New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights 2 November 2007

Volume 6, Number 44


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

NJARNG trains with soldiers from many nations

By Capt. Jason Fetterolf, 50 IBCT, PAO

Hello. Pershendetje. Yia Su. Salute. These were just a few greeting heard in English, Albanian, Greek and Moldovan by a platoon of C Company, 2-113th Infantry Battalion, New Jersey Army National Guard during the Cooperative Lancer 07 Exercise.

Conducted in Albania, this exercise will serve as a framework for the 1st Albanian Coy (Company) to be evaluated to further Albania's goal of becoming a NATO member.

The leadership positions were composed of service members of all the participating nations. The senior NCO was Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas J. Clark of the 2-113th.

Benefits from the exercise were broad. "It has opened my eyes to a whole new way a military can function," said Spc. Scott W. Kowalski, 2-113th Infantry.

"Exchange of experience, to know the culture of each other and friendship," were the benefits as seen by 1st Lt. Ervis Tusha, command of Lion Heart Company, 2nd Battalion, Rapid Reaction Brigade.

The COLR 07 exercise proved to be a rare opportunity and mutually beneficial for the NJARNG, the Albanian hosts and all other nations involved. As the exercise ended, what might have been the voice heard in the various languages? Good job. Pune tem bare (Albanian). Kali-thuya (Greek). Au avut success (Moldavan).

254th offers Combat Lifesaver course

From the 254th Regiment

The Combat Lifesaver Course (CLS) is a 40 hour course taught over three days by the 254th Regiment at Sea Girt.

It is intensive and instructs non-medical soldiers in the latest techniques of self aid and buddy aid. The course is centered on reducing the number of combat deaths due to the three top causes: bleeding from an extremity, tension pneumothorax (lung collapse) and traumatic brain injury.

The instruction and hands-on training includes Tactical Combat Casualty Care, Medevac procedures, improvised litters, and numerous other subjects.

Point of contact for this training at the Regiment is Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Cosmanic at 732 974-4878 or STEPHEN.R.COSMANIC@NJ.NGB.ARMY.MIL.

For questions about this or any other course also contact Master Sgt. Gary Davidson at 732 974-5912 or Gary.m.davidson@us.army.mil. Or see your Unit Readiness NCO.

More information can be found at AKO in the medical knowledge network in med training: HTTP://WWW.CS.AMEDD.ARMY.MIL/CLSP/.

2-113th Infantry competes in Challenge Day during exercise in Albania

By Lt. Krystof Stachura, Canada, Cooperative Lancer 07

During the Cooperative Lancer 07 exercise, held in Albania, the soldiers from the many nations participated in Challenge Day. The day consisted of three scored events: running, firing and grenade throwing and was a chance for "friendship through sport," said Lt. Col. Bardhyl Kollcaku, commander of the 2nd Battalion, Rapid Reaction Brigade, Albanian army. The winner of the competition was 1st Platoon, Alpha Company made up from soldiers from Switzerland, Belarus, U.S., and Israel. In second place was 1st Platoon Charlie Company, made up of soldiers form Georgia, Albania, U.S.A. and Greece. And third place was 2nd Platoon Bravo Company with soldiers form the Ukraine and Hungary. The spirit of the competition continued into the evening as the soldiers participated in a soccer tournament.

Note: Soldiers from the U.S.A., are members of the 2-113th Infantry, New Jersey Army National Guard.

Philadelphia Phantoms Military Appreciation Night, Dec. 7

Join the Philadelphia Phantoms on Military Appreciation Night as they take on the Norfolk Admirals on Friday, Dec. 7 at 7:05 p.m., at the Wachovia Spectrum. The Phantoms will have historical displays on the concourse and will also be remembering the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Tickets for the game are only $10 for U. S. Veterans and U. S. military personnel (regular price $19). To order your tickets, call Nick Milillo at 215-952-5772 or visit:

Click here

 

Doyle Cemetery Council selling grave blankets

The Veterans Cemetery Advisory Council of the Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Cemetery is offering the sale of Grave Blankets for placement on grave sites in the Doyle Cemetery for the 2007 holiday season.

The blankets are 2 feet by 3 feet and cost $30. They must be ordered by Nov. 30. Profits from the sale of the grave blankets will benefit the beautification of the cemetery.

Call 609-758-7250 or visit www.state.nj.us/military/cemetery for more information.

Don't talk or text while driving in N.J.

On Nov. 2, Governor Jon S. Corzine signed a bill making it a primary offense for motorists to talk on or text message with hand-held wireless telephones or electronic communication devices while driving. Motorists may use a wireless telephone or electronic communication device if it is hands-free.

The fine for this offense is $100 and no motor vehicle points or insurance eligibility points will be assessed for this offense.

