New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights 26 October 2007

Volume 6, Number 43


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)



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



New Jersey Freedom Loans

What is a Freedom Loan?
* Up to $10,000
* Annual APR 6%
* Term: 5 years (no pre-payment penalty)
* Unsecured Loan (no collateral required)

Who is eligible to apply?
NJ residents who are:
* Members of the National Guard or Reserve
* Mobilized for one year or longer to fight in the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) - excluding routine training.

Or

* Served 90 or more consecutive days in the GWOT on federal or state active duty (excluding routing training) and have received orders extending cumulative active duty a year or longer.

How do I apply?
* Contact participating banks. Call or visit your local branch office to obtain an application.
* Guardmembers, Reservists, or family members with Power of Attorney must submit copies of current mobilization orders with the bank's Freedom Loan application.

Current participants:
Commerce Bank
1-888-751-9000

Credit Union of NJ
609-538-4061, ext. 401

First Morris Bank & Trust
1-888-530-2265

Manasquan Savings Bank
732-223-4450

North Jersey Federal Credit Union
1-888-78NJFCU

Peapack-Gladstone Bank (908)
719-BANK

Pennsville National Bank
856-678-6006

PNC
1-866-PNC-4USA

Sovereign Bank
1-877-391-6365

Sun National Bank
1-800-691-7701


Quote for the Week

Necessity never made a good bargain.

- Benjamin Franklin

Man is what he believes.

- Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

He who reflects too much will accomplish little

- Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

A wise man knows everything; a shrewd one, everybody.

- Anonymous


Download PDF Version of this week's highlights

News For Your Views

108th Civil Engineers train during October drill

During the October drill weekend, the 108th Civil Engineer Squadron spent both days training at the Joint Training and Training Development Center at Fort Dix and Saturday evening sleeping in the great outdoors.

Bivouac training is required every 40 months for the CE Airmen and this cycle's training was held at home station. The squadron members pitched tents on the grassy area around their buildings, giving them training in tent erection and tear down as well as a sleeping area for the night.

To give the Airmen the required combat skills training, 108th CES bussed them to the JT2DC where they worked on the various skills they can use during their real-life missions. The Airmen used the convoy training trailer, worked with two New Jersey Army Guardsmen on the VICE (Virtual Interactive Combat Environment) system and made use of the urban, dessert and wooded training areas in the building.

Enthusiasm and smiles were in full force of the squadron members going through the JT2DC. The sentiment expressed by the Airman who said, "good stuff, definitely fun," was echoed by many.

First annual Jack Green Memorial Run held at 177th

More than 200 runners participated in the 1st Annual Jack Green Memorial Run at the 177th Fighter Wing this past Sunday. The crowded pack of individuals at the starting line gradually thinned out to a steady stream of sprinters, runners, joggers and walkers. Lori Green brought her son Jake to witness the race, and offer deeply felt words to all gathered there.

Coming in first place in the 5k run was Liam Dingman, son of Avionics member Tech. Sgt. William Dingman. Taking first place in the women's category was the Wing Executive Officer, Capt. Yvonne Mays. Col. Randall King, 177th commander, was pacing himself somewhere in the middle of the pack."as a safety observer" or so he claimed. An avid runner himself, Col. King did emphasize safety to all participants and stressed the fun aspect of the event as well as the good cause for which it was being held.

Money raised by the run will benefit an educational fund for Jake Green, as well as being held in a trust to be used during future emergencies that might impact unit members and their families.

CFC kicks off start to 2007 campaign

The New Jersey National Guard Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) has officially kicked off its 2007 campaign which will run until the last week of November 2007. This year's theme is "Help Our World Forward."

The CFC provides each federal employee with an annual opportunity to voluntarily help others and ourselves by donating to the community, national and international level human, health and environmental organizations. With more than 3,000 human and health service organizations listed in the CFC catalog, there is certainly at least one cause deserving consideration for your personal contribution.

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

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

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

State employees asked to contribute to charitable campaign

The New Jersey State Employees Charitable Campaign has officially kicked off its 2007/2008 Campaign which will run until Nov. 27, 2007.

