mezzanine seats; and Nov. 15, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., $59 for orchestra seats and $44 for second mezzanine seats.

Call Monica McBrady, 718-354-4407 or e-mail monica.mcbrady@uscg.mil; order your tickets over the phone and have them mailed to you for a $3 shipping and handling charge. All tickets must be pre-purchased and paid in full.

Lawn care services provided for military families

GreenCare for Troops is a nationwide outreach program coordinated by Project EverGreen that connects local lawn and landscape firms with men and women serving our country in the armed forces away from home.

GreenCare has helped more than 1,200 volunteers provide free lawn and landscape services for more than 4,800 military families nationwide. The cost to manage the GreenCare for Troops Program is underwritten by Cub Cadet Commercial.

Go to http://www.projectevergreen.com/gcft/ for more information.

 

Greyhound offers discounted fares to military, retirees, family members

Greyhound is proud to carry those who serve our country. Active duty and retired military personnel and their dependent family members may receive a 10 percent discount off the Greyhound walk-up (unrestricted) fare. Another option for military personnel is to travel on Greyhound for a maximum fare of $198 round trip anywhere in the continental United States.

Fares are valid on Greyhound schedules and those of participating interline carriers. Not available on Greyhound Canada routes.

This fare applies only to active and retired members of the United States Armed Forces, which includes the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, and Navy; members of the National Guard, reservists and bona fide identifiable spouses and dependents of the above. A valid military picture identification card must be presented upon request.

A 40-percent discount for children of military personnel referenced above is available. Discount is not available with $198 maximum military fare. No other discounts apply.

Only totally unused tickets may be refunded to the location of the original purchase. A 15-percent penalty fee applies upon refund. No refund will be allowed if any portion of the ticket has been used.

Departure date and time may be changed for a charge of $10 per ticket provided that the advance purchase requirement is not violated.

Advance purchase tickets purchased over the phone require a minimum of ten days for delivery by mail and for online orders. Casino, commuter, Discovery Pass, student or other special military fares do not qualify for the military discount.

Fares are subject to change until purchase and may be higher during peak holiday travel periods. The 10 percent discount may not be used in conjunction with the $198 maximum fare.

Go to http://www.greyhound.com/deals/military_discounts.shtml for more information.

 

Battlemind supports Soldiers, families through deployment cycle

Battlemind is a term used to describe combat readiness. The first Battlemind product was a mental health post-deployment briefing. It quickly became a training system supporting Soldiers and families across the seven phases of the deployment cycle.  The Battlemind system includes separate pre-deployment training modules for Soldiers, unit leaders, health-care providers and spouses. Psychological debriefings are given in theater and upon redeployment. There is also a post-deployment module for spouses and several post-deployment modules for Soldiers.  Pre-deployment Battlemind tells Soldiers what they are likely to see, to hear, to think and to feel while deployed - by describing the worst-case scenario.  Post-deployment Battlemind addresses safety concerns, relationship issues, normalized combat-related mental health reactions and symptoms -- along with teaching Soldiers when they should seek mental health support for themselves or for their buddies. All of the Battlemind products (training modules, brochures, debriefings and videos are available on the Web site, www.battlemind.org.

 

Reduced rates on NJ Transit for military, dependents

Here is another benefit offered to military members, retirees and their dependents by the state of New Jersey.

Eligible passengers may ride at reduced fare rates on any NJ Transit bus, rail or light rail service at all times, without restriction, upon presentation of authorized identification.

All military personnel and their dependents will be permitted to purchase transportation at the senior citizen/passengers with disabilities reduced fare rate upon showing their military or military dependent ID card. The following military personnel are entitled to this fare: Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard or Retired for Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard.

 

N.J. Militia Museum conducting Retiree Oral History Program

The National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey has put together a National Guard Veteran Retiree Oral History Program.  In the past, the NJNG has not conducted oral exit interviews of commanders, full-time personnel, and retirees to preserve history.  The museum is going to institute a volunteer program to try to catch up. If you wish to participate, contact the museum at 732-974-5966

Honor Guard program wants YOU!

