New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights 06 November 2008

Volume 8, Number 45

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

Staff Sgt. Barbara Harbison Or

Phone: (609) 530-7088
Fax: (609) 530-6963

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 Or Call 609-530-7088

Veterans' Organizations Contact Information

State Veterans Service Council
Mr. Richard Clark

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

Veterans Hotlines

Benefits & Entitlements

Mental Health

Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline


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, Tammy Cartagena, 609-562-0157,
Fax 609-562-0158

Phone numbers and Web sites to remember

Directory Assistance:


Verizon Super Pages:


SBC Yellow Pages:

Telephone and contact information on state employees can be found at


DMAVA Emergency Hotline:



Quotes for the Week   

Foreign powers do not seem to appreciate the true character of our government.

-James Polk

Many foxes grow gray but few grow good.

- Benjamin Franklin

Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today.

- Will Rogers

Enjoy what you can; endure what you must.

-  Goethe

If the best man’s faults were written on his fore-head, it would make him pull his hat over his eyes.

-  Gaelic proverb




Download PDF Version of this week's highlights


News For Your Views

Tribute to the Greatest Generation

On Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, Governor Jon S Corzine and Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth will be dedicating the New Jersey World War II Memorial. Veterans Day is a fitting occasion to honor the men and women of the Greatest Generation for the sacrifices they made on behalf of our country more than 60 years ago. The ceremony will take place at 2:30 p.m. at the Statehouse Plaza across from the Memorial.

Please save this date on your calendar and pass the information onto everyone who would like to join us for this momentous event. The tribute promises to be an occasion that will make every Veteran and all New Jerseyans proud.

Mindful that a great many of you are having your own parades and ceremonies to honor local veterans on Nov. 11, we have planned our ceremony for later in the day. We hope that this will allow everyone to attend the dedication.

For additional information or to RSVP please call Ms. Angela Como at 609-530-6780 or visit our website at

NJN airs World War II documentary

From the NJN Web site

New Jersey Remembers WWII, a one-hour high definition documentary honoring New Jersey’s own, will be aired Sunday, Nov. 9, at 9:30 p.m., and on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 7p.m. This program reveals heartfelt stories from World War II as told by New Jersey veterans and civilians who fought for American freedom.

World War II … it was a defining moment in time during the 20th century when America came together to preserve our democratic way of life.  Interviews include former N.J. governor, Brendan T. Byrne, a navigator with the Army Air Corps; Arthur Seltzer, a Jewish war veteran serving in the Army during the Battle of the Bulge; Ovid DiFiore, a Signal Corps photographer who captured the image of MacArthur and many others; and Gilmon Brooks a Buck Sgt. in the Marines who saw the flag raised at Iwo Jima.  These interviews are included along with others who worked on the home front and in the various theaters of the war.

More than 37 million deaths have been estimated during the war. The U.S. lost more than 320 thousand soldiers, more than 15,000 were from New Jersey.  Archival film and stills are included in New Jersey Remembers WWII, and is produced and written by Lisa Bair Miller. Kent Manahan, senior anchor for NJN News is the narrator for the program. Janice Selinger is executive producer.

Interviewed for the program were:

  •         Henry Straub, son of Henry Straub, Air Corps Tech. Sgt.
  •         Lita Saldarini, secretary, the Manhattan Project
  •        Ada Bloom, librarian, the War Film Department
  •         Lewis Bloom, Military Intelligence
  •         John Scagnelli, Lt. j.g., USS Eagle
  •        Bill Monks, Cpl., Charlie Co. 1st Bn, 3rd Marines, 3rd Div.
  •         Gilmon Brooks, Buck Sgt., 8th Marine Ammunition Company
  •         Ovid DiFiore, Army Signal Corps Photographer
  •        Leonard G. Lomell, Sgt. Maj., 2nd Ranger Battalion, D Company
  •         Arthur Seltzer, Tech. Sgt. , 4th Armored Signal Medallion
  •         Jim Cullen, Staff Sgt., Squad Leader, Car Commander, 3rd Armor Div., 36th Armored Infantry
  •         Jerome Selinger, Pfc., 10th Armored Division
  •         Ernestine Martin, wife of  Frank “Pepper” Martin, Pfc., Anti-Tank Company
  •         Kevin Martin, son of  Frank “Pepper” Martin, Pfc., Anti-Tank Company
  •         Brendan Byrne, former N.J. Governor, 1st Lt., Navigator, 15th Air Force Division
  •         Joseph P. O'Donnell, Air Corps, Staff Sgt., B-17 Ball Turret Gunner
  •         Karnig Thomasian, Air Corps, Electrical Specialist / Gunner
  •         Edgar Wolfe Jr., 1st Lt., Air Transport Command

It’s a ‘Family Affair’

By Capt. Anthony L. Bucci, TF 134/PAO

CAMP CROPPER, Iraq— Camp Cropper in Iraq is a facility that houses detainees held by Coalition Forces and many of the individuals stationed there share a special bond.

It goes beyond military service and duty to their country; it is truly a ‘family affair’ for those special couples at Camp Cropper.

November is Military Family Month, a time when we recognize those special citizens who live and serve together as a family. In today’s changing environment it is no longer just brothers and cousins side-by-side in combat. We now have husbands and wives serving in forward deployed locations – for some it is serving as their honeymoon.

Spc. Manuel and Sgt. Liza Rodriguez met during annual training at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. and there was an immediate attraction. They were married on Aug. 25 prior to their deployment to Iraq. He is from West Orange, N.J., and she is from the Bronx, N.Y. They are both assigned to the 250th Brigade Support Battalion, Teaneck, N.J.

“It’s not that bad being deployed together, because after a bad day I can come back to my room and we can talk about it. After that I feel better and we can enjoy some quality time together,” said Manuel. Liza added “We get to spend about eight hours a day together so it is pretty nice.”

Sgt. Terrio and Spc. Denita Jenkins met in March 2008 while serving together during their 2-week annual training period in Annville, Pa. In August 2008, while at Ft. Bliss, Texas, conducting their pre-mobilization training, they got married and enjoyed their honeymoon over their 4-day pass.

Both of their jobs are very stressful.  He supervises the guard force to ensure they maintain the highest level of care with dignity and respect, while she is part of the team that escorts detainees to medical appointments and their visitation periods.

“I wouldn’t be able to make it without him. I get to talk to him when we get off our shifts, which helps us both deal with the stresses we endure on a daily basis,” said Denita. “Sometimes I feel like others look at me strange, that I can’t complain about being here, because I have my wife here with me,” said Terrio.