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

Over the years, DMAVA has been most successful in this endeavor because of the employee's personal generosity and concern. We urge everyone to support this worthy cause. Code books and payroll deduction forms will be going out to all full-time state employees.

This year's ECC Coordinator for the campaign is Paul Serdiuk, DMAVA-HRD office. For more information, please contact him at 609-530-6878. Information can also be accessed online at www.njsecc.org.

Islanders holding Military Appreciation Night

The New York Islanders ice hockey team is having a Military Appreciation Night on Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. when the Islanders play the New Jersey Devils.

Military personnel can receive up to 40 percent off tickets, with prices starting at just $16.

For information on group tickets to this game, call 1-800-882-ISLES, extension 3 or e-mail groupsales@newyorkislanders.com. You can also show your military ID at the Nassau Coliseum box office. Go to www.newyorkislanders.com for more information.

Photography contest for military youths

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

Operation Military Kids project in New Jersey is sponsoring a photo contest. The theme is "Families in the Military." Any youth of a military family in any branch of the service, including active duty, National Guard and Reserves is eligible to enter.

The age categories for entries are grades 2-5, grades 6-8 and grades 9-12. Photos can be black and white or color and can be in digital or 35mm format.

Photos must be taken by the youth and should capture a unique moment or setting their family life or in their community that means something special to them. Theywill be judge on originality and creativity. First and second places will be awarded in each age category.

Contact Amanda Balas, N.J. National Guard State Youth Coordinator, for entry forms and more information at 609-562-0742 or Amanda.balas@us.army.mil. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 14, 2008.

Visit West Point, take in the Ike Hall theater

Are you looking for a different place to visit to find history, food and performances of a good variety? Think about visiting the United States Military Academy.

While there you can tour the historic grounds, find lodging and meals, go to the visitor center where you can purchase something to remember your visit and then enjoy live entertainment at the second-largest theater in New York - the Eisenhower Hall theatre.

The list of upcoming entertainment includes stage productions of musicals and plays, ballet, and music - orchestra, jazz and individual performers. Three performances in September included acrobats, opera and a comedian.

Individual ticket prices range from approximately $25-50 for most performances.

The post is open to civilians; everyone 16 and older must present photo ID.

Find out more information about Eisenhower Hall at http://www.ikehall.com/. To find out more about the United States Military Academy, visit http://www.usma.edu/.

Halloween safety tips

From the desk of Sgt. Maj. Nick Kampf, Safety and Occupational Health, NJARNG and the National Safety Council

Halloween is a cherished tradition but the excitement of the night can cause children to forget to be careful. There is no real "trick" to making Halloween a real treat for the entire family. The major dangers are not from witches or spirits but rather from falls and pedestrian/car crashes. Here are some tips to keep the fun in Halloween.

Motorists:

v    Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.

v    Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.

v    As the day darkens, watch for children in dark clothing.

Parents:

v    Make sure an adult or older responsible youth is accompanying children under the age of 12.

v    Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and along an established route.

v    Teach children to stop only at houses that are well-lit and never enter a stranger's home.

v    Tell children not to eat any treats until they return home.

Costume design:

v    Costumes should be loose so warm clothing can be worn underneath.

v    Costumes should not be so long they are a tripping hazard.

v    Strips of reflective tape should be used to make children visible.

Masks:

v    Masks can obstruct a child's vision, Use facial make-up instead.

v    If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth openings and large eye holes.

Accessories:

v    Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from cardboard or flexible materials.

v    Carrying flashlights will help children see better and be seen more clearly.

On the way:

v    Children should walk, not run from house to house. Do not cross yards and lawns where unseen objects or uneven terrain can present tripping hazards.

Middle School invites military, veterans to "South Pacific"

From the desk of Ronald Slate, Supervisor of Visual, Performing and Practical Arts, Springfield Public Schools

Springfield, NJ - Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School would like to extend an invitation to all of our service men and women to our performance of Rogers and Hammerstein's South Pacific on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. The performance will take place at Jonathan Dayton High School's Halsey Hall Auditorium, 139 Mountain Avenue, Springfield, NJ 07081.