Looking for a way to serve and get some satisfaction at the same time?  The Honor Guard program is looking for members of the Army and Air Guard to join the team to perform honor guard duties at the funerals of veterans.  There is an initial eight hours of training for all new enrollees, with on-going sustainment training.  As an honor guard member, you will receive a day of pay for each day’s mission, minimum of $50, and traditional drilling Guard members receive a retirement point for each day’s duties.

If you are interested in applying for the Honor Guard program, call Retired Sgt. Maj. Ed Goetschius at 609-530-7090.

N.J. licenses, registration extended for deployed troops

New Jerseyans who are active duty military, including the National Guard and military reserves, serving in the war on terrorism, are eligible for automatic extensions of a valid driver license, registration or inspection expiration dates. Go to www.nj.gov/mvc/ for more information.

 

Discounts offered for State employees

Are you a state employee looking to save a few $$$?

Visit www.state.nj.us/personnel/discounts/index.htm and you can find a number of businesses who offer discounts to New Jersey state employees.  From amusement parks to fitness to computer to phones and lots of other discounts between, you will find many ways to save money. For more information, please contact Cindy Leese at cindy.leese@njdmava.state.nj.us or call 609-530-7056.

 

For the Families

Child care $$$$$ available for spouses of deployed military

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

Child care money is available for spouses of Title 10 Army National Guard activated Soldiers only.  If the spouses are employed, seeking employment (for 60 days) or going to school, they can qualify for a $100 per month per child stipend for fulltime care (licensed child care provider required).  Call the National Guard Child Care Program today to apply 1-888-642-2799 or ngccp@guardfamily.org.

 

Family Programs sponsoring youth trip to Liberty Science Center

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

On Friday, June 27, Family Programs will be renting a bus for 30 youths ages 7-16 and seven adults for a day trip to Liberty Science Center, Jersey City. We will leave Fort Dix at 7:15 a.m. and return at 5 p.m. The bus will stop at the Jersey City Armory at 8:45 a.m. to pick up more youths (as well as drop them off at 3:30 p.m. before heading back to Fort Dix).

The trip will include lunch – sandwich, pretzels, fruit and juice – but everyone is welcome to bring snacks and spending money. Each young person will have to pay $5 for the uniformed T-shirt of the day. If interested, call Amanda at 609-562-0742.

 

No-cost prescription savings plan available

From the desk of Marie Durling, Family Programs Specialist

Here is a no cost to you prescription savings program.  This program offers discounts on all generic prescription medications at your local pharmacy.  You do not have to do anything special to qualify.  There is no income, residence, employment, age, citizenship or any other qualifications to meet.  Not even an application to fill out.  The Family State Programs Office at Joint Force Headquarters, Fort Dix has the group ID cards.  Call Marie Durling at 609-562-0739 and one will be mailed to you.  For more information check out www.mediservrx.com. 

 

Lawrenceville FAC schedules events for members

From the desk of Jane Hackbarth, Family Assistance Specialist

The Lawrenceville Family Assistance Center and the Family Readiness Support Assistant have scheduled the activities open to all Family Readiness Group members:

July 26, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Parenting During Deployment, presented by Army Community Services, Fort Dix

Sept. 20, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. – Bullying presentation, presented by ACS, Fort Dix

People attending who will be bringing children are asked to RSVP to their own FAC or to Jane Hackbarth at 609-671-6681 no later than one week prior to the event.

 

Camp Noble Cause serving children, spouses of deployed Guard members

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

Camp Noble Cause is a three day camping experience that will serve the children and spouses of the New Jersey National Guardsmen and women being deployed this summer. Our mission is to provide a no-cost summer camp experience, for a weekend of fun and camaraderie.

It will be held on August 22-24 at Camp Winnebago, 102 Timberbrook Road, Rockaway, N.J., approximately 12 miles from Wayne.  It is being hosted by the Scouts of the Patriot’s Path Council, Boy Scouts of America and Operation Noble Cause.