Sgt. Chris and Pfc. Miriam Hines met at the 154th Quartermaster Company Sea Girt, N.J., in June 2008 and continued dating through their pre-mobilization training at Ft. Bliss, Texas; eventually getting married in August 2008.

They find comfort knowing that each other is there for them, however there are still obstacles being deployed with your spouse.

“It is still the military and even though you are here with your wife you need to remember that you still can’t show display any signs of affection in public,” said Chris.

Despite this obstacle Miriam is still grateful to be deployed with her husband. “It is definitely an advantage for me to be able to see him every day, so I always have someone to talk to and confide with,” said Miriam.

“She works 12 to 14 hour days and when she gets back to the room she is normally very stressed out. So I always try to adapt my schedule so we can have our time together, which makes these days that much easier,” he said.

While some couples are deployed together on their first deployment, there are couples who are now serving on their second deployment together, such as the Platz’s from South Jersey.

Sgt. Alexander and Spc. Andrea Platz met in 2001 during basic training while performing kitchen patrol. Their courtship continued through advanced individual training and culminated with them getting engaged in 2003 prior to deploying for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“The stresses here are the same as back home, with of course the added pressure of being in a combat environment and having to go on missions outside the wire,” said Alexander. “The toughest thing for us is trying to find time together as I work primarily during the day and he works night,” said Andrea, who manages the Detainee Movement System, while her husband is associated with escort services.

These married warriors arrived in theatre this past September and hope to be back home sometime late spring of 2009. They represent the changing landscape of the Total Force team and demonstrate that their service to their country is truly a ‘family affair.’

New phone numbers after the move

The dust is settling, the boxes are just about unpacked and the various offices have completed their moves from Fort Dix to Lawrenceville and around the office in the Lawrenceville campus.

The Family Assistance Center moved from Ft Dix to DMAVA, 101 Eggert Crossing Road (third floor), Lawrenceville NJ 08648

Their new phone numbers are:

Toll-free number          888-859-0352

Family Assistance        609-530-6884

Teen Youth Group        609-530-6836

Fax                             609-530-6871

The Medical Holding Detachment also moved to the same address; their offices are located in the basement.

G1-MHD                        609-530-6734

Fax-G1-MHD                 609-530-6776

The State Human Relations Division has moved from the second floor to the first floor in the Lawrenceville office and has kept the same phone numbers.

The Public Affairs Office has moved their offices from the basement to the first floor.  The matting and printing room is located in the basement across the hallway from the old PA office and the video studio is located adjacent to the 444th MPAD office which can be found across the hallway from the Print Shop.  All phone numbers remain the same. For those who need their photo taken for DA or commanders photos, the photo shop has been moved to Fort Dix. Call the PA office in Lawrenceville to arrange an appointment for a sitting.

State employees charitable campaign – “Partners in Giving”

The New Jersey State Employees Charitable Campaign has officially kicked off its 2008/2009 Campaign which will run until Nov. 26.

The ECC provides each of us with an annual opportunity to voluntarily help others and ourselves by donating to any of the more than 1,400 participating agencies and organizations listed in the ECC Code Book.  Contributions may be made by payroll deductions each year or by cash or check.

Over the years our Department has been most successful in this endeavor because of your personal generosity and concern.  We urge every employee to support this worthy cause.  Code Books and payroll deduction forms will be going out to all fulltime state employees.

This year’s ECC Coordinator for the State’s Employees Charitable Campaign is Paul Serdiuk, DMAVA-HRD Office.  For more information, contact him at 609-530-6878.  You may also access information on line at

Wanaque FOP sells T-shirts to benefit FRG

From Thomas P. Norton, Detective Captain/OEM Coordinator, Wanaque Police Dept.

Let me introduce myself – my son is deployed with the 50th IBCT and I have gotten involved with the Riverdale FRG. As my son was nearing his deployment all the members that I work with at the Wanaque Police Department kept asking what can we do or buy for Kevin (my son) and at that time there wasn't another thing he could take with him.

The Wanaque Police Department F.O.P. came up with the idea to help out Riverdale FRG by selling T-shirts to help the FRG's cause to send packages overseas, help the families as needed and the other programs that they will be running. The following message has gone out to as many people as we could find and we are asking that for your assistance in either purchasing a shirt or helping to send the following message to others.

**The Wanaque Police Department is selling T-Shirts to help support the New Jersey Army National Guard "Family Readiness Group" in their effort to send packages to our soldiers, assist the families and support their causes while their family members are deployed.

As you are aware, over 3000 members of the NJ Army National Guard were deployed to support "Operation Iraqi Freedom" in August and we would like your support to help them and their families through this trying time.

The T-Shirts are $20 each with ALL profits going to the FRG.

If you or any member of your organization would like to purchase a shirt you can e-mail me ( or call me, Capt. Ken Fackina or Sgt. Charlie Huber (973-835-5600) or they can mail a check to our attention at - Wanaque Police Department 579 Ringwood Avenue, Wanaque NJ 07465. Please indicate the size or sizes needed. If the T-shirt(s) need to be mailed we would ask that the money include $1.80 per shirt for postage since we don't want to cut into the profits that will be donated to the FRG.

Our goal is to sell 1,000 of these gray colored shirts.

Thanks for helping us help them.

Purple Heart Hall of Honor looking to build database

From information provided by The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor

Since 1932, 1.7 million Purple Heart medals have been awarded to America’s servicemen and women wounded or lost in combat, according to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor located in New Windsor, N.Y.

The Hall of Honor is the nation’s sole repository dedicated to the preservation and collection of Purple Heart stories and is currently building a database and is looking for those servicemembers who have been awarded the medal.

The database provides information about each Purple Heart recipient and can include scanned documents and photographs that will enhance his or her story. 

To enroll a Purple Heart recipient in the Roll of Honor, you must submit an application form which can be found on the Web site,  Verification of the award is needed – DD-214 or DD-215, military orders, Purple Heart certificate or other supporting documentation.  The Hall of Honor is also collecting a photograph of each recipient as well as letters and news articles to add to the database.

To learn more about the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, visit the Web site at or call toll free 877-28HONOR.  The Hall of Honor is open year-round at 374 Temple Hill Road, New Windsor, N.Y., on the New Windsor Cantonment State Historic site, the final post of George Washington’s Army.