The school plans to honor our local service organizations such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Jewish War Veterans, and the Vietnam Veterans Association along with active members of our armed forces at this performance and would like to have you join this celebration.

The school has been working on character education and our students have been researching our service people and the sacrifices they have endured to ensure our nation's freedoms. The students are also working with Operation Shoebox, an organization that takes supplies, items and letters from home and delivers them to our troops overseas.

Students and faculty are sure this will be a special evening for our students, veterans and community.

Forum for educators held at NJVVMF

By Sibley Smith, Director of Education, Vietnam Era Educational Center

On Oct. 19, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation with assistance from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs held its annual, all-day, multi-speaker, Interdisciplinary Forum on the Vietnam Era at the Vietnam Era Educational Center and the nearby Robert B. Meyner Reception Center in Holmdel.

More than 75 registrants attended the educational program which was orchestrated to best meet the needs of the Forum's largest audience, New Jersey public school teachers. The NJVVMF is certified by the State Board of Education to be a provider of Professional Development credits which are required of N.J. public school teachers to obtain their recertification. Registrants who attended all of the forum's offerings received a certificate for five hours worth of credits.

The theme for this year's Forum was "Weighing In on War: Public Opinion and Its Influences, Vietnam to Iraq." Keynote speaker was Vietnam Veteran Bobby Muller, founder of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and founder and chairman of the board of Veterans for America (VFA).

During the day, Forum registrants attended five panel-discussion workshop sessions which focused on influences on public opinion regarding war.  These sessions were "Government/Military," "News Media," and "Popular Culture," "Veterans' Voice," and "Family and Friends."

The many guest speakers, discussion moderators, tour guide volunteer staff and volunteers who worked as chauffeurs and other jobs came from all walks of life - veterans, educators, military, writers, editors, historians, veteran's spouses, Blue and Gold Star mothers and many more.

The New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial and the Vietnam Era Educational Center are located on the grounds of the PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, Monmouth County. The Memorial and the Educational Center are maintained through a partnership between the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation and the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

Veterans Day Activities

 

 

Ceremony at Doyle cemetery, Nov. 11

In concert with the Veterans' Cemetery Advisory Council, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs will host a Veteran's Day Ceremony beginning at 11 a.m., Nov. 11, at the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 35 Provinceline Road, Wrightstown. The public is invited to attend.

Blue Star markers set for re-dedication Nov. 11 and 12

The Blue Star Memorial Highway program began in New Jersey on Route 22 (then Route 29) in 1944 to honor the servicemen and women who had served in the military during World War II. This program started with the planting of 8,000 dogwood trees by the New Jersey Council of Garden Clubs. The program has since grown to highways and byways across the United States and to honor "all who have served, are serving or will serve in the nation's armed forces."

Individual garden clubs throughout the nation coordinate with their state's Department of Transportation on the projects. Signs with the Blue Star and landscaping surrounding it mark thousands of miles of highway in the continental U.S.

Nov. 11, 2 p.m. - the marker in Bay Head, on Lake Ave (take Bridge Ave. west from Route 35); ceremony sponsored by the Seaweeders Garden Club.

Two New Jersey clubs are having re-dedication ceremonies of their sites during the Veterans Day weekend.

Nov. 12, 11 a.m. - the marker on Route 22, west bound side near the Cushetunk rest area and the Ryland Inn; ceremony sponsored by the Huntingdon Garden Club.

Run supports fallen Soldier's memorial

The 2nd Annual Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial 3.5 mile run and two mile walk will be held on Nov. 11 - rain or shine - at PNC Bank Arts Center, located at exit 116 on the Garden State Parkway. The run/walk begins at 10 a.m.

Lt. Zilinski grew up in Middletown, N.J. and graduated from Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft.  He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and in 2004.  He completed Airborne School while a student at West Point. He completed Ranger School and was then assigned to the 1/187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault).  He deployed with the 101st Airborne Division on Sept. 17, 2005.  Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II died in Iraq on Nov. 19, 2005 as a result of a roadside bombing.