All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  Overnight camping capacity is limited to 300 and the day camp can accommodate an additional 200.   Children must be old enough to tent camp comfortably to attend.

Planned activities include: mountain biking and nature walks, crafts, astronomy, shooting sports (archery, rifle, shot gun), rockwall climbing, waterfront activities (boating, swimming, fishing), Geocaching (GPS “hide and seek”), sports (softball, volleyball, basketball, soccer and more) and campfire activities.

Go to http://main.ppbaa.org and click on the Camp Noble Cause icon to register for families to go on weekend retreats.

 

Morris County offers program for military families

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

Family Service of Morris County in partnership with the Family Programs Office, New Jersey, would like to announce its Military Families Outreach Program.  Based on a community effort, the Military Families Outreach Program strives to support Morris County military personnel and their families, including extended families, pre-deployment, during deployment and post-deployment.

We realize the pressures and problems that may occur when a family member is called to duty, and we want to assist with any services that you may need to ensure quality of life. Social services, support services and mental health services are some of the resources that will be available to Morris County residents. All services offered in this program are free of charge to you and your family and are bound by the highest consideration for complete confidentiality.

For more information about the Military Services Outreach Program, contact Wendy Parrinello, Military Families Outreach Case Manager at wparrinello@fsmc.org or call 973-538-5260, extension 326.  You can also contact Tammy Rosenthal, Director of child and Adolescent Services at trosenthal@fsmc.org or 973-538-5260.  We are privileged to work with you who have given so much for your country!

 

Order a complimentary Blue Star Flag to show your family’s service

From the desk of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes, Family Assistance Specialist

The Blue Star Flag first appeared in 1917, when Capt. Robert L. Queissner, who had two sons serving on the front line, designed it as a tribute to their dedication and service.  He proudly displayed this flag in the front window of his home and the flag quickly became the unofficial symbol of a child in the service.  Also known as a Service Flag, the blue star stands for hope and pride.  Order a complimentary Blue Star Flag to honor your loved ones in the service by visiting: www.grantham.edu/promo/freebluestar.php.

 

Program offers grant funds to spouses of deployed military

The Deployed Military Spouses Assistance Program provides direct assistance and referrals to existing programs for spouses of deployed military personnel (active duty, reserve and National Guard) who face unusual financial and emotional stress as a result of the deployments. 

Applicants should contact Fawn Mutschler at 609-543-6200 ext. 325 or wocmilitarygrant@ymca-bc.org to obtain an application.  In addition to the completed application form, applicants will also need to submit the following documentation: LES/paystub for applicant and spouse; statement of Financial Need (i.e. reason for applying and how the grant will help); bill or pricing of expenditure as well as any other supporting information the applicant feels may be helpful. Additional information can be found at: www.state.nj.us/dca/dow/depmilspouseasst.shtml

 

Family Deployment Briefing schedule updated

The following is the updated Family Deployment Briefing Schedule presented by the Family Programs Office at various armories throughout New Jersey.  Any family member that is interested in learning more about important information, who to contact and ways to cope through this upcoming deployment are welcomed to attend ANY of the briefs, no matter where the Soldier's home station is located, as all the information will be the same at every brief.

Children, ages three and up, are welcome to attend too!  For more information, please contact your local Family Assistance Center by calling 1-888-859-0352.

Date                                                 Armory                            Time

Sunday, June 8                           Bordentown                     2:30 p.m.

**Any family that will be experiencing a deployment may attend ANY of the above briefs as all the information will be the same no matter where the Soldier's home station is located in the state.  All youth are welcomed to attend.  We will have established youth programs, in a separate area, for youth ages three and older.