Purchase AAFES cards for military, families

By simply logging on to or calling a toll free number, any American can now leverage the exchange benefit on behalf of military families across the globe as the Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) is making AAFES gift cards available to the general public. AAFES gift cards can be redeemed at BXs and PXs around the world by active-duty troops and their families as well as military retirees.  Shipping costs are mitigated through an AAFES gift card because BX and PX facilities are already stocked with magazines, snacks and electronics troops want as the exchange service's mission is to provide quality merchandise and services at competitively low prices. In addition to BX/PX gift cards, any American can also send a gift certificate that can be redeemed through the exchange's mail order catalogs or website. AAFES gift cards and gift certificates, up to $500, can be sent by any American who logs on to or calls 877-770-4438. From there, BX/PX gift certificates are sent to individual service members (designated by the purchaser) or distributed to "any service member" through the Air Force Aid Society, American Red Cross, Fisher House Foundation Inc., Navy-Marine Corps Relief, USO or Soldiers Family Assistance Center.

College scholarships available through commissary agency

The Defense Commissary Agency is making college scholarships worth $1,500 available to qualified children of military families, including those in the National Guard. Applications are now available at commissaries worldwide or through a link at or at

According to Philip E. Sakowitz Jr., Defense Commissary Agency director and chief executive officer, the program has awarded more than $6.4 million in scholarship to more than 4,000 children of military families since the program began in 2001.

Qualified applicants are dependent, unmarried children of active duty, Reserve, Guard or retired military personnel. Applicants must be under the age of 23. Also survivors of service members who died while on active duty or survivors of individuals who died while receiving retired pay from the military may apply for the scholarship.

Eligibility is determined using the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System database. Applicants should ensure that they, along with their sponsors, are enrolled in the DEERS database and have a current ID card. The applicants must be planning to attend, or already be attending, an accredited college or university full time in the fall of 2009 or be enrolled in a program of studies designed to transfer directly into a four-year program.

Applicants will be asked to submit an essay on the following topic: What would you place inside a time capsule to help people in the next century understand military life today? Applications must be turned in by Feb. 18, 2009. At least one scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location with qualified applicants.

Night of Remembrance and Hope in Paramus, Nov. 12

The 7th Annual Night of Remembrance and Hope will be held on Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at East Brook Middle School in Paramus, N.J.  Join in taking time out of your busy lives, to remember Sept. 11 and honor local First Responders and Veterans, past and present.

The evening will begin with a 50-minute, student-created, multi-media presentation, with a special tribute to the U.S. Navy.  At the close of the show, the audience will "stuff" 2,000 holiday goody bags to send to the troops. The night will conclude with the filling of the "Official 100,000th Goody Bag!"

More information about our project can be found on our Web site  -

A formal invitation can be found on the website at: http://www.operationgoody

Tickets are $5.00.  This donation will cover the cost of shipping 15 Goody Bags.

Seats are limited. Reserve your tickets at and we will have them ready for you at the guest table.

Take car care classes at McGuire

The Auto Skills Center on McGuire Air Force Base is open to those eligible to use the facilities on base.  The November Tuesday Special is tire rotation and balance for $40. Call 609-754-4316 to make an appointment. Car Care Classes are back!! All classes will be held on Wednesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Auto Hobby Shop.  Class size will be limited to 10-12.  Call 609-754-4316 to register.  Wednesday November 19-General vehicle safety check.

McGuire fitness center gives orientation sessions

The McGuire Fitness Center has an equipment orientation and assistance with a workout plan. The equipment orientation will include training on how to properly and safely use all of our cardio, free weight, and selectorized weight equipment. Call 754-6085 to set up an appointment for these services Monday through Friday 8 a.m.- 6 p.m.  The equipment orientations will also be available for walk-ins.

MyArmyBenefits Website – the single source for all Army Benefits

MyArmyBenefits at is the official Army benefits resource for active-duty, Guard and reserve Soldiers, family members and retirees. Active-duty Soldiers with AKO accounts can access personalized reports on the survivor, disability, and retirement benefits through MyArmyBenefits.

Military Salute Project releases flag manual

The Military Salute Project has released the “United States Flag Manual,” a 45-page comprehensive summary of the history of the American Flag and the regulations and guidelines for its display and use.

Three free online viewing or download options are available...

-- Adobe PDF format for printing on one side of a page

-- Microsoft Word format for printing on one side of a page

-- Microsoft Word format for printing as a book on both sides of mirrored pages

For more information, please visit our web page at

Veterans Day events

Lawrence Township honors local veterans on Nov.8

Lawrence Township will have a Veterans Day observance on Saturday, Nov. 8 at 10 a.m. in front of the municipal building. The Lawrence Township Spirit and Patriotic Committee would like to recognize military service member and their families who are currently serving in Iraq or Afghanistan and have ties to Lawrence Township. These people will be honored with a yellow ribbon on a tree in front of the municipal building.  If you know of a military service member who is currently deployed and who

v Currently resides in Lawrence Township

v Graduated for high school while a resident of Lawrence Township, or

v Has family currently living in Lawrence Township,

Contact the township Recreation Department.  Call Steven Groeger at 609-844-7067.

Veterans Day ceremony in Alliger Park on Nov. 8

The Hopewell Valley Veterans Association is hosting a Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 8 at 11 a.m. at Alliger Park. The event honors area veterans and features keynote speaker retired Col. Stephen Abel, New Jersey Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs. The ceremony also includes a benediction, unveiling of bricks donated in honor of veterans and military displays. Naval Sea Cadets will present national colors and refreshments will follow. The public is invited to attend this free event. Alliger Park is located on Washington Crossing- Pennington Road, adjoining the Hopewell Township municipal building.  For additional information, visit

Check out discount at Lowe’s during Veterans Day holiday

Lowe’s is offering 10 percent off for military personnel over the Veterans Day holiday, Nov. 6-11. The offer is valid for all active, reserve, honorably discharged, and retired military personnel and their immediate families. To receive the discount customers must show valid military ID or other proof of service. 

The offer is good for the purchase of any in-stock or Special Order merchandise only up to $5000 (Maximum discount $500). It is not redeemable for cash and is nontransferable. Not valid on sales via, previous sales, purchase of services or gift cards.

Home Depot giving 10 percent military discount over Vets Day weekend

Home Depot is offering a 10 percent military discount to current military and veterans over the Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 6-12.  The maximum allowed discount is $200. Check the Thursday, Nov. 6 advertisement or your local store for more details on the offer. Visit for the weekly ads.

Applebee’s offering free meal in some local restaurants

Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar restaurants invites all active duty and veterans to one of 164 participating restaurants nationwide and to pull up a chair for a delicious meal and heartfelt thanks this Veterans Day. With gratitude for their service and sacrifice, active duty and veterans will eat free at participating locations on Veterans Day (Nov. 11) during regular business hours.

Veterans and active duty with proof of United States military service will be able to go to one of the participating Applebee's and select one complimentary entrée from a selection of delicious favorites: a savory House Sirloin, hearty Riblet Basket, zesty Fiesta Lime Chicken®, a juicy Quesadilla Burger or fresh Oriental Chicken Salad. All the traditional sides are included.