The LT Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial Fund was created in his honor. The Fund has supported programs such as Underwater Warriors Foundation, Inc; Operation Support Our Troops - Wheels for Warriors; Fisher House and Warrior and Family Support Center.

Same day registration begins at 7:45 a.m. There will be a ceremony and tribute to Lt. Zilinski from 8:50-9:30 a.m. and late registration after the ceremony until 9:45 a.m. A post-run reception will be hosted by Carabba's of Middletown. Award will be given to the top three male and female finishers.

Runners can register early through the web site at http://www.runwithdennis.org/ index.html. Cost is $25 for adults who register before Oct. 31 and $15 for runners age 18 and under. T-shirts are only guaranteed to those who register before Oct. 31. For those who register after Oct. 31, the cost is $35 for adults and $20 for those 18 and younger.

Vehicle access into PNC Bank Arts Center will be closed starting at 9:45am for the duration of the Race. This is a scenic course with challenging hills going through the complex and ending at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.  There will be no strollers or bicycles allowed on the 3.5 Mile Run course.

Veterans Day ceremony in Ewing, Nov. 7

The Department of Veteran Affairs/Readjustment Counseling Service requests your company at their annual Veterans Day celebration on November 7 at noon at their office located at 934 Parkway Avenue, Ewing. Their will be a reception immediately following the ceremony.

For more information contact Darryll Johnson at 609-882-5744.

Retirement Dinners

Farewell to CWO Curving

The retirement dinner for Chief Warrant Officer Five Albert G. Curving will be held on Nov. 2 at the Lawrenceville Armory. Cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m.

Cost of the dinner is $32 per person. For more information, to make payments and reservations, contact Maj. Denise McCleary at 609-562-0213. Reservations must be made by Oct. 15.

For Your Calendar

Civil Support Team hosting orientation day, Oct. 27

The 21st Civil Support Team will be hosting an orientation day on Oct. 27, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at buildings 6749 and 6748 on Fort Dix. The buildings are located at East 16th Street and Albany Ave. Members of the Guard and civilians are invited to attend. Discover how a CST works.

The orientation will be divided into three sessions. Sessions will repeat every two hours, 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., in order to better accommodate participants.

Each session will consist of the following:

v    Civil Support Team overview

v    "What It Takes To Be A Member" brief

v    Facility tour and equipment demo

v    Decontamination Line demonstration

v    Hands on participation/familiarization with equipment

v    Wear of SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) and level A suits

Individuals who wish to participate in the wear of self-contained breathing apparatus and level A suits may wear PT uniform, civilian fitness clothing, ACU OR BDU.

This is a unique opportunity for members of the NJ Army and Air Guard to see first hand what a Civil Support Team does. Civil Support Team members will engage in face to face sessions with participants in order to bring a clearer understanding of team member responsibilities. All applicants, future applicants and interested Soldiers and Airmen are encouraged to come and participate in the orientation day.

Individuals who wish to participate in wearing of the SCBA and level A suits; please send an email to terrence.d.taylor@us.army.mil or toby.tirrito@us.army.mil. This will aid us in accommodating all participants and meeting safety requirements. For further information you may contact 1st Sgt. Terrence Taylor at 609-562-3139 or Staff Sgt. Toby Tirrito at 609-562-3236.

Clint Black performing in live concert on Fort Dix, Oct. 29

Country music star Clint Black will be performing at a free concert on Oct. 29 on Doughboy Field, Fort Dix. The concert will begin at 6 p.m. It is open to all DoD ID card holders and their families. Priority seating to military in uniform. No pets or coolers; lawn chairs are allowed. For more information, call 609-562-5853 or www.dixmwr.com.

