New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights 10 April 2008

Volume 8, Number 15

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   

 

The ballot box is the surest arbiter of disputes among free men.  

- James Buchanan

A learned blockhead id a greater blockhead than an ignorant one.  

-Benjamin Franklin

We ought never to do wrong when people are looking.

- Mark Twain

What costs little is valued less.

- Miguel de Cervantes

Even wit is a burden when it talks too long.  

- Latin proverb

 


Download PDF Version of this week's highlights

 

Don’t forget the Pancake Breakfast

on Sunday, April 13 at the

Lawrenceville Armory, 7 a.m.-1 p.m.

Support the State Family Readiness

Council.

 

News For Your Views

“Super Wing” states Air Force inspection team

By Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, 177FW/PA

The 177th Fighter Wing received high numbers and accolades from the Air Combat Command Inspector General upon completion of the Unit Compliance Inspection on March 31.

With superlatives such as "Super, Outstanding, Best, Exemplary, Commendable, Model, Flawless, Enthusiastic, Superior, Phenomenal, Impressive, Superb and Noteworthy" being used to describe the programs, operations and Airmen of the 177th, there is little doubt that the Wing is well positioned for the upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI).

From their arrival on March 27 through the final briefing on March 31, 66 Inspection Team members probed and evaluated the 177th.  During that time, the Inspectors evaluated four areas of the wing's operations: Critical Compliance Objectives (CCOs), Core Compliance Items (CCIs), Special Interest Items (SIIs) and General Compliance Items (GCIs).

So what do all these acronyms mean and why are they important?

The first, and most critical, are Critical Compliance Objectives.  At the 177th there are 610, which is a fairly large number for a fighter wing.  These are items or areas where a unit failure to comply with established Air Force guidance could result in significant liabilities, loss of life or serious injury or significant mission impact.

The second group, Core Compliance Items, is items or areas that require special vigilance and are important to the overall performance of the unit, but are not deemed "Critical."  Non-compliance would result in some negative impact on mission performance or could result in injury or possible litigations.  Third are Special Interest Items.  These include Unit Air Expeditionary Force Management, Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, Records Management and Fuels Automated Data Collection.  The last group is the General Compliance Items.  These are items or areas deemed fundamental to successful overall performance of the unit, but non-compliance would result in minimal impact on mission accomplishment or would be unlikely to result in injury or possible litigation.

All these items and areas are graded as: Complies, Complies With Comments, or Does Not Comply.  The 177th Fighter Wing received a passing grade of 99 percent with 603 of the Critical Compliance Objectives receiving either Complies or Complies With Comments, while only seven or one percent, received Does Not Comply.  According to the inspectors, an average wing the size of the 177th usually has 10 to 20 Does Not Complies.

The Inspectors gave special notice to Life Support - "Flawless Life Support Task Evaluations...should have been filmed to give to other units."  Security Force Squadron: "Security Forces personnel and programs were superior across the board."  The Logistics Readiness Squadron personnel and management processes were seen as "commendable."  While "Civil Engineering functions were one of the best ANG units seen to date...real property management and Fire operations were phenomenal."  In addition, "Plans and Programs providing outstanding oversight and support to the Maintenance Group."  The "Intel Shop one of the best we've seen."  Communications Flight's "Computer hardware accountability and Information Assurance were superb."  And finally "Contracting operations were exemplary throughout.  Leadership was best seen to date."

So who were the individual winners - other than the Wing of course?

According to the Inspection Team, the 177th had high numbers in both Superior Performance Teams and Superior Performers.  The Team recognized the Anti-terrorism Office, Base Contracting, Base Network Control Center, Command Post, Emergency Management and Fire Department Confine Space as Superior Performance Teams.  Warren Grove Range was singled out as the "Best Range Team we've ever seen!" according to the Inspectors.

An unprecedented 42 Airmen were recognized as Superior Performers.  Five Airmen were each presented with Inspector General coins for their outstanding contributions during the UCI.

Great job people!

Use your mouse to find all sorts of things on DMAVA Web site

Have you taken the time to visit www.nj.gov./military lately?

You can find job announcements, publications, forms, information for families, information for veterans and information on both the New Jersey Army and Air Guard.

