New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights 24 July 2008

Volume 8, Number 30

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   

Tell the truth, work hard and come to dinner on time.

- Gerald Ford

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.

- Benjamin Franklin

Some people pay a compliment as if they expected a receipt.

- Kin Hubbard

No furniture is so charming as books.

-  Sydney Smith

In doing what we ought we deserve no praise.

-  Latin proverb

 


Download PDF Version of this week's highlights

 

 

News For Your Views

 

21st Civil Support Team, OH-58s support terrorist exercise

The New Jersey National Guard’s 21st Civil Support Team (CST) rolled in with six vehicles, two trailers and 19 personnel.  Overhead, an OH-58A Kiowa from Company A, 1/224th Security and Support Battalion provided a video downlink.  Together, these elements of the Jersey Guard joined local, county, state and federal responders in a Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) exercise organized by the Essex County Office of Emergency Management.  The scenario tested the ability to respond to a chemical agent attack and was held at the Codey Arena in West Orange.  According to CST Commander Lt. Col. Jesse Arnstein, the team’s “main role is to work with the other hazardous materials teams to identify the agent, advise civilian agencies and mitigate the agent.”  Chief Warrant Officer Two Stephen Lampe and Capt. Michael LaPoint flew their Kiowa above the fray and relayed real-time images of the scene to responders and officials on the ground.

Jersey Guard member loses home to fire, needs our help

The Deptford, N.J., home of Maj. Dominic Genovese, accidently burned down on Saturday, July 19. The fire has taken away all of his family’s personal belongs and nothing can be recovered. Maj. Genovese is a member of the Medical Detachment, 2nd Battalion, 254th Regiment, Sea Girt, and a retired New York City fireman.

Maj. Genovese and his wife have daughters, ages 7 and 5. This event has deeply affected his family.

The family is in need of clothing, food, money, gift cards, etc.  If you can help the family in any way, contact Maria D. Morro, Toms River NJARNG Family Assistance Coordinator, office 732-341-9102, extension 13 or cell 609-312-9493.

Chance for Soldier to sing in Soldier Show at Picatinny

Are you the next American Idol? Idol Soldier? Let’s just ask: Can you sing?

There is a brand spanking new twist to this year’s Army Soldier Show which is returning to the stage at Picatinny Arsenal on Oct. 10.  It’s the opportunity for local Military Talent to be IN THE SHOW.

To recognize and celebrate the last 25 years of the U.S. Army Soldier Show, an opportunity is being offered to identify a local Soldier-singer to join the cast of the 2008 Soldier Show on stage during the finale number in the production.

Picatinny wishes to identify an active duty Soldier, National Guard or Army Reserve to perform on stage. The selected Soldier should be equivalent to that expected of performers in The Soldier Show. The Soldier will be performing a solo of the second verse of the song, “Go the Distance,” by Michael Bolton, and then continue to perform with the entire cast for the rest of the finale song. Sheet music is available for review. An MP3 version of the song with and without lyrics is available by going to AED website www.armyentertainment.net  and clicking on U.S. Army Soldier Show.  The key of the song (D) will not change. The Soldier must be prepared to sing the song in that key. This is a singular opportunity for the hosting installations to recognize local Soldier talent and participate in a unique way with the 2008 25th Anniversary Tour of The US Army Soldier Show.

If you think your singing talent is up to the standards, drop an e-mail to Linda Huff-Franey who will be overseeing the selection at Linda.hufffraney@us.army.mil.

Auditions would be held in September.  This is open to Soldiers only, no members of other services or family members.

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: www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/mbosregister.htm 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.

MyArmyBenefits Website – the single source for all Army Benefits

MyArmyBenefits at http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil 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.

Army Information Line: 1-800-833-6622

The Army Information Line (1-800-833-6622) is designed to help all Soldiers and their Family members whether they are deployed; stationed stateside or overseas; are brand new to the Army; or are 30 year veterans.

In addition to The Army Information Line, Army Well-Being's Army Families Online Web site www.ArmyFamiliesOnline.org recently welcomed its 2-millionth visitor this year.

The Army Information Line also celebrates its 25-year existence of providing information and referral services to those Soldiers and Family members.

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.

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

For Your Calendar

 

FRG training for leaders, volunteers in September

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

HRD presents seminars for training

From the desk of Paul Serdiuk, DMAVA Human Resources Division

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

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.

Retirements, Reunions

Join in to honor Col. Caruso in his retirement

Come out to the retirement dinner for Col. Frank S. Caruso honoring his 40 years of service on Sept. 7. The dinner will be held at Charley’s Other Brother, 1383 Monmouth Road, Eastampton, with cocktail hour beginning at 5 p.m. and dinner starting at 6 p.m.  Cost is $40 per person and the menu is Italian buffet.  Dress is business casual.  If interested, please contact Marie Durling at 609-562-0739 to make reservations.