Free entre for veterans at McCormick and Schmick

From the desk of retired Chief Master Sgt. Paul Gunning, Wing Family Program coordinator

McCormick & Schmick's to honor veterans with free entree a part of its ninth annual Military Veterans Appreciation Event http://www.roa.org/site/ R?i=d9OCwxPsQ7V5y0Ccu4TpCQ. McCormick & Schmick's seafood restaurant will offer all retired U.S. military veterans a free entre on Nov. 11, in appreciation for their service to our country. The offer extends to all who are defined as a veteran by the Veterans Administration, Title 38 US Code 101, which is a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. All veterans must show proper identification. Traditionally, the McCormick & Schmick's Veterans Appreciation event is held on the Sunday prior to the formal Veterans Day holiday. Since Veterans Day falls on a Sunday this year, the McCormick & Schmick's Appreciation event will take place this year on the formal holiday itself.

Honorable Mention

Policy change boosts G.I. Bill eligibility for some Guard, Reserve

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

A recent Defense Department policy change widens the eligibility window for some Reserve-component troops who want to use their Montgomery G.I. Bill education benefits.  The DoD policy now aligns with Department of Veterans Affairs rules, which say National Guard members and reservists are eligible to receive Montgomery G.I. Bill education benefits for the period covering the amount of time they served on active duty, plus four months.  The total amount of G.I. Bill coverage for reservists is still 36 months and reservists normally have 14 years to use their Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits. However, that time might also be extended by the amount of time Guard or Reserve members serve on active duty, plus four months.

The Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP), established by the 2005 National Defense Authorization Act, is another DoD education initiative for members of the Guard and Reserve. To be eligible, servicemembers must have served at least 90 consecutive days of active service after Sept. 11, 2001, in response to a Presidential or Congressional call-up of military forces for wartime or other emergency service.

Guard and Reserve members who served for two continuous years on active duty in support of a contingency operation would qualify for both the Montgomery G.I. Bill and REAP and could select which program they want to use,

Servicemembers can determine if they qualify for the Montgomery G.I. Bill and REAP by contacting their local education office.

254th Regiment hold training courses

The 254th Regiment (CA) will be holding training courses in the upcoming months at the National Guard Regional Training Institute, Sea Girt.

Inactive Duty Training -

Small Group Instructor Training Course, (SGITC) Jan. 5-6, Feb. 2-3, March 1, 2008. You can learn about personality types and the human thought process, how to control the sharp shooter in class, and how to present the best class possible. Few seats remain, sign up now.

Basic NCO Course,(BNCOC) next course starts in April 2008 .

Military Police (31B10 MOS-T) Phase I, Nov. 3, 2007, June 7-8, 2008; 5 seats available. Class starts in 3 weeks, get your soldiers registered today.

PRE WARRIOR Leadership Course, three weekends: Jan. 5-6, Feb. 2-3 and March 1-2, 2008; seats available. Tune up those map reading skills, pass Warrior Leadership Course.

Officer Candidate School Class 52 (OCS)- Project officers interviewing candidates at this time.

Active Duty Training -

Combat Medic Training Course (68W Sustainment), Dec. 3-12, 2007, 20 seats will be available. Look for course in ATRRS on Oct. 22.

Combat Lifesaver (CLS), 1st class will be held Oct. 29-31, 2nd class will be held Nov. 1 -3, 2007. 3rd class will be held Nov. 13-15, 2007; 30 seats have been filled for each class. Thank you for a great job!

For more information, contact Master Sgt. G. Davidson, 254th Regiment operations sergeant, 732-974-5912, Gary.Davidson@us.army.mil or your unit Readiness NCO. You can also visit our school information on ATRSS at https://www.atrrs.army.mil/atrrscc/, school code is 1004.

Are you Red for the Post Deployment Health Reassessment?

Is your AKO stoplight Red for My Medical Readiness?

Is AKO telling you that you are due to complete your Post Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA)?

Want to know how to fix this? The PDHRA seeks to identify proactively potential health issues before they become chronic conditions. The PDHRA provides education, screening, assessment and access to care for a wide variety of questions and concerns that Soldiers may have about their health after they return from deployment. Soldiers who redeployed from a combat zone more than 90 days ago are eligible for the PDHRA.

Just follow these simple directions.

Option 1: Begin PDHRA online and complete it over the phone. You may complete the PDHRA online through AKO by going to https://apps.mods.army.mil/mwde/ secure/AKOForms.asp and logging in with your AKO username and password. You must then call 1-888-PDHRA-99 to discuss your responses with a healthcare provider.