"It's an honor to host an event that helps the neighborhood come together and say thanks to our veterans and active servicemen and women," said Mike Archer, President, Applebee's Services, Inc..

Proof of military service includes:

*   U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card

*   U.S. Uniform Services Retired Identification Card

*   DD214

*   LES

*   Citation or Commendation

*   Photograph in uniform

*   Veterans Organization Card

For location information:  Make sure you check the locations as none of the Applebee’s in New Jersey are participating in this offer, but if you are traveling, you may be near one that is offering a free meal.

McCormick and Schmick’s offers free entrée to Vets, Nov. 9

Many McCormick and Schmick’s restaurants are participating in the chain’s tribute to Veterans with a complimentary entrée from a special menu on Sunday, Nov. 9.  By presenting identification – VA card, VFW card, American Legion card, discharge papers DD214 or other Veterans ID – veterans will receive this tribute from the restaurant, to those who have served in war and in peace.

McCormick and Schmick’s asks that everyone makes reservations and that in order to accommodate as many veterans as possible, most restaurants will not be able to seat parties larger than 6.

To find if your local restaurant is participating, visit

Military appreciation night with the Nets, Nov. 14 at Izod Center

Come watch the Nets vs. the Hawks on Friday, Nov. 14, on Military Appreciation Night at the Izod Center.

Tickets are 50 percent off box office price and range in price from $20-105 each. For more information or to order tickets, contact Christie Freid at 201-806-3776 or Deadline to order is Nov. 7.

Ridgewood Concert Band holds concert honoring Vets, Nov. 14

The Ridgewood Concert Band, led by conductor and music director Christian Wilhjelm, will honor US Veterans with a “Celebrating America” concert on Nov. 14, at 8 p.m. at West Side Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood.  All Veterans attending the concert will be admitted free of charge; the normal adult ticket to this concert is $20.  The band is hoping that as many Veterans as possible will attend to take part in the festivities.  The band encourages you to wear your hats, ribbons, medals, insignia, etc.

Veterans recognition concerts have been a proud and long standing tradition of the Ridgewood Concert Band, going all the way back to its founding in 1983.  This year’s concert will feature a color guard salute and the playing of the National Anthem.  During the playing of “Present the Colors,” the service songs of the U.S. Armed Forces – the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine, veterans of the respective services will be asked to stand while their service song is played.  A trumpeter will play Taps to honor our brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice. 

The concert will feature great American and patriotic music including a variety of marches. Guest conductor on this concert will be none other than Lt. Col. Timothy E. Holtan, commander and conductor of the United States Military Academy Band at West Point.  Geoffrey Gallante, an eight year old trumpet wunderkind, will be the featured soloist with the band.  The West Side Presbyterian Church is located at 6 S. Monroe Street, at the intersection of W. Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood.  For more information about the band, this concert and other concerts, go to or call 201-493-9030.

Golden Corral restaurants’ Military Appreciation Monday, Nov. 17

Golden Corral Restaurants will hold its 2008 Military Appreciation Monday dinner on Nov. 17 from 5-9 p.m.

The free "thank you" dinner is available to any person who has ever served in the U.S. military. If you are a veteran, retired, currently serving, in the National Guard or Reserves, you are invited to participate in Golden Corral's Military Appreciation Monday dinner.

To date, Golden Corral restaurants have provided over 1.8 million free meals and contributed over $2.53 million to the Disabled American Veterans organization.

To locate a restaurant, visit

For Your Calendar

Mercer County One-Stop holds vets job fair on Nov. 10

To celebrate Veteran's Day and to honor the hard working men and women who have served our country, the Mercer County One-Stop Career Center is sponsoring a Veterans Career Fair on Nov. 10, from 1-4 p.m. at the Lawrenceville Armory, Eggert Crossing Road, Lawrenceville.

The Veterans Career Fair is open to all veterans and those who were recently released from active duty.

Dress professionally and bring 20 copies of your resume. Employers who will be seeking qualified candidates at the fair include Bank of America; Eastern Armored Services, Inc; Federal Air Marshall Service; AutoZone; Hyatt Regency Princeton; School Tyme Transportation; Securitas USA; Liberty Healthcare Services and many more.

Veterans representatives will also be available as well as the VA mobile health screening unit.

For information on the Job Fair or Resume and Interviewing Workshops, contact  Lois Bunch, 609-292-3059, or Al Stahl, 609-292-0656,

Roger Williams University holds Open House on Nov. 13

The New Jersey Army National Guard Education Office is sponsoring an Open House for Roger Williams University on Nov. 13 at 4 the Main Conference Room, B119, New Jersey National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters, Building 3650, Fort Dix.

RWU Distance Learning Program offers seven undergraduate degrees, six undergraduate certificates and a Master's Degree in Public Administration.

Up to 90 credits may be granted from prior college credit, military training, CLEP examinations, and other professional experience. The program features no-cost Educational Assessment and valuation, no-cost application process, along with year-round enrollment program and reduced tuition rates for military students.

All military branches and DA Civilians are welcome to attend (and bring your spouse). Call 609-562-0975 to reserve your seat.

Veterans job fair in Philly on Nov. 20

RecruitMilitary will be hosting a Career Fair in cooperation with HireVets First and the American Legion on Nov. 20, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Citizen Bank Park.  It is being hosted to benefit all veterans, transitioning military personnel, members of the Guard and Reserve, and military family members in Philadelphia and surrounding area. 

To print a flyer about this free event, go to

Job seekers who would like to pre-register for the event can go .

DMAVA Wassailing just around the corner

Mark your calendars now for “DMAVA Goes A Wassailing” on Dec. 18, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Each office/directorate will participate by decorating their area and offering holiday food and drink.  Employees will have the opportunity to visit each area and share the holiday cheer.

Schools, Training

254th Regiment provides class schedule for 2009 training year

The following courses will be conducted by the 254th Regiment, New Jersey Army National Guard, at Sea Girt and Fort Dix during training year 2009.


  • The Army Basic Instructor Training Course:  April 4-June 13, 2009
  • Small Group Instructor Course: Jan. 10-March 7, 2009 (1st); July 11-Sept. 19, 2009 (2nd)
  • Pre WARRIOR Leadership Courses (3 Classes, 3 weekends per class):
  • Jan. 10-Mar 8, 2009; April 4-June 14, 2009;, and July 11-Sept. 20, 2009
  • Officer Candidate School: Phase 2 Class 52 Aug. 9, 2008-June 14, 2009
  • Officer Candidate School: Phase 0 Class 53 begins March 7, 2009; Phase 2 is Aug. 1, 2009-June 14, 2010.


