News For Your Views
Governor, elected officials, employers, media visit 50th IBCT in Texas
It was the second ESGR-sponsored visit to the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team as it trains at Fort Bliss, Texas, in preparation for deployment to Iraq. This time, employers of Guardsmen were joined by Governor Jon S. Corzine and elected state and local officials, as well as some big names from the entertainment and sports worlds. The delegation witnessed Soldiers training on several different aspects of their mission, including detainee handling, riot control and vehicle rollover response. During the evening, troops were treated to a show that included the Fort Bliss 62nd Army Band accompanying Jersey’s own Joe Piscopo. Sports legends Joe Klecko of the Jets and Bart Oates of the Giants spoke to the troops and handed out hats and t-shirts.
The DMAVA trip coordinators and the New Jersey ESGR team headed by retired Col. Carmen Venticinque did an outstanding job bringing this diverse group of people to the hot Texas and New Mexico expanses of Fort Bliss. The Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Glenn Rieth called this trip a huge success and said that it helped contribute to the understanding that elected officials and employers have of the Guard. “Seeing firsthand the sacrifices of the Citizen-Soldier, these officials and employers gain a new appreciation of their constituents and employees in the National Guard and Reserves,” said Maj. Gen. Rieth.
Teaneck FRG announces August calendar
From the desk of retired Sgt First Class Janis Shaw
Upcoming events for the Teaneck FRG/FAC:
Aug. 15, 7 p.m. - "Waiting To Exhale" - (women only)
Aug. 16, 9-11 a.m. - Miniature Golf Outing / BBQ; sponsored by the Paramus Rotary Club
Aug. 19, 6 p.m. - Boys Scout / Girl Scouts Registration
Aug. 21, 6 p.m. - Bullying Workshop
a. Peer Pressure: Edward Rowbotham, Administrator for Health & Social Services
b. Gang Awareness: Substance Abuse Coordinator/Youth Coordinator
c. Bullying: Master Sgt. Minnie Hiller-Cousins Intervention/Prevention Counselor & District\ Court Liaison and 250th BSB FAC Coordinator
d. FRG Meeting and Back to School; BBQ, 7 p.m.; you must RSVP no later than Aug. 18, call 201-833-8356.
Aug. 22, 9 a.m. departure - Forest Lodge Outing; leaving from Teaneck Armory; must RSVP no later than Aug. 18. Call 201-833-8356/0632 to make reservations.
Aug. 25, 1:30 p.m. departure from Teaneck Armory - Bowling Outing
Aug. 27, 5 p.m. - Teen Meeting; Teaneck Armory FAC
Friends of ESGR announce golf outing at McGuire
The N.J. Friends of the Guard and Reserve is proud to present the 2008 State Chairman’s Annual Golf Outing. The golf outing will be held on Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Falcon Creek Golf Course, McGuire Air Force Base. The rain date is October 11. The $95 per golfer registration fee includes greens fees, cart, registration, continental breakfast, food and beverages on the course, door prizes and a buffet luncheon at the McGuire Club. Corporate, hole and cart sponsors are being sought also. All proceeds to benefit the activities of the N.J. Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. For additional information, contact Hank Pierre at 609-562-0156, Tammy Cartagena at 609-562-0157 or Tyler Sandford at 609-562-0155.
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: Aug. 28, Sept. 25, Oct. 23, Nov. 20 and Dec. 18.
NJARNG Safety office has moved
The New Jersey Army National Guard Safety and Occupational Health (SOH) office has moved to room 107 in building 3650, Saylors Pond Road, Fort Dix. Their main number is 609-562-0605. Of call team members:
Chief Warrant Officer Two Tilbert Brymer, SOH Manager, 609-562-0509; Sgt. Maj. Nick Kampf, SOH specialist, 609-562-0510; Sgt. 1st Class George Reilly, Safety specialist; and, Staff Sgt. Luis Cruz, Occupational Health specialist, 609-562-0606.