Option 2: Complete PDHRA entirely over the phone. If you do not have access to a computer or AKO, you may call 1-888-PDHRA-99 and complete the entire assessment over the phone.

Questions? Visit www.virtualarmory.com/mobiledeploy/PDHRA for more information.

Mailing help for holiday overseas packages

By Karen Jowers - Army Times Staff writer

If you want to get holiday gifts to a service member deployed overseas by Dec. 25, it's time to start thinking about mail deadlines.

The first suggested deadline of Nov. 13 is for packages going by parcel post to deployed troops and those living on overseas installations, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Parcel post may be the slowest option, but it's the cheapest, too. For packages to arrive by the start of Hanukkah, at sundown Dec. 4, they should be mailed by Oct. 23.

You can check the cost of mailing your package through different avenues on the Postal Service's Web site.

Postal officials strongly advise families to consider these deadlines because of the volume of mail during the holiday season. Many groups are already gearing up to send packages to deployed troops.

Some tips from the Postal Service:

v    Packages must be addressed to an individual service member. Mail cannot be delivered to "any service member." Use the member's full name, military organization or unit and APO/FPO address.

v    Do not include the country name in any part of the address when using an APO/FPO address.

v    Choose a box strong enough to protect its contents, and use plenty of cushioning material such as popcorn or newspapers.

v    Consider using the Postal Service's free Military Kit - eight boxes of three different sizes popular for mailing to military personnel, along with mailing labels, tape and U.S. Customs forms. Kits can be obtained by calling toll-free to (800) 610-8734. Choose option 1, and when a live agent responds, ask for Care Kit 4.

v    Write the delivery and return addresses on one side of the package.

v    Place a return address label inside the package.

If you miss the parcel post deadline, here are your options for getting mail to an APO/FPO address by Dec. 25 (subtract 21 days from these deadlines to ensure delivery in time for Hanukkah):

v    Space Available Mail (SAM): Nov. 27.

v    Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL): Dec. 4, except for ZIP codes starting with 093, which are all areas of contingency operations. The suggested deadline for those locations is Dec. 1.

v    Priority Mail: Dec. 11 (093 ZIP codes, Dec. 4).

v    First-class letters and cards: Dec. 11. (093 ZIP codes, Dec. 4).

v    Express Mail Military Services: Dec. 18 (not available to 093 ZIP codes).

Visit the following Web site to check out mailing guidelines. http://www.usps.com/ send/preparemailandpackages/preparingpackages.htm.

Send Highlights your happenings

We want your stuff!! Is your unit doing some unique training? Did someone in the New Jersey Guard receive accolades for accomplishing something extra special? Is your unit running a special event for the community? Does your section of DMAVA have something they need to tell the rest of the department? We want to know about it.

Send us a short piece on what is happening so we can publish it in DMAVA Highlights. Let us know who wrote it so we can give them credit. If there are photos, you can send those too. While we do not publish photos in Highlights, we can give them to the editor of Guardlife and they may be used in that publication.

When you send in your article:

    Identify all people in the article with rank, first and last names and job title or position.

    Spell out all acronyms.

    When it comes to equipment, do not just give the nomenclature, also include the "name" of the equipment. Do not use M998 alone, HMMWV is also needed.

    Give us as much as possible of the meat of the story - who, what, when, where, why and how concerning the event.

    Photos need identification of people in the photo and what is happening in the photo.

Deadline for each week is noon Thursday and should be e-mailed to Barbara.harbison@njdmava.state.nj.us. We do not publish flyers or Adobe files. If a Web site is out there to give people more information or to get a registration form, put that in your article.

Don't be intimidated by writing, we edit it for understanding and grammar. Your article may look a different when it is published as we also edit to fit the standards of the AP Style Guide.

Show us your stuff!!

Counterdrug Task Force has job openings

The Counterdrug Task Force announces an opening in the Counterdrug support operations. Two positions are open to any qualified current member of the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard. It is a full time, Active Duty Special Work, military duty position vacancy (Title 32). Military grade needed to apply for the position is E2-E5 with E5 being the maximum grade.