November is National American Indian, Alaska Native Heritage month

From the desk of Dorinda Sapp, Affirmative Action Officer

National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month is celebrated to recognize the intertribal cultures and to educate the public about the heritage, history, art, and traditions of the American Indian and Alaska Native people. Throughout the history of our nation, American Indian and Alaska Native service members have embodied the military core values for generations. From the birth of our nation to the current Global War on Terrorism, American Indian and Alaska Native service members have effectively provided strength and leadership in defending freedoms of the United States.

For the next four weeks in celebration of National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, DMAVA will highlight major accomplishments and American Indian and Alaska Native contributions to military service.

The Creation of National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

What began at the turn of the century as an effort to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions the First Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States has resulted in the month of November being designated for that purpose.

Early Proponents: One of the early proponents of an American Indian Day was Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian who was the Director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, New York. He persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to set aside a day for the "First Americans," and for three years the Scouts adopted such a day. In 1915, at the annual Congress of the American Indian Association meeting in Lawrence, Kansas, a plan celebrating American Indian Day was formally approved. The Association directed its president, Rev. Sherman Coolidge, an Arapahoe, to call upon the country to set aside a day of recognition. Rev. Coolidge issued a proclamation on Sept. 28, 1915, which declared the second Saturday of May as American Indian Day and contained the first formal appeal for recognition of American Indians as citizens.

The year before this proclamation was issued, Red Fox James, a Blackfeet Indian, rode horseback from state to state, seeking approval for a day to honor American Indians. On Dec. 14, 1915, Red Fox James presented the endorsements of 24 state governments to the White House. There is no record, however, of such a national day being proclaimed.

State Celebrations: The first American Indian Day to be celebrated in a state was declared on the second Saturday in May 1916 by the governor of New York. Several states celebrate the fourth Friday in September. In Illinois, for example, legislators enacted such a day in 1919. Presently, several states have designated Columbus Day as Native American Day, but it continues to be a day we observe without any legal recognition as a national holiday.

Heritage Months: In 1990 President George Bush approved a joint resolution designating November 1990 as "National American Indian Heritage Month." Similar proclamations have been issued each year since 1994.

Speaking, recognition opportunities for diverse Soldiers

Operation Tribute to Freedom is seeking OIF/OEF Soldiers who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico or the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean, and Soldiers of Middle Eastern descent to share their story at events. If you are interested in participating in this program, send an e-mail to PAO@njdmava.state.nj.us. Responses should include the Soldier's name, contact information, bio with brief deployment history, awards and PAO contact information. Include "Diverse Soldier" in the subject line.

TDY available if necessary, but local/hometown Soldiers are preferred. Responses will be taken on an ongoing basis.

Keep clear of colds, flu - follow Mom's directions

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

How many times a day, do you wash your hands? Mom was right: - You need to wash your hands more often. It is just not enough to rinse under some lukewarm water.

Infectious diseases are the third leading cause of death in the US, and the CDC calls hand washing "the most important means of preventing the spread of infection." The Food and Drug Administration recommends that hand sanitizers not be used in place of soap and water but only as an adjunct.

Here's how to clean hands properly:

v    Remove rings and bracelets.

v    Wet hands using a stream of warm running water. Excessively hot water is harder on the skin, dries the skin, and is too uncomfortable to wash with for the recommended amount of time. Because cold water prevents soap from lathering properly, soil and germs may not be washed away.

v    Use soap (any kind). Dispensers deliver the proper amount of soap, while protecting the rest from contamination. Use the right cleanser for the task. Use a nickel-size amount of general-purpose cleanser or a quarter-size quantity of anti-microbial cleansers. Follow the instructions on the label.

v    Later thoroughly. Scrub hands, including the wrists, palms backs, fingers, and under the fingernails for total of at least 20 seconds.

v    Rinse thoroughly. Dry hands completely with a paper towel. Leaving sap residue on the skin and incomplete drying contribute to dermatitis.

v    Repeat steps 2-5 if hands are particularly dirty or greasy.

v    Use a paper towel to turn off the faucet without re-contaminating hands.

v    Use hand cream after washing and during the day to restore the skin's natural oils, keeping it resilient. Skin conditioning agents (emollients) soften and smooth skin. Moisturizers reduce shedding of dry skin flakes and inhibit the growth of microorganisms.

It is recommended that you follow this routine before you prepare or eat food; treat a cut or wound; tend to someone who is sick; or insert or remove contact lenses. Also wash after you go to the bathroom or handle uncooked foods.

Hand Sanitizer: apply about a teaspoon (dime size) of the sanitizer in palm of hand - spread thoroughly (front & back, fingernail areas) by briskly rubbing hands together until dry. Remember, hand sanitizers do not replace soap and water.

