New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights 30 October 2008

Volume 8, Number 44

NJ Dept of Military and Veterans Affairs

Maj. Gen. Glenn K. Rieth
The Adjutant General

Brig. Gen. Maria Falca-Dodson
Deputy Adjutant General

Col. (Ret) Stephen G. Abel
Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs

Contacting us is easy!


Public Affairs Office

Staff Sgt. Barbara Harbison barbara.harbison@njdmava.state.nj.us Or

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

Please submit any articles and all information for DMAVA Highlights to:

PAO Office DMAVA Highlights
ATTN: Staff Sgt. Barb Harbison

Deadline is noon Wednesday

Staff Sgt. Barbara Harbison barbara.harbison@njdmava.state.nj.us Or Call 609-530-7088



Veterans' Organizations Contact Information

State Veterans Service Council
Mr. Richard Clark
RJClark21@msn.com


BG Willam C. Doyle Cemetery Advisory Council
Mr. William Rakestraw
warjrnj@msn.com



Veterans Hotlines


Benefits & Entitlements
1-888-8NJ-VETS
(1-888-865-8387)

Mental Health
1-866-VETS-NJ4
(1-866-838-7654)

Wounded Soldier and Family Hotline

1-800-984-8523

DMAVA Highlights Archive

DMAVA Highlights Archive Page



NJ World War II Memorial


For information or to make a donation, call 609-530-7049

WWII Memorial on the web

 

ESGR Office

JFHQ 3650 Saylors Pond Road Fort Dix, NJ 08641

Hank Pierre, 609-562-0156, hank.pierre@njdmava.state.nj.us Tammy Cartagena, 609-562-0157, tammy.l.cartagena@us.army.mil
Fax 609-562-0158


Phone numbers and Web sites to remember

Directory Assistance:

1-602-293-4907

Verizon Super Pages: http://www.superpages.com

AT&T:
http://www.anywho.com/

SBC Yellow Pages: http://www.yellowpages.com/

Telephone and contact information on state employees can be found at http://njdirect.state.nj.us/

 

DMAVA Emergency Hotline:

1-866-232-5798

 

Quotes for the Week   

Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.

-Theodore Roosevelt

Energy and persistence conquer all things.

- Benjamin Franklin

Kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.

- Joseph Joubert

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

-  Albert Einstein

Through indecision opportunity is often lost.

-  Latin proverb

 

 

 


Download PDF Version of this week's highlights

 

 

News For Your Views


Tribute to the Greatest Generation

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

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

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

For additional information or to RSVP please call Ms. Angela Como at 609-530-6780 or visit our website at www.nj.gov/military/veterans/wwii_memorial/index.html.


Don’t Forget

Turn your clock back one hour before

you go to bed on Saturday night –

Daylight Savings Time ends this

weekend!


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

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

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

Time is coming near to mail overseas holiday packages

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

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

Post Office offers boxes, discount rate to FPO/APO addresses

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

Now the U.S. Postal Service is making it easier for families to send care packages with a larger flat rate box and a special discount to FPO/ APO addresses. They are 50 percent larger than the current flat rate box and can be sent to any domestic address for $12.95. A special military version of the box will carry the "America Supports You" logo and can be shipped to any FPO/ APO address for $10.95. The new Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box is "12 x 12" x 5½". For complete guidelines on mail services to military members overseas visit the USPS website at: www.usps.com/supportingourtroops/welcome.htm?from=household &page=troopsupport.

Farewell luncheon for DiMicco slated for Nov. 21

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

Teaneck getting Day at the Movies

From the desk of Janis Shaw, Family Assistance Specialist

The Paramus Rotary Club will be sponsoring a "Day at the Movies" for the families of Soldiers at the Garden State Plaza Mall, in Paramus, to see “High School Musical 3” on Tuesday, Nov. 4, at 9:30 a.m. Sign up by calling the Teaneck Family Assistance Center at 201-833-0632/8356/8241.

FRG leadership, volunteer training – Nov. 15 and 16

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

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

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

DMAVA Wassailing just around the corner

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

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

New law authorizes Veterans’ salutes during national anthem

WASHINGTON (Oct. 30, 2008) -- Veterans and active-duty military not in uniform can now render the military-style hand salute during the playing of the national anthem, thanks to changes in federal law that took effect this month.