Members who are selected for the job are subject to unusual and additional duty hours. They must maintain responsibilities to their unit of assignment to include MOSQ, attend scheduled drills and annual training, and maintain readiness status.

The job consists of assisting Law Enforcement Agencies with intelligence analysis support and developing investigations and cases for prosecution. Activities include, inputting, reviewing and analyzing collected information and providing legal, paralegal and auditing assistance. Operational support to LEAs is designed to enhance the effectiveness of the supported agency and release law enforcement officers for drug enforcement duties.

For more information on how to apply for the positions, contact Staff Sgt. Christina D. Ermi at 609-530-7166.

Guardsmen wanted to join the PTAE

The New Jersey Army National Guard is in the process of developing its Pre-Mobilization Assistance Element (PTAE). The PTAE is currently looking for Traditional Drilling Guardsmen of various MOSs for a Title 32 ADSW (Additional Duty Special Work) tour at Fort Dix.

The purpose of the PTAE is to provide training feedback to the supported unit and TAG through the G-3. The PTAE will monitor and assist unit training and tracking of individual soldier/unit progress and completion of pre-mobilization training tasks.

All applicants must be eligible and submit the following:

v    Complete DA Form 1058-R with commander's signature

v    A current Retirement Point Assessment Statement

v    Meet height/weight standards along a valid APFT within one year of ADSW start date

v    Physical Profile, DA Form 3349. Temporary profiles are not eligible.

v    Pregnancy statement (females only) within 15 days of ADSW start date.

v    Current resume

v    Eligible to obtain a Secret security clearance.

v    Eligible to attend 15 day Observer Controller Training (OC-T) course in Camp Shelby, Miss.

For more information call Lt. Col. Walter Nall at 609-562-0321 or walter.r.nall@us.army.mil or Master Sgt. Jonny Hannigan at 609-562-0337 or jonny.hannigan@us.army.mil.

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 overseas 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.

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.

VA Launches Suicide Hotline

To ensure veterans with emotional crises have round-the-clock access to trained professionals, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun operation of a national suicide prevention hot line for veterans. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson said: "Veterans need to know these VA professionals are literally a phone call away. All service members who experience the stresses of combat can have wounds on their minds as well as their bodies. Veterans should see mental health services as another benefit they have earned, which the men and women of VA are honored to provide." 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).

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

More unemployment benefits for military spouses

New Jersey, Arkansas, South Carolina and Connecticut have come onboard to allow military spouses to collect unemployment compensation when they quit their jobs to move to new duty stations with their service-member spouses. This makes a total of 21 states that authorize unemployment benefits. Eight other states flatly deny benefits while the remainder will consider them on a case-by-case basis. The changes have occurred since the Department of Defense launched a "USA 4 Military Families" campaign three years ago. To assist, DoD has assigned 10 regional representatives to act as liaison between the services and the appropriate state agencies.

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.

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

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.

Program offers assistance 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

Sports and Entertainment

Scholarship, Education News

VFW sponsors scholarships

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

The Veterans of Foreign Wars has two scholarship programs. The Voice of Democracy (VOD) scholarship program is an audio-essay contest for high school students in grades 9-12 that annually provides more than $3 million in scholarships. The Patriot's Pen award is a youth-essay writing contest that gives students in grades six through eight the opportunity to write essays expressing their views on democracy. The deadline for both scholarships is Nov. 1, 2007. Learn more at http://www.vfw.org/index.cfm?fa=cmty.levelc&cid=1836&tok=1.

HBCU holding career fair for students

A number of organizations, including the New Jersey Dept. of Education and the New Jersey Commission on Higher Education, are coming together on Nov. 11 at the Trenton War Memorial Building to commemorate the Malcolm Bernard Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Week.

High school and community college students and parents are invited to attend. An Ecumenical service with the featured speaker, Rev. Stephen Samuels will be held from 10-11:30 p.m. A college fair with workshops will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. More that 40 HCBUs will be represented at the fair with information about scholarships and financial aid, making the college decision and present and future job market. For more information, visit the web site www.HBCU-CFNJ.com.