*NOTE: There will be no Inactive Duty Training (IDT) BNCOC this year. There will be an Active Duty BNCOC Course running for two weeks in December 2008.  This is a Phase I Common Core Course.

  • Basic NCO Course: Dec. 6-20, 2008
  • 91W10 Medic Sustainment: Feb. 9-18, 2009
  • 13F10 MOS-T Fire Support Specialist: March 14-21, 2009 
  • Company Level Command Team Course (for new Commanders and their 1SGs): April 18-19, 2009
  • 11B10 MOS-T Infantryman: May 9-23, 2009 
  • 11B2/3/4 (T) Infantryman Transition: May 9-23, 2009
  • 11B30 Basic NCO Course Phase II:  June 6-20, 2009 
  • 31B10 MOS-T Military Police: Feb. 22-March 6, 2009

Combat Lifesaver Course: Send unit request to Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Cosmanic at

Questions should be addressed to 1st Sgt. Gary Davidson, 732-974-6312.  ATRRS School Code: 1004.

Retirements, Reunions

112th Field Artillery Association holding reunion, Nov. 8-9

The 112th Field Artillery Annual is holding a reunion on November 8-9 at the National Guard Armory, Lawrenceville, N.J.

Festivities on Nov. 8 are a reception at 4 p.m., dinner at 5:30 p.m., and dancing at 7 p.m.  Cost is $45 per person and the attire is semi-formal.

On Nov. 9, services will be held at 11 a.m. and a lunch will be served at noon.  There will be no cost for the day’s activities and the attire is casual.

Reservations must be received by Nov. 5.  Send money, seating preference and meal selection – chicken, beef or fish – to 112th FA Assn, 151 Eggert Crossing Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648.  Checks should be made payable to the 112th FA Assn.

Farewell luncheon for DiMicco slated for Nov. 21

Lt. Col. Vito DiMicco, comptroller at the 108th Air Refueling Wing, has accepted a four-year tour at National Guard Bureau. A going-away luncheon will be held at the McGuire Air Force Base all-ranks club on Nov. 21 at 11 a.m. The lunch will be a hot/cold buffet, and the price will be $18 per person, including gift. If you are interested in going, please RSVP to Capt. Paul Koester no later than Nov. 12 at Paul.Koester@NJMCGU.ANG.AF.MIL. Let him know if you have a presentation to make during the luncheon.

104th Engineer Association will hold holiday party

From the desk of retired 1st Sgt. Alfred Roberts

The 104th Engineer Association will hold its annual Christmas party on Dec. 11. All former members of the 104th Engineer Battalion, New Jersey Army National Guard, are invited to attend. Contact retired 1st Sgt. Roberts at 973-776-1364 during duty hours for further information.

Essex Troop will hold holiday party on Dec. 13

The Essex Troop Christmas party will be held at Zeris Restaurant, 372 Route 46, Mountain Lakes, on Dec. 13.  Details will follow.

Gala reunion planned for former, current 170th/108th personnel

Come one, come all – active or retired – for a fun-filled weekend with trips down memory lane. A Gala Reunion is being planned for all of the faces of the 170th and 108th Air Refueling Wing on April 25, 2009. 

The elegant semi-formal will be held at the Doubletree Hotel and Executive Meeting Center, 200 Atrium Drive, Somerset, NJ, 6-11 p.m.

A deposit of $50 is required per person as soon as possible.  Hotel reservation, rates and activities will be announced at a later date.

For more information, contact Gloria A. Smith, 732-752-8263/732-991-9102 or Phyllis Jackson-Rackley, 908-451-7147/908-730-6377.

Say Again?

Trumpeteer2.wmfDMAVA emergency hotline is up and running

Winter is just around the corner and with that comes weather that can make driving to work difficult. There may be times that the department may have a delayed opening or even closures. If there is a question, call the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Emergency Hotline:


You will then hear the following message:

You have reached the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Emergency Information Number. Please list to the following menu choices and select an appropriate option:

  • State employees – press 1
  • Federal employees – press 2
  • National Guard employees – press 3

Select the appropriate selection and you will hear a pre-recorded message providing further instructions or details regarding the emergency and/or inclement weather reporting instructions.

Census Bureau looking for applicants

The Bureau of the Census is looking for applicants to fill more than 25 partnership specialist positions in Pa., Del., Md., the District of Columbia and 11 southern counties of N.J.

These people will develop partnerships will local, state and tribal governments, as well as community and faith-based entities, schools, businesses, media and grassroots organizations. These partnerships will help create a responsive environment when census questionnaires go to households in spring 2010.

Postings for the openings are available at or until Nov. 12. For further information, contact Ernestine King, Human Resources Specialist at 215-717-1028.

Pass on your BDUs, black boots to Civil Air Patrol cadets

Now that the ABUs and ACUs are filling your closet, what’s happening to the BDUs and black boots that you used to wear?  Before you start to tear the uniforms up for rags to wash the car, there is a worthy cause that can use them.  The New Jersey wing of the Civil Air Patrol is a civilian, non-profit organization and an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.  There are more than 1,100 members in the N.J. Wing, about half of them are cadets between the ages 12-21 and will wear the BDUs as part of their training.

The CAP program can give cadets a step up into their adult life – the first female pilot on the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team, Maj. Nicole Malachowski, and the first female solo pilot in the Thunderbirds, Maj. Samantha Glinski Weeks, both got their start in CAP.

Uniform items can be dropped at the CAP N.J. Wing headquarters on McGuire Air Force Base, building 3412 on Neely Road (around the corner from the McGuire Medical Clinic). Duty hours are Monday and Wednesday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Tuesday noon to 9 p.m. For more information, call (609) 723-8200 or e-mail

For more information about the Civil Air Patrol in New Jersey, visit

 “Be a Star in Someone’s Life”

The New Jersey National Guard Combined Federal Campaign has officially kicked off its 2008 Campaign which will run until the last week of November 2008.

The CFC provides each of us with an annual opportunity to voluntarily help others and ourselves by donating to the community, National and International level human, health and environmental organizations.  This year there is the addition of an organization which may interest you:  The Enlisted Association of the National Guard (EANGUS) “We Care for America” Foundation, Inc., CFC Donor ID #11859.  This organization provides support to National Guard Soldiers and Airmen and their families, through various programs such as The EANGUS Scholarship Program; Emergency Relief Program; The EANGUS Awards Program; Patriotism Awareness, and Veterans Against Drugs.  Monies raised are also used to help families of mobilized Guard soldiers pay their mortgages, rent and hospital bills.

Contributions may be made via easy payroll deductions each year or by check.