With a simple click of a mouse button, you can check out the most recent issues of DMAVA Highlights, Guardlife and Veterans Journal.  Past issues are also archived on the Web site.

With another click, you can find blank DMAVA forms, TAG memorandums and policy letters and a variety of publications.

Another click gets you to the area where you can discover information on our three Veterans homes, the Doyle cemetery, the three war memorials we oversee, Veterans Haven, the medals we present to New Jersey combat veterans and more.

Two more clicks let you see all the benefits of joining the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard.

Click! Click! Click! You can find the pages on Family Support; Youth ChalleNGe; job announcements for state, federal, active Guard and Reserve; apply for a N.J. National Guard fishing license; look up the location of your local Veterans Service Office and so much more.

Take the time to visit the Web site that takes you around the New Jersey National Guard and Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; you will discover an abundance of information and assistance.

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.

Group helps Guard, Reserve children with after-school activities

By Jamie Findlater, Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, April 7, 2008 – Deployments are tough on military families, especially on the children.

Children of deployed National Guardsmen and reservists often must deal not only with a parent’s absence, but also with the financial burden their family must bear when the deployed parents’ military pay is less than they earn in civilian life.

“Our Military Children” helps fund after-school activities for children of the National Guard and reserves when a parent is deployed, one of the organization’s founders said in an interview on the “ASY Live” program on BlogTalkRadio.com. “ASY” stands for America Supports You, a Defense Department program that connects citizens and companies with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.

“It is so important to keep these kids in a routine, to keep them involved in activities and on track,” said Gail Kruzel, executive director of Our Military Children. “Unfortunately, the challenges these families face are compounded by the fact that when a reservist is called up for active duty, many times his or her income can drop substantially. So, just when the children most need these extracurricular activities, the family can no longer afford them.”

Our Military Kids funds activities ranging from Tai Kwan Do to scholarships for tutoring for children in kindergarten through high school. "A lot of times, kids that are good students start falling behind in school," Kruzel said. "Tutoring grants help the kids get back on track. We fund a wide range of programs depending on the child’s interest…from modeling to drivers education."

Kruzel and her partner, Linda Davidson, founded the organization to do their part. Kruzel knows first-hand about the challenges of raising children in a single-parent home; her children were 12 and 14 when her husband, a diplomat, was killed on a peace mission to Bosnia.

For many military kids, Kruzel said, the ability to continue to pursue activities they love keeps them focused and helps them cope. One of the organization’s first grants went to a "daddy's girl" who was greatly distressed with her father's deployment and falling behind in school, she recalled.

"[Her father’s deployment] was really upsetting," Kruzel said, "but as soon as she got the extra help, …she got almost straight As the next year in second grade.”

Another child who had taken dance lessons for more than nine years was forced to drop out when the family’s finances suffered during her father’s deployment. "It was a part of who she was," Kruzel said, "and when we were able to get her dancing again, it helped her get through this difficult time."

Since its inception, Our Military Kids has given out nearly 3,000 grants, and it’s now a nationwide program. To date, the organization has honored all eligible requests, Kruzel said, and is celebrating the distribution of its millionth dollar.

Eligible families can apply online at www.ourmilitarykids.org, attaching a copy of the deployment orders, the child’s military ID, and information about the child’s desired activity. Upon submitting the application, families will hear back in a matter of days.

"We feel that kids need to know if they can be on the baseball team or participate in dance or gymnastics, so we have a very quick turnaround," Kruzel said.

"Military families make so many sacrifices, and we're helping to do our little part to minimize the sacrifices here at home," Kruzel said.

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.

A Web site is being created for registration and more information. 

VA announces SGLI, VGLI premium reductions

WASHINGTON (April 7, 2008) - Veterans and military personnel with life insurance policies managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will see a reduction in their premiums, thanks to improved investment earnings and a reduction in non-combat claims.

The premium cuts affect military personnel covered by Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and veterans covered by the Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI).

"The reduction in SGLI premiums makes life insurance even more affordable for today's men and women in uniform," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake.  "Lower VGLI premiums will allow more veterans to provide this low-cost financial security to their families."

On July 1, 2008, the premiums for basic SGLI will be 6.5 cents per month for $1,000 of coverage, down from 7 cents per month for $1,000.  This translates into a 7 percent savings. 