 

For the kids – tour JT2DC and have lunch on June 7

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

Kids – come tour the Battle Lab – learn about flags, military jobs, weapon marksmanship, walk through the urban, desert and woodland fighting lanes and drive the virtual combat convoy trainer.  On June 7, from 9:15 a.m. to noon, 20 slots are open for youths 10 and older to tour the Joint Training and Training Development Center (JT2DC) on Fort Dix.  Parents may drop children off or walk through with the group.  Hot dogs, chips and drinks fill the lunch time menu after the tour.  Contact Amanda Balas to register for the tour at Amanda.balas@us.army.mil or 609-562-0742.

 

Post Office offers boxes, discount rate to FPO/APO addresses

From the desk of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes, Family Assistance Specialist

Now the U.S. Postal Service is making it easier for families to send care packages with a larger flat rate box and a special discount to FPO/ APO addresses. The new boxes can be used beginning March 3. They are 50 percent larger than the current flat rate box and can be sent to any domestic address for $12.95. A special military version of the box will carry the "America Supports You" logo and can be shipped to any FPO/ APO address for $10.95. The new Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box is "12 x 12" x 5½". For complete guidelines on mail services to military members overseas visit the USPS website at:

http://www.usps.com/supportingourtroops/welcome.htm?from=household &page=troopsupport.

Federal grant for spouses of deployed military

Grants from a funding of $200,000 from the Department of Community Affairs are available for spouses of deployed or recently deployed military (all branches across the state). Typical awards are $2,500 each and are available for financial difficulties (such as past due rent and childcare) as well as for recreational and stress relieving activities for kids. For more information contact Fawn I. Mutschler, Military Grant Liaison, Women's Opportunity Center, YMCA of Burlington County by calling 609-543-6200 Ext. 325 or by email at wocmilitarygrant@ymca-bc.org.

 

N.J. State Family Readiness Council offers Family Grants Program

The New Jersey National Guard State Family Readiness Council has expanded its Family Grants Program to include an additional grant.  There are now two levels of Family Grants; TIER I is the $2,500 grant that has been in place for the past couple of years.  The TIER II opens family grants to New Jersey Army and Air National Guard non-deployed service members who were on State Active Duty or State Missions (e.g., hurricanes, floods, border missions) for more than 20 consecutive days.  Service members meeting these criteria are eligible to apply for a financial hardship grant up to $1,500.  Applications are available at all New Jersey Army and Air National Guard Family Assistance Centers.

 

Sports

Fourth annual SGT Nutter Run scheduled for June 14

The fourth annual SGT Nutter Run will be held on June 14.  Sergeant Sam Nutter (Jan. 28, 1966 – Jan. 2, 2005) was a member of the New Jersey Army National Guard and served in the U. S. Navy from 1989-1997.  Each year the NJARNG Officer Candidate School holds a benefit 5k run in his memory and the proceeds raised are donated to a NJARNG family in need.  This year’s beneficiary is Dina; daughter of New Jersey Army National Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy D. Marvian, of the 102nd Cavalry (RSTA) who will be deploying to Iraq later this year.  Dina has endured a life-long battle with Neurofibromatosis Type I.  Come join us as we band together to give a helping hand to a member of our National Guard family.

Fun family events and a BBQ to celebrate the Army’s birthday will follow the race.

Visit http://www.NutterRun.com for registration forms, donation forms, and more information.

 

NGANJ holding 20th Annual Golf Tourney to benefit scholarships

The National Guard Association of New Jersey is holding their 20th Annual President’s Golf Tournament at Falcon Creek Golf Course, McGuire Air Force Base on June 28.

For a donation of $115 per person, golfers will receive greens fees, cart, refreshments, dinner, shirt and door prizes.  All proceeds from the event will benefit the NGANJ scholarship fund.

The tournament will begin at 10 a.m. with a shotgun start using a four-person scramble format. Prizes will be awarded to the first and second place teams for low gross and low net scores, closest to pin on hole 2 and the longest drive on hole 17, both men and women.

Coffee, juice and donuts will be served at 8:30 a.m. For those who would only like to attend the dinner after the tournament, the cost is $30.