Guard, Reserve members, families encouraged to nominate employers

The Department of Defense will open the nomination season for the 2008 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award on Nov. 1, 2007.  National Guard and Reserve members and their families are eligible and encouraged to nominate employers who have gone above and beyond in their support of military employees.  Nominations will be accepted at www.esgr.mil from Nov. 1, 2007 to Jan. 21, 2008.  The Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award is the U.S. government's highest recognition given to outstanding employers.

For questions regarding the nomination process, please contact New Jersey ESGR at 609-562-0156.

Federal benefits open season coming soon

The Federal Benefits Open Season for 2008 is almost here! Don't miss out on this opportunity. Federal employees can enroll or make changes to their enrollment in Federal Employees Health Benefit and in one of the seven dental plans, three vision plans and set up flexible spending accounts for health care and dependent care.

Flexible spending accounts are easy. You pay for a wide range of common, out-of-pocket dependent and health care expenses and then receive reimbursement from your dependent and/or health care flexible spending account(s). By setting aside pre-tax dollars, you reduce your taxable income, thereby paying less in taxes and saving money.

Eligible non-medical expenses for the dependent care account include child care and adult daycare. Eligible expenses for the health care account include co-payments, co-insurance, deductibles, over-the-counter medicines like cold remedies, prescription drugs, vision and dental expenses, and much more.

Current 2007 Participants: you MUST re-enroll to participate in 2008. Enrollments do NOT carry forward year-to-year.

Visit www.FSAFEDS.com to learn more about the FSAFEDS Program.

To find out more about the other available programs, visit http://opm.gov/insure/. Or call Sgt. Jacquelyn Bertrand at 609-562-0866.

Veterans Day Activities

School invites veterans for special program

The New Jersey United Christian Academy, Cream Ridge, is invites all veterans from New Jersey to join them on Nov. 5 at 1-2:25 p.m. to join them in a special program honoring Veterans. Refreshments will follow the program.

The academy is located at 73 Holmes Mill Road, Cream Ridge, NJ 08514.

Military Appreciation Monday

For the past 6 years, Golden Corral has been honoring the U. S. military with a free "thank you" dinner and beverage at any Golden Corral restaurant on Military Appreciation Monday (first Monday after Veteran's Day). This year, Golden Corral has designated Monday, Nov. 12, from 5 to 9 p.m., to honor any person who has ever served in the United States military.

From the first Military Appreciation Monday in 2001 to the present, Golden Corral has donated 1.5 million free "thank you" meals and $1.9 million dollars to the Disabled American Veterans.

The Disabled American Veterans Organization will accept contributions on Nov. 1-12 to be used in the local and state DAV chapters.

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.

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.

Retirement Dinners

For Your Calendar

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.

Honorable Mention

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.

254th Regiment holding 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.

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!!

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

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.

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.

Register to use the Guard Family Portal

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

Have you registered yet for the Guard Family Portal?  Did you know that it's available to service members, family members, volunteers and even community members? If you haven't taken the time yet to log on and register, be sure to do it soon as you're missing out on important information.

What is on the Guard Family Portal?

    • Information on Activities and Events
    • Volunteers can track their Activity Hours (which equals awards)
    • Guard Family Training Modules
    • Unit FRG Status Report
    • Discussion Boards
    • A Local Resource Finder
    • Pre-Deployment Information
    • Deployment Information
    • Reunion Information
    • And More!

Log on today to create your account at http://www.guardfamily.org.

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

Travel Help, Ideas

Shades of Green offers Disney for military

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

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

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

Here's To The Heroes

Here's to the Heroes provides a single day's free admission to any one SeaWorld or Busch Gardens park, Sesame Place, Adventure Island or Water Country USA for the service member and as many as three direct dependents.

Any active duty, active reserve, ready reserve service member or Guard member is entitled to free admission under the program. He or she need only register, either online at www.herosalute.com or in the entrance plaza of a participating park, and show a Department of Defense photo ID.

 

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/.

Sports and Entertainment

 

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.

Scholarship, Education News

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.

VFW sponsors scholarships

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.

Eligible veterans entitled to property tax deduction

Eligible Veterans are entitled to an annual property tax deduction of $ 250.

Veterans' eligibility

v    a citizen of the United States

v    resident of New Jersey

v    honorably discharged or released under honorable conditions from active service in a war-time period, in any branch of the U.S. Armed Services.

Surviving spouse's eligibility

The surviving wife or husband of a veteran who was a citizen of the United States and
resident of New Jersey and one of the following:

v    Was receiving the deduction prior to the veteran's death.

v    Would have been eligible for the deduction had the veteran filed an application prior to death.

v    Has died on active duty in a wartime period.

The application process - Filing an application with all required documentation with your local Tax assessor prior to December 31 of the pre-tax year in order to be effective in the next year. Documentation includes the property deed and discharge (DD-214) for the veteran. The widow may need to submit the property deed, marriage certificate, death certificate and discharge (DD-214).

 

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:

 

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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