Servicemembers with the maximum $400,000 of coverage will see their monthly premium reduced from $28 to $26.  Servicemembers are also covered against severe traumatic injury for an additional dollar each month.

The reduction in SGLI premiums is made possible by lower, non-combat-related claims and increases in investment earnings.  VA officials believe this premium reduction will help maintain the nearly universal participation in the program.

VGLI provides renewable term policies for people after their discharges from the military.  Veterans pay premiums according to their age for this coverage.

On July 1, 2008, VGLI premium rates will be reduced for veterans aged 30 to 64, who make up 85 percent of those insured under the program. Premium rates for those under age 30 are already competitive.

Premium reductions, ranging from 4 percent to 12 percent, are a result of fewer claims being received.  The reductions will ensure that VGLI remains highly competitive with similar insurance offered by commercial insurers.

"With servicemembers putting their lives at risk against terrorism, life insurance coverage is more important than ever," added Peake.

Peake said the premium reductions should result in increased program participation and retention.  With increased enrollment, the department may be able to reduce rates in the future.

More than 2.4 million people currently participate in the VA-managed SGLI program, with another 433,000 in VGLI. 

To obtain more information about the SGLI and VGLI premium reductions or to view a table with the new VGLI rates, visit the VA insurance Web site at www.insurance.va.gov, or call the Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance at 1-800-419-1473.

 

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 he 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!

Museum gala set for May 17; military get reduced cost tickets

The Foundation for the National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey invites everyone to support the First Annual Gala which will benefit the museum and its mission.

The Lawrenceville Armory is the setting for the gala on May 17.  Tickets cost $75 per person.  Military personnel will pay $50 for their tickets. Tables of 10 cost $750 and include special recognition at the event.  RSVP for the event has been extended to April 15.

Other ways to support the gala include –

ý Become an advertiser or booster sponsor in the gala’s souvenir commemorative ad journal

ý Donate a gift or service that can be auctioned off during their Silent Auction or Live Auction during the event.

If you would like to purchase tickets, place an ad in the journal or have an item for the auctions, contact Bob Dennin at denninr@oponline.net or retired Col. Donald Kale at the Lawrenceville museum, 609-530-6802.

All proceeds from the event will directly benefit the museum. Your support of the event will help the museum to continue to tell the story of the military history in New Jersey, and the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard.

State Approving Agency chief to serve on VA Benefits Commission

 

Charles Rowe, Bureau Chief of the State Approving Agency in the Division of Veterans Services has been selected by Dr. James B. Peake, Secretary of Veterans Affairs to serve as a member of the Under Secretary for Benefits Commission of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Under Secretary for Benefits ensures the timely and quality delivery of benefits to veterans and other eligible persons including members of the National Guard.  The Under Secretary is directly responsible for payments in the compensation and pension, education, loan guaranty, vocational rehabilitation and employment, and insurance programs.

Rowe will be serving with nine other members of the veterans’ community ranging from the executive directors of the American Legion, the Paralyzed Veterans of America, as well as the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

For Your Calendar

Sell your stuff at yard sale at Woodstown armory

From the desk of Michele Daisey, Woodbury Family Assistance Center

The Woodstown Armory FRG (Delta Co., 1/114th IN) is hosting a Support Our Troops-Craft Sale/Yard Sale on Saturday, April 12, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The armory is located at 501 North Main St. Woodstown.  Large 10' x 20' spaces are available for $15 per space, bring your own table, or $25 for space and table. To reserve a space please call 856-718-0299 (ask for Peggy).

Get more info on the Yard/Craft Sale by calling the Woodbury Family Assistance Center at 856-251-6893. Thanks for your support!

Trees do more than you wood think!

Celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 19 at Laurel Pond, Fort Dix, from 9 am.-3 p.m.  Find out how, “Trees Do More Than You ‘Wood’ Think!” Pre-registration is required by April 15 for Fort Dix visitors. Call 609-562-5428 or e-mail Jennifer.l.tronco@us.army.mil.

Retirement reception for Brig. Gen. Frank Carlini, April 20

A retirement reception for Brig. Gen. Frank R. Carlini is being held on Sunday, April 20 at The Club at McGuire (former Enlisted Club), from 2-6 p.m.