"The military salute is a unique gesture of respect that marks those who have served in our nation's armed forces," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. "This provision allows the application of that honor in all events involving our nation's flag."

The new provision improves upon a little known change in federal law last year that authorized veterans to render the military-style hand salute during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag, but it did not address salutes during the national anthem.  Last year's provision also applied to members of the armed forces while not in uniform.

Traditionally, members of the nation's veterans service organizations have rendered the hand-salute during the national anthem and at events involving the national flag while wearing their organization's official head-gear. 

The most recent change, authorizing hand-salutes during the national anthem by veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel, was sponsored by Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, an Army veteran.  It was included in the Defense Authorization Act of 2009, which President Bush signed on Oct. 14. 

The earlier provision authorizing hand-salutes for veterans and out-of-uniform military personnel during the raising, lowering or passing of the flag, was contained in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008, which took effect Jan. 28, 2008.

NJANG Dinosaurs held luncheon for their fossils

The semi-annual luncheon of New Jersey Air National Guard Retirees (NJANG Dinosaurs) was held at Moore's Tavern in Freehold on Oct. 22. This event gathered more than 40 members of the various NJANG units. Many "war stories" were traded as well as unforgotten memories that we all experienced during our time in the New Jersey Guard.  Our next luncheon is tentatively planned for May 2009. Anyone interested in attending may contact Mel Sylvester at NUFFSAIDMEL@AOL.COM, 609-298-5970 or Rich Donovan at DONOVAN@EXIT109.COM, 732-223-2051 or 732-223-4445.

Join the online Guard Family

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

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

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

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

Enhanced VA mortgage options now available for vets

WASHINGTON (Oct.24) -- Veterans with conventional home loans now have new options for refinancing to a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) guaranteed home loan.  These new options are available as a result of the Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2008, which the President signed into law on October 10, 2008.

"These changes will allow VA to assist a substantial number of veterans with subprime mortgages refinance into a safer, more affordable, VA guaranteed loan," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. "Veterans in financial distress due to high rate subprime mortgages are potentially the greatest beneficiaries."

VA has never guaranteed subprime loans.  However, as a result of the new law VA can now help many more veterans who currently have subprime loans.

The new law makes changes to VA's home loan refinancing program.

Veterans who wish to refinance their subprime or conventional mortgage may now do so for up to 100 percent of the value of the property.  These types of loans were previously limited to 90 percent of the value. 

Additionally, Congress raised VA's maximum loan amount for these types of refinancing loans.  Previously, these refinancing loans were capped at $144,000.  With the new legislation, such loans may be made up to $729,750 depending on where the property is located.

Increasing the loan-to-value ratio and raising the maximum loan amount will allow more qualified veterans to refinance through VA, allowing for savings on interest costs or even potentially avoiding foreclosure.

Originally set to expire at the end of this month, VA's authority to guaranty Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARMs) and Hybrid ARMs was also extended under this new law through September 30, 2012.  Unlike conventional ARMs and hybrid ARMs, VA limits interest rate increases on these loans from year to year, as well as over the life of the loans. 

Since 1944, when home loan guaranties were offered with the original GI Bill, VA has guaranteed more than 18 million home loans worth over $911 billion.  This year, about 180,000 veterans, active duty servicemembers, and survivors received loans valued at about $36 billion.

For more information, or to obtain help from a VA Loan Specialist, veterans may call VA at 1-877-827-3702 or visit www.homeloans.va.gov.

FRG training available on Web

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

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

Training is being conducted as follows:

Guard Portal Volunteer Activity Tracking:

Nov. 1, 10-10:30 a.m.

Nov. 5, 9-9:30 a.m.

Nov. 5, 7-7:30 p.m.

Guard Portal Email Campaign Training:

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

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

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

TroopTube shares video with troops, families

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

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

Run with Dennis slated for Nov. 9

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

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

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

Census Bureau looking for applicants

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

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

Postings for the openings are available at www.census.gov/rophi/www or www.usajobs.com until Nov. 12. For further information, contact Ernestine King, Human Resources Specialist at 215-717-1028.