The committee is also looking for corporate sponsors, refreshment sponsors, hole sponsors, boosters, cash donations, and gift prizes. If you would like to participate in any way, contact Jack Petrosilli at 609-530-6843 or go to www.nganj.org.

 

NJ IAWP’s golf outing benefits New Jersey’s homeless veterans

The New Jersey Chapter of International Association of Workforce Professionals (IAWP) is holding its second annual charity golf outing on July 26 and this year the proceeds will go to support New Jersey’s Homeless Veterans. The IAWP is looking for participants to come to the Falcon Creek Golf Club, McGuire Air Force Base at noon for the shot gun start.

Cost of the golf outing is $150 per person; the cost includes continental breakfast, greens fees with cart, one-hour open bar, dinner and awards.  There will be door prizes, a 50-50 and a raffle drawing.  Persons only wishing to attend the dinner will pay $50. IAWP is looking for hole sponsors - $100 and boosters - $25.

Register now by visiting www.nj.gov/labor/njiapes/index.html or call 973-748-0123.

 

Hunterdon County Vets Alliance celebrates special day with ball game

Come watch the Somerset (N.J.) Patriots play the Bridgeport (Conn.) Bluefish during the Hunterdon County Veterans Alliance sixth annual Veterans of America Day on Aug. 30 at 6 p.m.  The Veterans of America celebration will begin the evening with guest of honor, Marine Maj. Jason E. Smith, present commander of the recruiting Station New Jersey and veteran of two tours of Iraq.

After the celebration, enjoy the Atlantic League game with free tickets for veterans and discounted tickets - $5 each – for friends and family. Discounted tickets must be ordered in advance. Contact 908-252-0700 for more information.  Cal Joe Yuzuik at 732-563-4012 for information on the Veterans events scheduled prior to the game.

 

Trenton Thunder offers reduced tickets to military personnel, vets

The Trenton Thunder baseball team and its community partner, the Trenton Vet Center, have collaborated to sponsor reduced ticket prices for veterans and their families during the 2008 Trenton Thunder baseball season.

A regular $10 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

Travel Help, Ideas

Free tickets to Busch Adventure Parks for military, families

Any active duty, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman is entitled to free admission to a Anheuser-Busch Adventure Park under the Here's to the Heroes program. He or she need only register, either by going to this Web site http://www.herosalute.com/ and submitting his or her information or in the entrance plaza of participating parks, and show a Department of Defense photo ID. As many as three direct dependents of military personnel also are entitled to free admission. Dependents may take advantage of the offer without their service member, though an adult must accompany minor dependents, and dependent ages 10 and over must present valid dependent I.D. Busch Gardens Williamsburg and SeaWorld San Antonio are seasonal operations that will remain closed until spring 2008. Military personnel interested in visiting those parks should check operating schedules. The remaining parks, SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and SeaWorld San Diego are open year round.

Valid for one complimentary single-day admission per person, per year, to one of the following Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks: SeaWorld Orlando, San Diego, or San Antonio, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay or Williamsburg, Sesame Place, Water Country USA, Adventure Island. Not valid at Discovery Cove and Aquatica.

 

Armed Forces Vacation Club offers affordable lodging

The Armed Forces Vacation Club is a "space available" program offering Department of Defense affiliated personnel affordable condominium vacations at over 3,500 resorts around the world. Visit www.afvclub.com/ for more information.

Shades of Green offers Disney for military

Now that the summer is just around the corner, thoughts of how to spend next summer or your next vacation week, can start to pop into your mind.  “Can we go someplace better or different, nearer or farther from home, all without breaking the bank?”

One place to consider if Florida is one of your next vacation places is Shades of Green in Orlando.  Minutes from the Disney attractions, this resort is also close to golf, dining and other Florida attractions.

Their web site, www.shadesofgreen.org can give you tours of their rooms and family suites, the local attractions and other amenities that are offered by the resort.  The rates are reasonable and will be an opportunity to visit Orlando with your family.