Cost is $35 per person.  Uniform is Mess Dress/Dress Blues for Army, Service Dress for Air Force and Business Attire for civilians. 

RSVP by April 15 to Zandra Ramcharitar, 609-562-0959.

Hersheypark invites Guard to day at park April 20

Hersheypark is inviting the National Guard from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey to attend a semi-private day at Hersheypark on Sunday, April 20. Parking is free and the cost of admission is $21 for all ages (children 2 and under are free). Hersheypark will be closed to the general public on this day. 

To purchase your tickets you may:

ý Order from the e-ticketing link:

https://tickets.hersheypa.com/hersheypark/store.jsp?merchant=PANational#ceShop

User name is paguard and password is hersheybar 2008.

ý Or, you can call 1-800-242-4236 to place your order.

Purple Heart Memorial of Union County to be dedicated

The Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 28 of Union County is presenting a Purple Heart Memorial to be dedicated in the Township of Springfield on Saturday, May 3 at 1 p.m.  The Township will be hosting the dedication ceremony at Veterans Park located at the intersection of Mountain Avenue and Shunpike Road.  Refreshments will be served at the firehouse afterwards.  In case of rain, the ceremony will be in the municipal building courtroom.  All members of the public, especially present and former military personnel and recipients of the Purple Heart are welcome.  For additional information regarding the dedication ceremony, contact Springfield Committeeman Ziad Andrew Shehady at 862-206-2309.

Great Adventure’s Military Appreciation Day is May 17

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

Great Adventure Military Appreciation Day will be on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 17.  There will be meal vouchers for $9.50 each which can be used at six of the food vendors in the park.  Tickets will be available for Great Adventure on April 15 in the State Family Programs Office.  Tickets are good for the Theme Park and the Safari.  The price of each ticket is $20.

 

Raising funds for Fisher House

On Saturday, May 17, the Fort Monmouth Combined Professional Associations, which include Army Aviation Association of America (Quad A), Association of the United States Army (AUSA) and Signal Corps Regimental Association (SCRA), will be hosting the 4th Annual Support Our Heroes Military Ball in support of the Fisher House at Gibbs Hall, Fort Monmouth, N.J. The ball is free for military and costs $75 for non-military. The uniform for the event is the service equivalent for black-tie.

The Fisher House is a unique private-public partnership that supports America’s military in their time of need. The program recognizes the special sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and the hardships of military service by meeting a humanitarian need beyond that normally provided by DOD and the VA.

Because members of the military and their families are stationed worldwide and must often travel great distances for specialized medical care, Fisher House Foundation donates “comfort homes,” built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful time – during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.

For more information on sponsorships or for donations to the auction, contact Kit Roache at Kit.Roache@gdc4s.com, or Cheryl Davidson at cdavidso@harris.com. For registration information contact Diane Carnes at diane.carnes@tmsg.sytexinc.com.

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.

May 7: 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.

May 15: Preventing Identity Theft – A representative from the Department of Banking and Insurance will present a one hour overview on what you can do to prevent identity theft and what to do if you should become a victim of identity theft.

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.

Military Training, Schools, Opportunities

RTS-Maintenance offers training to Army Guard members

The Regional Training Site-Maintenance provides maintenance and logistics education under The Total Army School System. The RTSM is a subordinate unit to the 254th Regiment RTI. It utilizes automated and current force modernization equipment systems to support Active, Reserve and National Guard soldiers. As a fully accredited schoolhouse it offers military occupational skill classification, additional skill identifiers, sustainment and transition training.  Its charge is to provide instruction to non-commissioned officers under the non-commissioned officer education system.  The mission supports the enabling of Armed Forces Components to mobilize for wartime mission requirements. The overall unit mission helps to support the "Warrior" during the current operational environment and undertake critical missions to win the fight.

 

Schoolhouse:  Regional Training Site-Maintenance

Location of training: Building 3601, Technology Drive, Fort Dix, N.J.