Newark accepting applications for peddlers’ licenses

The city of Newark is accepting a limited number of applications for peddlers’ licenses through Nov. 7. Applications will be available at City Hall, room B-17, Mondays through Fridays, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Applications for peddlers’ licenses are normally reviewed, approved and issued in the spring but due to the current economic issues, the Department of Finance’s Division of Central Licenses and Permits is opening an additional time frame to issue these licenses according to a press release.

Two types of licenses are issues – food peddlers and merchandise peddlers.

Pushcarts are subject to inspection by the city. Applicants must pay a $125 fee if they are 62 years or below, $50 if over 62.  Veterans do not pay a fee, but must bring their county-issued veterans’ license.

For applications, requirements and more information, call 973-733-6390.

NJNG fights war on drugs in New Jersey’s schools

When most people think about the National Guard, they usually think about natural disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Hugo, and more recently, thoughts turn to locations such as Iraq and Afghanistan.  What most people don’t know about members of New Jersey’s volunteer military is that they play a large part in fighting the ongoing war against drugs.

The New Jersey National Guard CounterDrug Task Force is comprised of both Army and Air National Guard Soldiers and Airmen.  These members have volunteered to work full-time in support of local, state, and federal law enforcement and play a large role in drug prevention efforts across the State of New Jersey.

The Drug Demand Reduction Unit has become a recognized name in the world of prevention in New Jersey, supporting efforts of DARE NJ, county and municipal alliances, local law enforcement and schools.  With their drug awareness programs, the members of DDR have been reaching out to DARE officers, teachers and students, providing much-needed resources at no cost to the requesting agencies.  Some of the services include Gateway Drug Presentations, Military Kid’s Club, Drug Jeopardy and physical activities like the Leadership Climbing Wall and Fatal Vision Goggles.  The CounterDrug Aviation Unit also flies helicopters to schools and events, where pilots talk to students about reaching goals and the importance of staying drug-free.

One of the DDR Unit’s busiest times is during the month of October, especially Red Ribbon Week, an alcohol, tobacco and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually, every Oct. 23-31.  In 1985, Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was kidnapped while working undercover in Mexico. After he and his pilot were found murdered, citizens in his hometown of Calexico, California donned red ribbons in his honor. The red ribbon became their symbol for prevention in order to reduce the demand of illegal drugs.  Since then, the campaign has grown into a national movement, celebrated all over the United States.

Every year for the past ten years, DDR has been partnered with the DEA, local law enforcement and Prevention Links in Union County for a four day event in schools all over the county.  The team goes into two elementary schools a day with personnel, an OH-58 Kiowa helicopter, HMMWVs and drug and alcohol awareness informational presentations.  Students are given the opportunity to get up close to the helicopter, talk with the pilots, see inside the HMMV and participate in a short, interactive drug awareness presentation. 

The culmination of the week is the huge Saturday event at Nomahegan Park in Cranford, NJ.  Taking part in this year’s parade and all day events were local DARE officers from municipalities all over Union County, local Navy and Marine ROTC units, the Auto Theft Task Force of Union/Essex Counties, the DDR Unit and many other state and local agencies.  The event kicked off with an awards presentation, where the DDR Unit received a Community Support award for ten years of continuous partnership.  After the presentation, DDR members set up the climbing wall and almost 400 kids, and a few parents, scaled the 25-foot wall.  The wall is a great confidence-building activity and gave the military personnel a chance to talk to kids about believing in themselves and staying drug-free.

With the current deployment, CounterDrug has lost almost one-third of its work force, but DDR personnel are doing their best to continue to support New Jersey communities in the war against drugs.  If you are interested in utilizing the support services provided by DDR, please call Master Sgt. Karin Dates at (609) 530-7032, or e-mail karin.dates@us.army.mil.

Veterans Day events


Trenton Vets Office will hold ceremony on Nov. 5

The US Department of Veterans Affairs, Trenton Vet Center, will celebrate Veterans Day on Nov. 5, with its annual Veterans Day celebration to be held at the Vet Center, 934 Parkway Ave, Ewing, at noon.

Members of the community are welcomed and refreshments will be served.

If you have any questions or require more information, please call the Trenton Vet Center at 609-882-5744.