Free SAT/ACT Offer Extended

A group of NFL, NFL Europe, AFL, and CFL football players have announced they are extending their sponsorship of the SAT/ACT training to all military families.

The sponsorship allows any military person (active, Guard, reserve, or retired) to request as many programs as they need for the students in their lives.  There is a secure website to confirm a person's military status before directing the user to the software order site. Logon to:

www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil/portal/page/itc/MHF/MHF_DETAIL_0?current_id=20.20.100.30.0.0.0.0.0

Programs are shipped to domestic U.S. addresses and APO addresses. The sponsorship covers the purchase price of $199 and the family pays only the shipping and handling of $9.95.

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

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.

Enlisted Association of the National Guard of New Jersey

The Enlisted Association is seeking members to help give our state a larger voice. The Association speaks on legislative issues that benefit military members and families. The association works at the Federal & State level on all important issues. Visit the web site EANG-NJ.org, click on Become a Member for the application and find out more about what the association does.

Veterans Information

VA Mobile Medical unit at Trenton Vet Center on Nov. 7

The VA Mobile Medical Unit will be at the Trenton Vet Center, 934 Parkway Ave. Ewing on Nov 7, 2007.

This is an opportunity for veterans to enroll in VA health care services, receive a health care assessment and check out medical benefits.

For more information, call 609-882-5744.

N.J. Militia Museum conducting Retiree Oral History Program

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

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.

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.

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:

 

October 30*, 31, November 1

Brunswick Square Mall

November 27, 28, 29

Quaker Bridge Mall

January 8,9, 2008

Woodbridge Center

February 5, 6, 7

Moorestown Mall

March 4*, 5, 6

Paramus Park Shopping Center

April 1, 2, 3

Voorhees Town Center

May 6*, 7, 8

Ocean County Mall

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

N.J. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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

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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.

Nov. 3, 1 p.m. - The Last Ghost of War, a film about Vietnamese and American Vietnam Veterans affected by Agent Orange, presented by film director Janet Gardner.  

Narrated by actor Kevin Kline, this documentary film examines the harmful effects of chemical herbicides, commonly known as Agent Orange, used by American forces during the Vietnam War. The film will be introduced and discussed by its producer-director, Janet Gardner of Rocky Hill, N.J., co-producer Pham Quoc Thai and attorney Constantine Kokkoris of New York.

The film visits a hospital in Saigon looking at the aftermath of the Vietnam War. Children who have been born with deformities are profiled. Michael and Maureen Ryan of Long Island, N.Y. are also profiled. Their daughter, Kerry, was born with 22 birth defects after Michael's exposure to Agent Orange during his wartime tour of duty in Vietnam. The question is: were these dioxin-laden herbicides chemical weapons? And if so, who should be held accountable in the wake of what was allegedly the largest chemical warfare operation in history?

This screening is dedicated to the memory of David Cline, the former president of Veterans for Peace.

Nov. 11, 7:45 a.m. to noon -  2nd Annual Lt. Dennis W. Zilinski II Memorial 5K Run (www.RunWithDennis.org).

Nov. 11, 12:30 p.m. -  Veterans Day Ceremony in the N.J. Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.

Nov. 29, 6 p.m. -  Salute to Patriotism Gala, with special guests U.S. Army Gen. Frederick J. Kroesen, N.J. Air Guard Brig. Gen. Robert S. Dutko and members of the 514 Air Mobility Wing.  DMAVA will present Vietnam Service Medals, Distinguished and Meritorious Service Medals.  Advance registration required.

Dec. 1, 6 p.m. -  Holiday Lighting Ceremony at the N.J. Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Christmas Tree, Hanukkah Menorah, and Kwaanza Candles.

Dec. 8, 1 p.m. - Ghosts in the Landscape: Vietnam Revisited, a photo gallery display and book discussion by the author/photographer, N.J. Vietnam Veteran Craig J. Barber.

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

 

   
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