School Code: 967

Unit Phone: 609-562-0566/0568

RTSM (NJ) Team Home Site:   https://www.us.army.mil/suite/page/468201   (Army Knowledge Online (AKO) password required)

 

v 091-ASIH8 (63B)  Wheeled - 2 weeks - 80 hour course:

The course helps students to safely and correctly use/operate wheeled vehicle recovery systems and equipment.  Instruction on specialized rigging and recovery wheeled vehicle techniques is given throughout the course.  Students conduct towing and winching of wheel vehicles to include self-recovery. A mini-field training exercise is part of the course.  Note: E5s and below receive an Additional Skill Identifier (ASI) of H8.  E6 and above receive a Certificate of Training and cannot be awarded the H8 ASI.  The student must possess a current Civilian and Military Driver's License.

 

v 131-F13 Small Group Instructor Course - 1 week - 40 hour course:

This course is for personnel assigned as instructors or to improve instructional techniques. The one week intense course focuses on learning the basic techniques of monitoring, questioning and facilitating small group discussions in a military setting.  Emphasis is placed on presenting issues and finding solutions using the small class setting.  The students will learn effective use of written, verbal and management techniques to improve public speaking and presentation skills.

254th Regiment announces upcoming courses

Here are the 254th Regiment courses that are on the calendar.  When using ATRRS, the school code is 1004.

Active Duty Training (ADT) Courses:

11B10 MOS-T Infantryman

May 3-17, 2008 - 34 openings

11B40 Infantryman ANCOC

June 7-21, 2008 - 31 openings

If you have any questions, contact Master Sgt. Gary Davidson, 732-974-5912 or gary.davidson@nj.ngb.army.mil.  

Honorable Mention

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

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 www.ourmilitarykids.org

 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

YMCA Burlington County offers drop off program April 27

The YMCA of Burlington County-Mount Laurel is offering “Celebrating Military Children,” on Sunday, April 27 at the YMCA located at 59 Centerton Road, Mount Laurel. 

There will be a free drop-off service for military children from 1-5 p.m. Operation Military Kids team members will supervise your child and one friend, ages 5 and older.  There will be lots of activities including, arts and crafts, climbing wall, swimming, photography, face painting, health food and drink, YMCA Values hoop shoot, free giveaways and more.

RSVP is a must, as there is a 75 youth maximum participation.  RSVP must be done by 2 p.m., April 22. For more information or to RSVP, contact Amanda Balas, Youth Coordinator, 609-562-0742 or Amanda.balas@us.army.mil.

Honoring Military Children

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

Honoring the military child during Month of the Military Child is Connect and Join and AC Moore Stores who will be offering free arts and crafts activities in their stores each Saturday in April from 1-3 p.m.

 

ý April 12 – Klutz Book/Red, White and Blue friendship bracelet demo

ý April 19 – America Supports You! sand art make and take

ý April 26 – Creative Hands foam make and take

For more information or to find the store nearest you, visit www.acmoore.com/default.aspx.

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

Saturday, April 19           Morristown                       10 a.m.

Sunday, May 4                Woodbury                        9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.

 

                                 two briefs in one day to cover all 1/114th families

 

Sunday, June 8              Bordentown                     2 p.m. (Tentative)

**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.

New Family Leave related to military service

On January 28, President George W. Bush signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008 (NDAA), Public Law 110-181.  Section 585(a) of the NDAA amended the FMLA to provide eligible employees working for covered employers two important new leave rights related to military service:

ý New Qualifying Reason for Leave. Eligible employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of leave because of “any qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that the spouse, son, daughter or parent of the employee is on active duty or has been notified of an impending call to active duty status, in support of a contingency operation. By the terms of the statute, this provision requires the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations defining “any qualifying exigency.” In the interim, employers are encouraged to provide this type of leave to qualifying employees.

ý  New Leave Entitlement. An eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of a covered servicemember who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty on active duty is entitled to up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12 month period to care for the servicemember. This provision became effective immediately upon enactment. This military caregiver leave is available during “a single 12-month period” during which an eligible employee is entitled to a combined total of 26 weeks of all types of FMLA.

Additional information on the amendments and a version of Title 1 of the FMLA with the new statutory language incorporated is available on the FMLA amendments Web site at

http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla/NDAA_fmla.htm.

4-H conference open to middle school students

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

The 2008 New Jersey 4-H Middle School Conference invites youths in grades 6-8 to a one-day leadership conference, “From Today to Tomorrow: Creating Great Leaders.”

Held on May 10, 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. at the Burlington County 4-H office, it gives participants a chance to make new friends and build leadership, goal setting, communication and public speaking skills. Portions of the program include possibilities to learn about community service, science and state and national opportunities.