Over the years, our Department has been most successful in this endeavor because of your personal generosity and concern.  We urge every employee to support this worthy cause.  Catalogs and payroll deduction forms will be going out to all full time Federal Technicians and AGRs. 

The CFC Coordinator for this year’s Combined Federal Campaign is Jo Anne Miller, of the J1-HRO Office.  For more information, please call 609-562-0851.

Earn up to $8,500 for officer accessions in G-RAP

From the desk of Warrant Officer Misty L. DiGangi, AMEDD Recruiter

Guard Recruiting Assistants can earn additional income assisting ARNG recruiting efforts by identifying well-qualified men and women for service in the ARNG. RAs may earn up to $8,500 for each select Officer Candidate who accepts a Commission.

As a G-RAP RA you will cultivate quality Officer Candidates from within your spheres of influence and work with an Officer Strength Manager (OSM) or Warrant Officer Strength Manager (WOSM) to process the Officer Candidate and move them towards accession.

The total amount of payment for an Officer Accession is determined by the ARNG’s current critical needs and the GRAP-O payment chart. There are four categories by which RAs will receive payment for Officer Accessions. RAs can earn up to $2,000 for each new recruit who enlists and reports to Basic Training or for each prior service member.

G-RAP is available to Traditional Guard members and National Guard retirees.  For more information, go to

NJARNG looking to fill their soccer team

From the desk of Master Sgt. Alex Estrada

The New Jersey Army National Guard is looking for soccer players to play during the (FY) 2008-2009 indoor season at the International Sports Center at Cherry Hill, N.J.  For anyone interested in joining the team, contact Sgt. Jose Castro at 609-562-0234 or or Master Sgt. Alex Estrada at 609-562-0568 or for further information.

Sign up for G-RAP and make $$$$

Sign up today and earn up to $2,000 for each new recruit who enlists into the National Guard and reports to basic training.

The Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP) is a contracted program designed for individuals who voluntarily apply to become eligible to serve as a part-time Recruiting Assistant (RA).

G-RAP is available to Traditional Guard members and National Guard retirees.  This opportunity is open to both Army and Air Guard members.  For more information, go to

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.

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.

Information for N.J. state employees

Pension loan applications to be submitted through MBOS

From the desk of Lisa Dandrea, Human Resources, Personnel Assistant

NOTICE from the Division of Pensions and Benefits:

Effective Nov. 1, 2008, an eligible member who wishes to borrow against their pension account, MUST submit the loan request through the Pension Loan Application accessible through a personal account with the Member Benefits Online System (MBOS). Please note the following changes:

v The Loan Application will no longer be available as a printed form or through the Division's Web site.

v Paper Loan Applications that are received by mail as of Nov. 1, 2008, will be returned to members with instructions on submitting the loan request through MBOS.

v The loan fax number, which has been phased out of use since the introduction of loans through MBOS, will be completely disabled.

v Limited access to a computer or a member's reluctance to use MBOS will not be considered sufficient circumstances to allow manual loan processing.

Employees who are already registered MBOS users currently have access to the online loan application through their MBOS account.

Employees who are new to MBOS can access MBOS after they register with both the MyNewJersey Web site and MBOS. Registration is free; however, the registration process requires several steps and new users should carefully follow the MBOS registration instructions. Visit mbosregister.htm for a complete list of instructions. If, after following the MBOS Registration Instructions, you still need assistance registering for or using MBOS, please contact the MBOS Help Desk at (609) 777-0534 or send an e-mail with the subject line "MBOS E-mail" to:

Employees required to register for MBOS

From the desk of Lisa J. Dandrea, Human Resources, Personnel Assistant

MBOS is the Member Benefits Online System. Through MBOS, employees may review their pension contributions, loan status, health benefits information, update their beneficiary information, apply for retirement, as well as many other applications. It has been encouraged that all employees register for this helpful tool. However Pensions is now working on MBOS being a requirement in order for employees to make certain updates to their personal information.

Effective immediately, in all cases where an employee is eligible to become a member of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), the employer will be required to submit all enrollment information to Pensions via online.  Important to note is that the online PERS Enrollment Application does not include the Designation of Beneficiary page. Instead, once the member is enrolled and issued a pension number, they must register for a MBOS account at: and complete the online Beneficiary Designation form. Until the member completes his or her Designation of Beneficiary, the member’s “Estate” will be the beneficiary of record.

Current employees –note, even if you are already enrolled into PERS, if you wish to make any changes to your beneficiary information, you too will need to be registered for MBOS. Members will not be able to submit the Change in Beneficiary Designation paper form since this will no longer be acceptable through the Division of Pensions and Benefits.

Visit the link above for complete instructions to register for MBOS. If you encounter any problems with registration, you may e-mail Pensions and Benefits with your questions/concerns and they can assist you through the process. You may also obtain a tri-fold brochure with MBOS instructions from your Human Resources Office.

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 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, Personnel Assistant

If you are a state employee, working for DMAVA, Vets Haven, and the Cemetery, and 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

Discounts offered for State employees

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

Visit 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 or call 609-530-7056.

For the Families

family on the porch.JPGYouth Camp 2009 dates set

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

The dates for 2009 Youth Camp are July 19-25, 2009 at Sea Girt.

Applications will be posted on the website,, mid-December 2008.  Please stay posted for more information.

FRG leadership, volunteer training – Nov. 15 and 16

There will be Family Readiness Group Leadership and Volunteer training held on Nov. 15 and 16 - same training each day.  Pick the day that is convenient for you.

The training will be held at the Holiday Inn, 399 Monmouth Street, East Windsor, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The training is for FRG leaders and volunteers. You don't have to have a unit or soldier deployed to attend.  If you are an FRG leader, volunteer, parent, or trying to start up an FRG, we welcome and strongly encourage you to attend.

Child care will be provided for children ages 3-12. To register, contact Marie Durling, Family Programs Specialist, at 609-562-0739 or my cell 609-802-7606.

FRG training available on Web

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

Webinars will be conducted to train new users to the portal.  It is a tool for the purpose of helping to familiarize volunteers with the as well as how to Register on the portal, input user Demographic Data, and view the Contact Us feature.  All FRG Leaders and volunteers are encouraged to participate in this training.  All you need is your computer and a telephone.  To register and for additional information, contact Deanna Cole at or 717-533-2662.

Training is being conducted as follows:

Guard Portal Email Campaign Training:

Nov. 20, 9-9:30 a.m.

Nov. 20, 7-7:30 p.m.

Nov. 22, 10-10:30 a.m.