117th Cav holding Biennial reunion Oct. 18

The 117th Cavalry Association will be holding their 2008 Biennial Reunion on Oct. 18 at Gibbs Hall, Fort Monmouth, where they will honor those who have served and those who continue to serve.

The cocktail hour will be from 6-7 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. Cost will be $50 per person if the reservation is received before Aug. 15; $55 per person thereafter. Meal choices will be chicken francaise, prime rib or stuffed flounder.

There will also be a member appreciation get-together on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Westfield Armory Heritage Room; spouses and guests are welcome.

Send money and reservations to Col. (ret.) Dennis J. Dougherty, 615 Raymond St., Westfield NJ 07090 by Sept. 15.

 

Trumpeteer2.wmfSay Again?

 

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.

NJNG retiree “information” e-mail on its way

About three years ago, retired Col. Carmen Venticinque, who is a New Jersey Army National Guard retiree, sent out an e-mail to about 50 retirees of both the Army and Air National Guard asking if they would be interested in receiving an e-mail on information of interest to NJNG retirees. Within a few weeks he received over 100 additional names and e-mail addresses. There are now close to 300 retiree e-mail addresses. All names will be sent the first e-mail, however, those wishing to opt out after receipt of the first group email can do so simply by notifying Col. Venticinque. The overwhelming response and positive comments received from retirees ranging from General Officers to Senior Enlisted personnel is solid evidence of their interest in not only their fellow retirees, but what is currently happening in our New Jersey National Guard.

Col. Venticinque can be reached at colcav25@verizon.net.  To protect the privacy and integrity of the list, addresses will be listed as “undisclosed recipient” or placed on the “Bcc” line.

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 http://eknowledge.com/military or visit the Department of Defense http://militaryhomefront.dod.mil Web site for more details. Copies can also be requested by calling 951-256-4076 or via e-mail at support@eknowledge.com.

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: www.reserveaid.org

New Jersey Bar Association offers pro bono military legal assistance

The New Jersey Bar Association established and administers the Military Legal Assistance Program. This pro bono program provides assistance to New Jersey residents who have served in Iraq or Afghanistan as active duty members of reserve components of the armed forces after Sept. 11, 2001.

Individuals who have been adversely affected upon their return from deployment and cannot be represented by military lawyers can use this program. The program currently offers assistance to the following areas: family law, employment law, veterans’ benefits and debtor-creditor law.

The Military Legal Assistance program will refer members of the military who contact the state bar association to volunteers qualified to assist them with their specific legal issues.  Volunteers who accept a case through the program must agree to handle such case from inception to resolution without compensation or reimbursement for expenses.

If interested in the program, call toll free 1-888-541-1900 for referral or visit the New Jersey State Bar Association web site at www.njsba.com and click on the button for the Military Legal Assistance program.

253rd Transportation Co. honored in museum exhibit

The National Guard Militia Museum of New Jersey has created a special exhibit to commemorate the five-year anniversary of the first N.J. Army National Guard unit to be deployed to a combat theater of operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom – the 253rd Transportation Company of Cape May Courthouse.

The exhibit traces the 253rd from the time they were called up in February 2003 to their arrival in Kuwait on April 2003 to their service in Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division, the 10th Mountain Division and the Special Forces Group to their safe return to Cape May Courthouse in April 2004.

The museum is located on the campus of National Guard Training Center, Sea Girt and is open Tuesdays through Thursdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free, although donations are appreciated. Access to the Training Center requires a photo ID for adults. For further information contact the museum at 732-974-5966.

Absentee voting open to military, family

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

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

•      Their family members, and

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

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

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

1. http://www.fvap.gov/resources/media/fpca.pdf

2. http://www.fvap.gov/resources/media/vagNJ.pdf

Help for small business owners

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

No handbooks available for NJDIRECT

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

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

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

State employees who move, marry must contact HR department

From the desk of Lisa Dandrea, Human Resources Office

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

Battlemind supports Soldiers, families through deployment cycle

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

 

Reduced rates on NJ Transit for military, dependents

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

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

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

N.J. 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 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.

family on the porch.JPGFor the Families

 

Healthy Families resource packet available

Order your free copies of Promoting Healthy Families in Your Community: 2008 Resource Packet today. Developed for service providers, the packet highlights strategies to strengthen families by promoting key protective factors that prevent child abuse and neglect. It also includes tip sheets in both English and Spanish to share with parents.

The Resource Packet is produced annually by the Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Welfare Information Gateway, and the FRIENDS National Resource Center on Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention. The 2008 packet was developed with input from more than 30 national organizations that work to promote healthy families.

The packet and corresponding poster can be downloaded or ordered at www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/res_packet_2008. Or contact Child Welfare Information Gateway at 1.800.394.3366 or info@childwelfare.gov.