For a registration form, call your county 4-H office or e-mail bovitz@njaes.rutgers.edu.

The Burlington County 4-H Office is located at 2 Academy Drive, Westhampton, N.J.

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, 30 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.

Packages of thanks for military kids

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

Celebrate Month of the Military Child in April.  Children of New Jersey Guard members can receive a Certificate of Appreciation along with some giveaways as a way of thanking them for being a military child.  Parents or guardians must send the request to Amanda Balas at Amanda.balas@us.army.mil or call 609-562-0742.  Include the following information: Parent or guardian’s name, military member’s unit, family e-mail address, children’s names and dates of birth and the children’s home address.  Packages will be mailed directly to the child.

Time is near to register for Purple Camps

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

Here is information for families who may be interested in signing their children up for a National Military Family Association (NMFA) Purple Camp this summer.  While actual enrollment for the camps will be March 24 - May 5, families can sign up now to receive e-alerts from NMFA regarding the camps and enrollment.  To sign up for the alerts, go to the NMFA Web site - http://www.nmfa.org – click on blue "Youth Initiatives" link on the left, next click on the red "Operation Purple link, " then sign up for alert (at bottom of page).

Strong Bonds program helps strengthen relationships

From the desk of Marie Durling, Family Programs Specialist

Soldiers or Airmen (Army and Air Guard) and their significant others are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming Strong Bonds.  Soldiers will attend in a paid SUTA status and all expenses are paid.  These seminars have been extremely successful and are designed to strengthen relationships. The cost of the hotel and meals and literature are paid for by NGB.

The seminars are not therapy sessions or encounter groups nor are they for sharing your personal concerns. The seminars are conducted by the state chaplains' office and begin with teaching effective communication skills, address problem resolution strategies that work and teach how to discover the hidden issues in every relationship.  The program then moves into friendship, forgiveness, fun and sensuality. 

If you are interested in attending or need additional information, please call Marie Durling at 609-562-0739 or e-mail marie.durling@nj.ngb.army.mil.

These seminars usually fill up fast, so if interested, please call as soon as possible. The next seminar will be May 2-4 at the Flanders Hotel in Ocean City, N.J. (This weekend is currently full.) I am also planning another Strong Bonds weekend May 30-June 1. This is for Soldiers and Airmen who have not attended a Marriage Enrichment Seminar in the past.

Time is here to apply for Youth Camp

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

This year's youth camp will be held from July 13-19 at the National Guard Training Center in Sea Girt, N.J. This year will mark our 14th year for the camp!! Some activities are archery, sports, beach and arts-n-crafts. For more information or to download an application, please visit http://www.state.nj.us/military/familysupport/programs.html. Read carefully as some of the applications have changed.

Spend a weekend with your family at Great Wolf Lodge

ARMS has arranged for another weekend at the Great Wolf Lodge in Pocono, Penn.
Date:  May 9-11

Cost:  $250 tax included Sat-Sun

          $500 tax included-Fri-Sun

Includes lodging for up to six people, 2/3 days admission to the indoor water park (open 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m.), free parking.  Rooms sleep six and have a mini refrigerator and microwave (Family Suite).  Meals are not included.

For more info call 732-890-4914 or email usslibertyhouse@comcast.com.

Happenings from the Teaneck FRG

From the desk of Janis M. Shaw, Family Assistance Specialist

The Teaneck Family Readiness Group has the following events for you to add to your calendar:

Saturday, April 12, noon-2 p.m., Bully Program, Part 2. For more information contact Master Sgt. Minnie E. Hiller-Cousins, 201-833-0632

Teaneck Family Readiness Group meeting dates are:

April 17                           7 p.m.

May 15                            7 p.m.

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

A $200,000 grant from the Department of Community Affairs is 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

Play ball – Veterans Appreciation Day with the Trenton Thunder

It’s Veterans Appreciation Day at the Waterfront Park on Thursday, April 24 at 7 p.m.  Cheer on the Trenton Thunder as they play the New Britain Rockcats, and enjoy the post-game fireworks. A portion of the ticket sales will support the troops serving in the Global War on Terrorism and their families. Tickets cost $10 per person.