Click and find out which FAC supports your armory

If you are not sure which Family Assistance Center supports your armory, here is the way to find out. By going to the new and growing New Jersey FAC Web site you will be able to locate the FAC nearest you.  It also gives you a place to e-mail your questions and concerns.  Just go to

Join the online Guard Family

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

An invitation is extended to join the online Guard Family Portal community!  Our goal is to make this website your "one-stop shop" for everything Guard!  Here is the link to join:

The website will provide up-to-date, relevant and state-specific content, including announcements, news, events, discussion forums, documents, surveys and reports.

In addition, you can learn about Family Readiness, Program Services and Plans & Operations, take on-line training, and the site keeps you informed and involved about your benefits as a serving family.  FRG Leaders and volunteers are strongly encouraged to enroll on the site and log in your volunteer hours.

Additional dental cleaning allowed during pregnancy by Tricare

The TRICARE Management Activity announced an enhancement to maternity dental benefit through United Concordia. An additional cleaning in a 12-month period will now be allowed at no additional cost for all pregnant TRICARE Dental Program enrollees. The additional cleaning is in response to research indicating there is an increase risk of dental disease during pregnancy.  For more information about dental health during pregnancy, go to:

Support for military children of deployed and injured Guard members

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

Our Military Kids (OMK) provides tangible support to the children of deployed and severely injured National Guard and Military Reserve personnel through grants for enrichment activities and tutoring that nurture and sustain the children during the time a parent is away in service to our country. OMK grants are made to honor the sacrifices military parents make and to ensure that the children have access to activities and support that help the children better cope with challenges arising during a parent's deployment or injury recovery. For additional information go to

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

During the Deployment Information

Statewide family Holiday party to be held Dec. 7, Asbury Park

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

Spouses and family members of DEPLOYED servicemembers must register on line to attend the Holiday Express Party to be held in Asbury Park on Dec. 7. Go to the following link for additional details, read the criteria, follow the directions, complete the form and you are good to go!  You must be registered to attend.  There will be live entertainment with top notch performers to be named shortly.  The event will be taped and available for the troops deployed to Iraq to view.  Please register as soon as possible so we can arrange for buses and gifts for the children.  If you need help registering, please let me know and I will assist.  The link is:

Dates to mail those holiday packages overseas

The following is a list of mailing dates for the holidays provided by the Military Postal Services.  In order for your holiday letters, cards, packages to arrive in sufficient time for the holidays you should use this table as a guide.       

Destination                            1st Class Mail  Priority Mail   Parcel Post Mail       
APO/FPO AE 090-092                Dec.11             Dec. 11              Nov. 13 
APO/FPO AE 093                       Dec. 4              Dec. 4                Nov. 13  
APO/FPO AE 094-098                Dec.11             Dec.11                 Nov. 13  
APO/FPO AA 340                       Dec.11             Dec.11                 Nov. 13  
APO/FPO AP 962-966                Dec.11             Dec.11                 Nov. 13  

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. 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: ourtroops/welcome.htm?from=household &page=troopsupport.

TroopTube shares video with troops, families

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

TroopTube is the new video-sharing web site for troops and their families. TroopTube is sponsored by Military OneSource and is the only video sharing site for military families approved by the Department of Defense. Users can share videos privately with family members or publicly with the larger community. Access TroopTube through the link

N.J. Family Readiness Council increases grants to families, businesses

The New Jersey National Guard State Family Readiness Council has increased the amounts of family and business grants up to $5,000 and $10,000, respectively.  Both are what are known as TIER I grants.  TIER II family grants are also available 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.

Hero Packs to children of deployed military

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

Hero Packs are Operation Military Kids backpacks filled with a variety of items from the OMK partner agencies, which are given to military youth as a “Thank You” for the sacrifices that they make while their loved ones are deployed.

Across the nation, OMK has presented Hero Packs to more than 45,000 military youth since 2004. Hero Packs contain a variety of items intended to provide children with fun activities and ways to stay connected to their deployed parents. In addition, information is provided to parents regarding local support programs for children and families.

Here in New Jersey we will be having Hero Pack Ceremonies for children and youth who have a deployed loved one starting this month at various armories across the state. Youth will be presented with a certificate and Hero Pack and then will be able to enjoy a snack and juice after the ceremony with their friends and family. There are four events scheduled, with more to be added.

Nov. 17, 6 p.m. – Toms River armory

If you would like your child to participate and receive a Hero Pack, contact Amanda Balas at 609-562-0742, 1-888-859-0352, or Permission slips for the event must be completed and sent to the office no later than two weeks prior to the event.

DoD, YMCA team up to offer free memberships

Stars and Stripes--The Department of Defense has announced free family memberships for many servicemembers and their families at participating YMCAs. The new program is effective immediately.

The free YMCA memberships for Guard and Reserve families will be available while the servicemember is deployed for a minimum of six months. The deploying servicemember will also be eligible for three months pre- and postdeployment membership to promote family participation, according to a Friday news release.

Active-duty families assigned to independent duty stations, such as recruiting and ROTC assignments and not currently receiving support from the service component will also be eligible for free memberships. Single servicemembers are eligible for fitness center memberships worth up to $50 a month.

Active-duty families at select bases will also be eligible as part of a pilot program. Memberships will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis with 300 to 450 family memberships available per joint base location, according to the news release. One of these bases is McGuire AFB/Ft. Dix/ Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Station, N.J.

Additionally, 32 hours a month of free respite child care will be available for families of deployed National Guard and Reserve and geographically dispersed active-duty servicemembers in 10 states with YMCA child care programs preapproved by DOD.

Signing up for the program requires a YMCA/DOD eligibility form, a copy of deployment orders and military ID. The YMCA/DOD eligibility form is available at

Picatinny “Waiting Family Support Group” open to new members

From the desk of Doris Clark, Picatinny Arsenal 

The Hearts Apart Support Group known as Waiting Family Support Group is sponsored by Picatinny Arsenal Army Community Service to help families cope with geographical separation due to deployment, accompanied tour or extended temporary duty.  The group meets monthly and provides emotional and moral support to its members in a friendly relaxed atmosphere.  This group is open to all branches of service.  Come join us for great information, laughs, tears and be a part of the Waiting Family.  The group meets monthly at 7 p.m. in the Community Center (building 3225) Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. 

Point of contact for this group is Doris Clark, Relocation/Deployment Readiness, 973-724-5219.  RSVP in case non-identification holders need permission to access Picatinny Arsenal.  Mark your calendars. Please join us for great evening each month. Call with any questions regarding the group.

The remaining schedule for 2008 is: Nov. 20 and Dec. 18. 

Give parents a break

Child Youth Services at Fort Dix and many other active duty posts provide 16 hours per child per month of free hourly/respite child care to relieve family stress during deployment.  Respite care begins 30 days prior to deployment and ends 60 days after return.  Drop off the kids while shopping at the commissary or PX or just to get some quiet time to yourself.  For additional information, contact Cathy Spiegal at Fort Dix Outreach Services 609-562-2242.