 

Scholarship, Education News

Scholarships available for OIF/OEF veterans

Here is an opportunity for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan to get scholarship money for college.  The Fund for Veterans’ Education will award up to $3.5 million in scholarship money this year.

You can read more about the scholarship program and how to apply at www.veteransfund.org. The application postmark deadline is June 15, 2008, so send in your application as soon as possible.

Education news for NJARNG

Education Services Brochure Booklet (ESB2)

Access the New Jersey Army National Guard's ESB2 at www.nj.gov/military/education.  The ESB2 is a comprehensive guide with links and shortcuts to civilian education benefits available to New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers. 

G.I. Bill Notice of Basic Eligibility

New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers can print their Eligibility of Mobilized Soldier notification letter for CH 1607 as well as Notice Of Basic Eligibility for CH 1606

at https://www.nationalguardbenefits.com; click on G.I. Bill Home Page.

 

American Legion offers scholarships, booklet on their Web site

The American Legion has scholarship information on their Web site – www.legion.org – including the 152-page booklet, Need a Lift, which is a complete financial aid reference guide for veterans, family members and the American Legion family.  When you get on the site, click on “Scholarship Information” in the “Useful Links” block.

Association News

Enlisted Association wants YOU!

By retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes, EANG-NJ

The Enlisted Association National Guard-New Jersey is off to a good start for 2008 as we have realigned all the committees and filled both the Executive Council and Committees with a cross section of Army and Air, uniformed and retirees, and several junior NCOs.  Everyone appears to be enthused and pledges to support the Association in all its efforts.  All we need now is for you to get on board as a member and bring your fellow soldiers and airmen with you.

We have many challenges facing us over the next few years whether it is another round of base closures via the Base Realignment Commission (BRAC), reduction in TRICARE benefits, reduction in troop strength, attempts to maintain the retirement age at 60, etc.  We need a powerful voice to put our message across to the State and Federal Legislators and this can only be accomplished through a strong membership in our State Association (EANG-NJ) and the National Association (EANGUS).

The new membership year starts on 1 January 2008 and we need your help in making our Association grow.  We encourage all enlisted soldiers and airmen to join the Association as Active Members and also welcome all officers, warrant officers, federal, and state employees to join as Associate Members.  Applications for membership can be obtained from our website

www.eang-nj.org.

NGANJ group life insurance available to members

Are you covered by the NGANJ Group Life Insurance Program?  As a member of either the Officers or the Enlisted Association, you are entitled to enroll in your Association Life Insurance Program.  This special program provides from $5,000 to $50,000 of Life Insurance for you, “round the clock”.  Premiums range from as little as $2 per month and may be payroll-deducted from your drill check.  Family coverage is also available at low rates designed for you as a member of the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard.  Think of it!!  No aviation exclusions...No hazardous duty restrictions...No war clauses…No checks to write.  Dependent coverage includes spouses and all children.  Information can be obtained by contacting retired CWO Jack Petrosilli at 609-530-6843, or retired Brig. Gen. Robert S. Dutko Sr. at 609-273-1004.  Enrollment forms can be obtained by calling retired Col. Frank L. Carlone, Program Coordinator at 732-249-8335.

 

Veterans Information

Web site provides support to separating military members

TurboTAP (Transition Assistance Program) is an easy to use, interactive Web portal that provides life-long support to separating military service members (Active Duty, Guard and Reserve) and their families. It is a single source starting point for accessing key resources available for servicemembers transitioning out of the military at any point in their military career.  Resources include Department of Defense, Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Education, Small Business Administration, the National Veterans Corporation and the National Guard Bureau.  For more information go to www.TurboTAP.org or email TAPHelp@military-inc.com.