Lawrence Township honors local veterans on Nov.8

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

  • Currently resides in Lawrence Township
  • Graduated for high school while a resident of Lawrence Township, or
  • Has family currently living in Lawrence Township,

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

Veterans Day ceremony in Alliger Park on Nov. 8

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

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

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

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

To find if your local restaurant is participating, visit www.mccormickandschmicks.com.

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

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

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

Ridgewood Concert Band holds concert honoring Vets, Nov. 14

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

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

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

Golden Corral restaurants’ Military Appreciation Monday, Nov. 17

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

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

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

To locate a restaurant, visit http://www.goldencorral.com/.

For Your Calendar


Cherry Hill armory is haunted!!

From the desk of Michele Daisey, Woodbury Family Assistance Center

The 328th Military Police Family Readiness Group is having a "safe" trick or treat Haunted Armory on Nov. 1, 3-8 p.m.  There will be two rooms set up for kids to enjoy.  One room will be for the little guys and gals with friendly effects, while the other will be scary for the older crowd. 

Cost is $1 plus donations for the soldiers. Cherry Hill armory is located at the intersection of Park and Grove streets.

Here are items from the Soldier's wish list: beef jerky, powered drink mixes (single serving size), pretzels, trail mix, sunflower seeds, cup of soup, breakfast  or granola bars, candy (no chocolate), white socks (100 percent cotton), foot powder, gel inserts for shoes, corn pads, eye drops, eye glass cleaner, commercially sealed lip balm, DVD movies, music CDs, PSP games, Lego’s, models, calling cards (international), bandana coolers/Cool-Ties*, mini battery-operated fans, or other personal cooling products and neck warmers.

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

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

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

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

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

For information on the Job Fair or Resume and Interviewing Workshops, contact  Lois Bunch, 609-292-3059, lois.bunch@dol.state.nj.us or Al Stahl, 609-292-0656, albert.stahl@dol.state.nj.us.

Roger Williams University holds Open House on Nov. 13

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

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

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

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

Veterans job fair in Philly on Nov. 20

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

To print a flyer about this free event, go to www.recruitmilitary.com/brochures/11-20-08_philly_candidate_pr.pdf.

Job seekers who would like to pre-register for the event can go   www.recruitmilitary.com/careerfairs/careerfairs3.asp?CFID=152 .

Schools, Training


254th Regiment provides class schedule for 2009 training year

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

INACTIVE DUTY TRAINING COURSES (IDT):

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

ACTIVE DUTY TRAINING COURSES

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

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

Combat Lifesaver Course: Send unit request to Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Cosmanic at Stephen.r.cosmanic@us.army.mil.

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

Retirements, Reunions


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

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

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

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

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

104th Engineer Association will hold holiday party

From the desk of retired 1st Sgt. Alfred Roberts

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

Essex Troop will hold holiday party on Dec. 13

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

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

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

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

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

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

Say Again?

Trumpeteer2.wmfDMAVA emergency hotline is up and running

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

1-866-232-5798

You will then hear the following message:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about the Civil Air Patrol in New Jersey, visit www.njwgcap.org.

 “Be a Star in Someone’s Life”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

G-RAP is available to Traditional Guard members and National Guard retirees.  For more information, go to http://www.guardrecruitingassistant.com/.

Company looking for Desert Storm vets who saw Super Bowl XXV

Were you deployed to the Desert Storm /Desert Shield area of operations AND watched the Super Bowl in January 1991 from the AO?  If so, a production company creating a video about that Super Bowl would like to talk to you.

It was Super Bowl XXV, played in Tampa, Fla., between the New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills. The Giants won the game in the closest score in Super Bowl history, 20-19. Buffalo’s placekicker Scott Norwood missed a field goal wide right with three seconds left in the game.

If your living room seat was in the theater of operations for the first Iraq war, call Steve Palgon, 646-246-5697 as soon as possible.

NJARNG looking to fill their soccer team

From the desk of Master Sgt. Alex Estrada

The New Jersey Army National Guard is looking for soccer players to play during the (FY) 2008-2009 indoor season at the International Sports Center at Cherry Hill, N.J.  For anyone interested in joining the team, contact Sgt. Jose Castro at 609-562-0234 or jose.castro4@us.army.mil or Master Sgt. Alex Estrada at 609-562-0568 or alexandro.estrada@us.army.mil for further information.