For more information and to purchase tickets, call Col. Norman Matthews at 609-838-0354 or John Tymash at 609-499-3339.

Come watch baseball at its best.

Family sports challenge at Picatinny April 12

Picatinny Arsenal Youth Services invites one and all to the Family Sports Challenge on Saturday, April 12, from 1-3 p.m. at the Forge Fitness Gym.  Join in scooter hockey and dodge ball competition.

Participants must be at least nine years old.  Call the Teen Center at 973-724-7183 by April 5 to be placed on a team.

After the games, a pizza party will be held at the Teen Center for all participants, 3-4 p.m.

Bring the whole family for an afternoon of fun and games.

Jewish War Vets taking Guard members, family to baseball game

From the desk of Marie Durling, Family Programs Specialist

The Jewish War Veterans of New Jersey would like to sponsor Soldiers/Airmen and their family members (total of 50 – first come, first served) for a baseball game at Newark's Riverfront Stadium on Sunday, May 25 at 1:35 p.m.

Included in the “price” is a hot dog, drink and chips.  If you would like to attend, please send the following information:  Soldier/Airmen's name, your address, phone number and number of tickets you need (please limit this to your significant other and children only).  The Jewish War Veterans have been extremely generous to N.J. National Guardsmen and their families by sponsoring these events so if you request tickets, please make every effort to attend.

Send requested information to:

JWV

NJ Dept Commander Sidney Lichter

96 Franklin St

Verona NJ 07044-1923.

114th Regimental Association golf outing May 12

From the desk of Michele Daisey, Woodbury Family Assistance Center

The Regimental Assoc. would like to invite all to join them for an awards luncheon and golf outing to benefit the Woodbury Family Readiness Group.

The 1st Annual 114th Regimental Association Golf Outing will be held May 12, at the Pitman Golf Course, 501 Pitman Road, Sewell, NJ. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m., shotgun start at 9 a.m. with an 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, Regimental Association Rep., 856-779-0610, exarmy@earth link.com; Robert Nordaby, Regimental Assoc. Rep., 856-981-8338, RNordaby@ verizon.net; or Karen Russell, FRG Fundraiser Rep., 856-430-0852, KGabby@ hotmail.com.

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.

Travel Help, Ideas

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

Quad A Scholarships Available

Scholarships from the Monmouth Chapter of the Army Aviation Association of America are available. The scholarships are available for military members of Quad A and their spouses, siblings, and children. (AAAA membership must have been activated on or before May 1, 2007).

For more information contact the AAAA Scholarship Foundation, Inc. at 755 Main Street, Suite 4D, Monroe, CT 064682830, or (203) 2682450, or aaaa@quada.org, or www.quad-a.org.

The application deadline is May 1, 2008.

Enlisted Association announces scholarships

The Enlisted Association of the National Guard of New Jersey announces it is sponsoring five scholarships of $1,000 each for children of members of the Association and drilling members of the New Jersey National Guard (Army or Air) who are also members of the Association.  Additionally, a $500 USAA scholarship will be given for any Army or Air Drilling Guardsman.  Applications for scholarships may be found on the Association’s Web site at www.eang-nj.org. Applications must be postmarked by May 15, 2008 and mailed to:

           Enlisted Association of the National Guard of New Jersey

              ATTN:  Scholarship Committee

              3650 Saylors Pond Road

              Fort Dix, NJ 08640-7600

Prior recipients are not eligible to apply.

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: 

May 6*, 7, 8

Ocean County Mall

July 8, 9, 10

Cherry Hill Mall

July 18*

Traveling Wall, Wildwood

August 5*, 6, 7

Willowbrook 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 5-6, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. – Elks State Convention

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

N.J. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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

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

Apr. 12, 1 p.m. – We Were There: Voices of African American Veterans, from World War II to the War in Iraq, a book discussion by the author, Yvonne Latty.

May 7, 11 a.m. – New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Remembrance Day Ceremony at the Memorial.  There will be a state medal ceremony.

May 17, 1 p.m. – On the Road to Recovery, an oral-history discussion by NJ Vietnam-Era veteran Bishop Fred Rubin about his service tending wounded G.I.s in the Army hospital in Hawaii during the Vietnam War.

May 26, 11 a.m. – Memorial Day Ceremony at the N.J. Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.

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