 

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: 

July 8, 9, 10

Cherry Hill Mall

July 18*

Traveling Wall, Wildwood

August 5*, 6, 7

Willowbrook Mall

September 2*, 3, 4

Bridgewater Commons Mall

October 14*, 15, 16

Menlo Park Mall

November 5*, 6, 7

Deptford Mall

*Medal ceremonies begin at 10:30 a.m. on these dates.  The kiosk will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The kiosk will also be in place at the Wildwood Convention Center for three state conventions.

v June 11-13, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. – American Legion State Convention

v June 18-20, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. – VFW State Convention, medal ceremony on June 19

 

Pennsylvania looking for Desert Shield/Storm vets for benefit program

The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans’ Affairs is trying to locate veterans who may be eligible for the Commonwealth’s Persian Gulf Veterans’ Benefit Program.  We believe that many Desert Shield/Storm participants who were residents of Pennsylvania during this conflict may be entitled to this benefit have since moved to other states.  In an effort to inform them of the benefit, we request that you share the following information with your veterans.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania signed into law (House Bill 1820, Act 29 of 2006) a benefit program for veterans of the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations during the time period Aug. 2, 1990 through Aug. 31, 1991.  Veterans are likely to be eligible for the benefit if they:

  • 1.    Served with the U.S. Armed Forces, a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces or the Pennsylvania National Guard during the period Aug. 2, 1990-Aug. 31, 1991;
  • 2.    Received the Southwest Asia Service Medal; and
  • 3.    Were a resident of Pennsylvania during the period Aug. 2, 1990-Aug. 31, 1991.

A surviving family member(s) of a veteran who was killed as a result of the conflict, or died following the conflict may be eligible for the benefit.

Veterans or a surviving family member(s) may either request an application by calling the toll-free telephone number below, or by down-loading the application from the webpage.

Toll-free number:  1-866-458-9182 or 

Hearing Impaired: 1-866-835-8983 (TTY)

To be eligible for the benefit, a veteran or surviving family member(s) must submit an application and required supporting documentation to:

              Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans’ Benefit Program

              Post Office Box 1109

              Harrisburg, PA  17108-1109

The deadline for submitting an application is August 15, 2015.

 

Helmets to Hardhats

The New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council’s Helmets to Hardhats Program (NJ H2H) is designed to help transitioning military personnel, National Guardsmen and Reservists find the careers in the building and construction industry.  The program seeks to help military members find a career in one of 15 affiliated trades, such as electrical workers, carpenters and painters.

They work in cooperation with the national Helmets to Hardhats program, adding a personal component to the program’s on-line services.  NJ H2H offers veterans preparation for successful application to any of New Jersey’s registered apprenticeship programs in the building and construction trades. Services include career counseling, entrance test preparation and referral to supportive services.

For program registration and information, visit online at www.njbctc.org/h2h or contact at 732-499-7295 or at H2H@njbctc.org.

 

N.J. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

N.J. Vietnam Veterans' Memorial and Vietnam Era Educational Center's upcoming events:

 =================

Free guided tours of the Memorial are offered on the first Saturday of each month at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

June 14, 1 p.m. – Bullets and Bandages, a novel about an Army Combat Medic in the Vietnam War – an author lecture and book signing by Robert Saniscalchi accompanied by his brother Patrick Saniscalchi, N.J. Vietnam Veteran and the inspiration for Robert's novel.

July 19, 1 p.m. – "Re-Inventing the Wheel: U.S. Air Force Close Air Support in Vietnam" – a lecture by Tom Wisker, host of the radio program "Weaponry" on WBAI-FM, New York City.

Aug. 9, 1 p.m. – "Centaurs in Vietnam: Army Air Cavalry at War" – a video and oral-history presentation by N.J. Vietnam Veteran Carl Burns, former chopper pilot with the "Centaurs" of the 25th Infantry Division.

Sept. 19, 11 a.m. – National POW/MIA Recognition Day and National Gold Star Mothers Day Ceremony at the N.J. Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.

Sept. 21, 12:30 p.m. – Arrival at the N.J. Vietnam Veterans' Memorial by Rolling Thunder-N.J., annual motorcycle run for POW/MIA awareness.

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For further information call 1-800-648-VETS or visit www.njvvmf.org.

 

   
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