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

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

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

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

Honor Guard program wants YOU!

Looking for a way to serve and get some satisfaction at the same time?  The Honor Guard program is looking for members of the Army and Air Guard to join the team to perform honor guard duties at the funerals of veterans.  There is an initial eight hours of training for all new enrollees, with on-going sustainment training.  As an honor guard member, you will receive a day of pay for each day’s mission, minimum of $50, and traditional drilling Guard members receive a retirement point for each day’s duties.

If you are interested in applying for the Honor Guard program, call retired Sgt. Maj. Ed Goetschius at 609-530-7090.

Reduced rates on NJ Transit for military, dependents

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

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

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

Information for N.J. state employees


Flu shots for state employees being scheduled

From the Division of Veterans Healthcare Services

DMAVA will again be administering flu shots to STATE employees.  Each directorate should forward the names of their personnel interested in receiving the vaccine to Karen Wallace, 609-530-6766.

Send each person’s full name, division and work location where they will receive the vaccination, no later than Oct. 31.

Flu shots will be administered at Central Office, the Veterans Cemetery, and the three Veterans Memorial Homes.  The tentative date for the vaccination is Nov. 18 or 19.

Pension loan applications to be submitted through MBOS

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

NOTICE from the Division of Pensions and Benefits:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Employees required to register for MBOS

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

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

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

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

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

No handbooks available for NJDIRECT

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

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

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

State employees who move, marry must contact HR department

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

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

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


family on the porch.JPGYouth Camp 2009 dates set

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

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

Applications will be posted on the website, www.guardfamily.org/Youth, mid-December 2008.  Please stay posted for more information.

Click and find out which FAC supports your armory

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

Additional dental cleaning allowed during pregnancy by Tricare

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

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

No-cost prescription savings plan available

From the desk of Marie Durling, Family Programs Specialist

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

During the Deployment Information


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

The New Jersey National Guard State Family Readiness Council has increased the amounts of family and business grants up to $5,000 and $10,000, respectively.  Both are what are known as TIER I grants.  TIER II family grants are also available to New Jersey Army and Air National Guard non-deployed service members who were on State Active Duty or State Missions (e.g., hurricanes, floods, border missions) for more than 20 consecutive days.  Service members meeting these criteria are eligible to apply for a financial hardship grant up to $1,500.  Applications are available at all New Jersey Army and Air National Guard Family Assistance Centers.

Hero Packs to children of deployed military

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

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

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

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

Nov. 5, 7 p.m. – Morristown armory

Nov. 17, 6 p.m. – Toms River armory

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

DoD, YMCA team up to offer free memberships

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picatinny “Waiting Family Support Group” open to new members

From the desk of Doris Clark, Picatinny Arsenal 

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

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

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

Give parents a break

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

Dog Tags for Kids program

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

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

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

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

FRG volunteers needed

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

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

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

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

Reserve Aid gives support to families of deployed service members

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

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

N.J. licenses, registration extended for deployed troops

New Jerseyans who are on active duty military, in the National Guard or the military reserves, serving in the war on terrorism, are eligible for automatic extensions of a valid driver license, registration or inspection expiration dates. Go to www.nj.gov/mvc/ for more information.

Financial counseling available for deployed service members

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

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

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

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

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

Morris County offers program for military families

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

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

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

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

Post Office offers boxes, discount rate to FPO/APO addresses

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

Now the U.S. Postal Service is making it easier for families to send care packages with a larger flat rate box and a special discount to FPO/ APO addresses. They are 50 percent larger than the current flat rate box and can be sent to any domestic address for $12.95. A special military version of the box will carry the "America Supports You" logo and can be shipped to any FPO/ APO address for $10.95. The new Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box is "12 x 12" x 5½". For complete guidelines on mail services to military members overseas visit the USPS website at: www.usps.com/supportingourtroops/welcome.htm?from=household &page=troopsupport.

Sports


golf.WMFSixers offering special on tickets for Veterans Day

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

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

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

For more information contact Marie Durling at 609-562-0739 or marie.durling@nj.ngb.army.mil.