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.

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.

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 http://www.militaryhousingassistancefund.org. 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 http://www.financialcounselors.org

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

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

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

Families urged to be aware of Casualty Phishing Scam

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

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

No-cost prescription savings plan available

From the desk of Marie Durling, Family Programs Specialist

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

Camp Noble Cause serving children, spouses of deployed Guard members

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

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

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

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

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

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

Morris County offers program for military families

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:

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

Federal grant for spouses of deployed military

Grants from a funding from the Department of Community Affairs are available for spouses of deployed or recently deployed military (all branches across the state). Typical awards are $2,500 each and are available for financial difficulties (such as past due rent and childcare) as well as for recreational and stress relieving activities for kids. For more information contact Rene Mainor, Military Grant Liaison, Women's Opportunity Center, YMCA of Burlington County by calling 609-543-6200 Ext. 235 or by email at fawnm@ymca-bc.org.

golf.WMFSports

Rolling Thunder sponsoring Poker Run to benefit scholarship fund

Come join the 3rd Annual Ryan T. Baker / Philip Spakosky Memorial Poker Run, sponsored by: Rolling Thunder ® Inc., Chapter 2 N.J., on August 24. Start site is The Pub, Country Lakes Shopping Center, 558 Lakehurst Road, Browns Mills and the end point is the American Legion, Pemberton-Juliustown Road, Pemberton.

Registration time is 9-11 a.m. and the donations will be $10 for each rider and $5 for each passenger.

Proceeds Benefit the Fallen Hero Scholarships and New Jersey Fallen Hero’s Scholarship Fund.  The event will take place rain or shine.  There will be door prizes, live music, food (pigs on wheels), RTNJ2 product sales, vendors and face painting.

For more information, call 609-971-3544 or visit www.rollingthunder-nj2.org or rollingthunderchapter2nj@yahoo.com.

Hunterdon County Vets Alliance celebrates special day with ball game

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

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

Trenton Thunder offers reduced tickets to military personnel, vets

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

A regular $10 ticket has been reduced to $7 for veterans and their family members.

Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard, separated, and retired veterans are eligible for this program.  Interested veterans must have a picture I.D. and provide proof of their veteran status by showing one of the following documents:

&  Military I.D. card.

&  Federal Department of Veteran Affairs medical I.D. card

&  DD Form 214

Travel Help, Ideas

 

Free tickets to Busch Adventure Parks for military, families

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

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

Armed Forces Vacation Club offers affordable lodging

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

Shades of Green offers Disney for military

Now that the summer is just around the corner, thoughts of how to spend your next vacation week are probably starting 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

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 holding conference Sept. 26-28

It’s time for the 2008 Enlisted Association of the National Guard of New Jersey Conference, being held in Atlantic City at the Sheraton Hotel on Sept. 26-28. Come see your friends and have fun. The options are unlimited. Come Friday and do your own thing or join the Junior Enlisted sponsoring a hospitality room featuring a “Taste of Atlantic City,” with food to match. Saturday, our business meeting is from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. The Military Ball cocktail hour is 6-7 p.m. and then it’s dinner and awards. Have your picture taken by our photographer or visit our Chinese auction. Following the Military Ball, the Junior Enlisted will entertain everyone with “Boogie Nights” in the hospitality room.

To see all that Atlantic City has to offer, visit www.starwoodmeeting.com/book/EANGNJ.

Visit our Web site EANG-NJ.org for the application and to discover more about the conference. For more information, contact Jerome Zebrowski, 609-214-6959, jcptfalc@aol.com, or Edward Goetschius, 609-965-1972, esgtmaj@comcast.net.

117th Cav Association announces meeting schedule

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

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.  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.

army tent cartoon-vet beneies.wmfVeterans Information

Vet Career Connect helps military members find jobs

Vet Career Connect is a program designed to connect military service members with New Jersey employers. Vet Career Connect matches veteran’s specific abilities, drives and interests with jobs requiring those specific abilities.

Participants complete a Caliper Profile, which is an on-line self assessment. They will receive an Individual Developmental Guide outlining personal motivators and areas of developmental opportunity. Participants will then have the opportunity to place the results of the Caliper Profile, their resume and military achievements onto a database which will be viewed by New Jersey-based companies who have indicated a strong interest in employing veterans.  

Vet Career Connect program is available at no cost to service members. In order to participate in this program, or if you have additional questions please email or call Barbara Foos, Project Administrator, at 609-524-1228 or bfoos@calipercorp.com

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).

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:

 

August 5*, 6, 7

Willowbrook Mall

September 2*, 3, 4

Bridgewater Commons Mall

October 14*, 15, 16

Menlo Park Mall

November 5*, 6, 7

Deptford Mall

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

Helmets to Hardhats

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

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

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

N.J. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

   
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