Dog Tags for Kids program

Dog Tags for Kids is a grassroots project which enables service members to send engraved dog tags to their children. The dog tags are provided free and are sent directly to the service members who personally send them to their children at home. The dog tags are engraved with "With Love From Dad/Mom" and include the branch of service, deployment location, and the year. To donate to the project or to request a dog tag for your children, please go to

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

FRG volunteers needed

Family Readiness Groups (FRG) play an important role during deployments.

Yet, in order to be successful, these groups rely on the support of volunteers.

FRGs are comprised of volunteers who donate their time to make sure our Soldier’s “Homefront Heroes” are supported through networking with other family members and mutually offering support to one another.

If you would like to be a volunteer or a participant please contact your local Family Assistance Center.  You can reach them by calling our toll free number 888-859-0352 and selecting the prompt of the Family Assistance Center near you.

Reserve Aid gives support to families of deployed service members

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

Reserve Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to providing financial support to the families of Reserve Service Members called to active duty in all five branches of the Armed Forces. Reserve Aid makes unrestricted, need based grants to military families who have a Reserve service member on full-time deployment to a combat zone or homeland security position. Their goal is to alleviate the emotional and financial burdens placed on the men and women called to serve our country by supporting their families at home.  For additional information and application procedures go to:

N.J. licenses, registration extended for deployed troops

New Jerseyans who are on active duty military, in the National Guard or the 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 for more information.

Financial counseling available for deployed service members

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

The Military Housing Assistance Fund (MHAF) helps military families to become homeowners by providing them with grants to assist them with purchasing a home. The Fund also provides financial counseling to members of the National Guard and Reserves, deployed and serving in combat zones overseas, which are having problems meeting their monthly obligations due to their deployment and activation. Learn more at The Fund is a project of the Financial Counselors of America (FCA), a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization founded in 1991 to help Americans manage their finances and get out of debt. Visit the FCA website at

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: promo/freebluestar.php.

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 Valerie Hart, Military Families Outreach Case Manager at or call 973-538-5260, extension 326.  You can also contact Tammy Rosenthal, Director of child and Adolescent Services at or 973-538-5260.  We are privileged to work with you who have given so much for your country!


Run with Dennis slated for Nov. 9

Come participate in the 3rd Annual Lt. Dennis W. Zilinksi II Memorial 3.5 mile run/2 mile walk on Nov. 9 at PNC Bank Arts Center, Exit 116, Garden State Parkway. The race starts at 10 a.m. with a ceremony and tribute to Lt. Zilinski, 8:50-9:30 a.m.

This event is in honor and memory of Army Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II who was killed in action in Iraq on Nov. 19, 2005. Lt. Zilinski graduated from Christian Brothers Academy in 2000 and the United States Military Academy at West Point in 2004.

You can register online at Registration is also available on the day of the race 7:45-8:45 a.m. There will be a post run reception hosted by Carrabbas of Middletown.

Sixers offering special on tickets for Veterans Day

Come watch the Philadelphia 76ers play the Utah Jazz on Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. in the Wachovia Center and enjoy the Sixers special Veterans Day offer.

The offer includes 50 percent off discounted tickets available to all service members, veterans, family and friends, special on-court recognition for any service member ordering 50 tickets or more and a Veterans Day theme throughout the night. 

Cost of the tickets ranges from $15 for mezzanine corner seats, $22.50 for mezzanine center and $27 for lower level end seats.

For more information contact Marie Durling at 609-562-0739 or

Travel Help, Ideas

Guard history lessons for family at Sea Girt museum

Looking for a local place to take the family for a history lesson?  Try the National Guard Museum of New Jersey in Sea Girt.

endless road.JPGThe museum had a recent face-lift and upgraded its exhibits which tell the story of the New Jersey Army and Air National Guards and the Naval Militia of New Jersey from the Revolutionary war to the Global War on Terrorism.

The four gallery rooms feature diaries, uniforms, vehicles, weapons and even a Civil War submarine built in 1865.

Open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday and the same hours on the first and second weekends of the month, admission to the museum is free of charge, but a donation is requested. Groups who would like to make arrangements for tours should call 732-974-5966.

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 for more information.

Scholarship, Education News

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.

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 feedback on their learning progress, test readiness and more.

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

Education news for NJARNG

Education Services Brochure Booklet (ESB2)

Access the New Jersey Army National Guard's ESB2 at  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 For Army National Guard Education Benefits, please use; 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 – – 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

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.  The next meeting will be on Nov. 7.

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.  Family 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

VSO starting outreach on Monmouth University campus

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Starting Sept. 16, DMAVA Veterans Service Officer Donald McNamara will be doing outreach work at Monmouth University on the third Tuesday of each month from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. He will be there to provide assistance to veterans and their families, helping them to apply for the benefits for which they are eligible to receive.

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  Visit the SBA New Jersey website at

VA Suicide Hotline

To ensure veterans with emotional crises have round-the-clock access to trained professionals, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a national suicide prevention hot line for veterans. VA's hot line will be staffed by mental health professionals in Canandaigua, N.Y. They will take toll-free calls from across the country and work closely with local VA mental health providers to help callers. The toll-free hot line number is 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255).

DoD develops compensation and benefits handbook

DoD announced today it has developed a comprehensive handbook describing compensation and other benefits service members and their families would be entitled to upon separation or retirement as a result of serious injury or illness. 

“The Compensation and Benefits Handbook is the one source of information that covers everything a seriously ill and injured service member will need during his or her recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration,” said Ronald A. Winter, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for manpower and reserve affairs.

The handbook was compiled in cooperation with the Departments of Veterans Affairs, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and the Social Security Administration. Additionally; there are references to assistance provided by other governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations.

“The handbook describes the disability eligibility process, various program qualifications, application procedures, and numerous resources with associated contact information,” said Sharon Gunselman, policy and resource analyst for the Department of Defense. 

Web sites and toll-free numbers are provided, and the electronic version includes hyperlinks. The electronic version of the handbook will be updated frequently and the hard copy of the compensation and benefits handbook will be updated annually.

The electronic version of the handbook can be found on the five Web sites listed below:

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 or contact at 732-499-7295 or at

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 or email

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:

December 4*

NJ Veterans Memorial Home at Vineland

January 6*, 7, 8

Moorestown Mall

February 3*, 4, 5

Paramus Park Mall

March 3*, 4, 5

Monmouth 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.

N.J. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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


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


For further information call 1-800-648-VETS or visit






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