Travel Help, Ideas


Guard history lessons for family at Sea Girt museum

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

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

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

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

Armed Forces Vacation Club offers affordable lodging

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

Scholarship, Education News


Help available to students studying for SAT/ACT

In cooperation with the Department of Defense, eKnowledge Corporation, a leading supplier of interactive test preparation products for college entrance exams, along with a group of NFL players, have donated more than $16 million worth of multimedia SAT/ACT Test Preparation products to service members and their families worldwide.

Now in its fourth year, the eKnowledge/NFL player sponsorship effort has shipped more than 90,000 free SAT/ACT test preparation programs, valued at $200, to military servicemembers and their families.

The eKnowledge SAT and ACT test prep programs come in either a single DVD or two CD-ROM set that include more than 11 hours of high quality video training/instruction with up to 40 hours of student interactive learning participation. The SAT and ACT test prep programs can be used as a stand-alone instruction tool to prepare thoroughly for the SAT and ACT, or as a supplement to other SAT and ACT preparation materials. Each student can select the areas where they need additional or special training/instruction, and can then study at their own pace using the 120 video lessons which comprise the SAT and Act test prep programs. The program also provides the student with feedback on their learning progress, test readiness and more.

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

Education news for NJARNG

Education Services Brochure Booklet (ESB2)

Access the New Jersey Army National Guard's ESB2 at www.nj.gov/military/education.  The ESB2 is a comprehensive guide with links and shortcuts to civilian education benefits available to New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers.

G.I. Bill Notice of Basic Eligibility

New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers can print their Eligibility of Mobilized Soldier notification letter for CH 1607 as well as Notice Of Basic Eligibility for CH 1606 at For Army National Guard Education Benefits, please use  https://www.nationalguardbenefits.com; click on G.I. Bill Home Page.

American Legion offers scholarships, booklet on their Web site

The American Legion has scholarship information on their Web site – www.legion.org – including the 152-page booklet, Need a Lift, which is a complete financial aid reference guide for veterans, family members and the American Legion family.  When you get on the site, click on “Scholarship Information” in the “Useful Links” block.

Association News


117th Cav Association announces meeting schedule

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

NGANJ group life insurance available to members

Are you covered by the NGANJ Group Life Insurance Program?  As a member of either the Officers or the Enlisted Association, you are entitled to enroll in your Association Life Insurance Program.  This special program provides from $5,000 to $50,000 of Life Insurance for you, “round the clock”.  Premiums range from as little as $2 per month and may be payroll-deducted from your drill check.  Family coverage is also available at low rates designed for you as a member of the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard.  Think of it!!  No aviation exclusions...No hazardous duty restrictions...No war clauses…No checks to write.  Family coverage includes spouses and all children.  Information can be obtained by contacting retired CWO Jack Petrosilli at 609-530-6843, or retired Brig. Gen. Robert S. Dutko Sr. at 609-273-1004.  Enrollment forms can be obtained by calling retired Col. Frank L. Carlone, Program Coordinator at 732-249-8335.

Veterans Information


army tent cartoon-vet beneies.wmfVSO starting outreach on Monmouth University campus

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

Help for small business owners

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

VA Suicide Hotline

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

DoD develops compensation and benefits handbook

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://turbotap.org

https://www.nko.navy.mil

http://www.npc.navy.mil

https://www.aw2.army.mil

https://www.my.af.mil/gcss-af/USAF/AFP40/d/1073755231/Files/C&BHandbook

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.

Web site provides support to separating military members

TurboTAP (Transition Assistance Program) is an easy to use, interactive Web portal that provides life-long support to separating military service members (Active Duty, Guard and Reserve) and their families. It is a single source starting point for accessing key resources available for servicemembers transitioning out of the military at any point in their military career.  Resources include Department of Defense, Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Education, Small Business Administration, the National Veterans Corporation and the National Guard Bureau.  For more information go to www.TurboTAP.org or email TAPHelp@military-inc.com.

DMAVA Veterans Outreach Campaign continues

The DMVA Veterans Outreach Campaign continues with kiosk displays at selected malls throughout New Jersey.  The schedule is as follows:

November 5*, 6, 7

Deptford Mall

December 4*

NJ Veterans Memorial Home at Vineland

January 6*, 7, 8

Moorestown Mall

February 3*, 4, 5

Paramus Park Mall

March 3*, 4, 5

Monmouth Mall

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

N.J. Vietnam Veterans Memorial


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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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