AAFES essay contest for school age children
AAFES is sponsoring an essay contest for school age children, grades 1-12, with prizes to include computers and savings bonds.
Contest deadline is Aug. 31 and the essays are to be 200 words or less, explaining, “What AAFES means to me and my family.” There are four categories, grades, 1-3, grades 4-6, grades 7-9 and grades 10-12. Entries can be submitted by mail to
Army Air Force Exchange Service
ATTN: Patriot Family BTS Essay (MK-M2 Strategic Marketing)
3911 S. Walton Walker Blvd.
Dallas TX 75236
or e-mailed to patriot firstname.lastname@example.org. “Essay” must be in the subject line.
To check for rules and eligibility, go to
The America Supports You Freedom Walk honors the victims of Sept. 11 and pays tribute to veterans, past and present. It will be held on Sept. 7, 9 a.m.-noon, in Washington, D.C. The starting point is the Women in Military Service Memorial and the finish point is the Pentagon South parking lot. A musical tribute will begin immediately following the Walk. Register online at www.AmericaSupportsYou.mil. Registration closes at 6 p.m. on Sept. 5. Text 8-9-2-7-9 for more information.
From the Small Business Office, Picatinny Arsenal
The Office of Small Business Programs is pleased to announce the 2008 Veterans and Service Disabled Veterans Government Procurement Fair on Aug. 20, at the Zeris Inn, Route 46 East, Mountain Lakes, N.J. Mark your calendars, click on the Web site for information/registration and get ready for a morning full of networking, workshops and special guest speakers! This year we have invited several major large business firms and other government and state buying activities to attend this fair.
See www.wisewebnet.com/vets, for more information.
Celebrate DMAVA’s 10th annual Unity Day Sept. 18
Come celebrate Unity Day: Decade of Diversity with the Soldiers, Airmen and employees of the New Jersey National Guard on Sept. 18 at the Joint Training and Training Development Center (JT2DC), from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
This will be the 10th annual celebration of Unity Day for the department. This day was created to celebrate the various ethnic observances, enhance cross-cultural awareness and promote harmony among all members of the New Jersey National Guard. Celebrating the contributions of minorities and women has proven to be very successful through this multicultural event.
Activities for the day will include food, displays, music and more. This year booths will represent African American, Italian, Irish, Native American, Hispanic, Pacific Islanders, Tuskegee Airmen, Buffalo Soldiers and the Federal Women’s Program.
For more information, contact Capt. Barbara Brown-Wilson, 609-562-0856, or Barbara.email@example.com.
FRG training for leaders, volunteers in September
There will be Family Readiness Group Training for leadership and volunteers on Sept. 6-7. Save the date. More information on location will be put out at a later date. Activities for children ages 8-16 will be available at the hotel during the training sessions. We are not able to accommodate children under the age of eight. We will also be having a speaker for parents of deployed Soldiers/Airmen on Sept. 6.
HRD presents seminars for training
From the desk of Paul Serdiuk, DMAVA Human Resources Division
The Human Resources Division is offering a number of free seminars presented by the Human Recourse Training Section. Reservations are needed for each seminar; contact Paul Serdiuk at 609-530-6878 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. All seminars will be held in Conference Room A at DMAVA Central Office. All are welcomed.
Sep. 17: State Deferred Compensation – Mike McConnell from Prudential Financial will meet with State employees to discuss their participation and contributions to their deferred compensation account. A 30 minute consultation will be scheduled per each employee.
Join in to honor Col. Caruso in his retirement
Come out to the retirement dinner for Col. Frank S. Caruso honoring his 40 years of service on Sept. 7. The dinner will be held at Charley’s Other Brother, 1383 Monmouth Road, Eastampton, with cocktail hour beginning at 5 p.m. and dinner starting at 6 p.m. Cost is $40 per person and the menu is Italian buffet. Dress is business casual. If interested, please contact Marie Durling at 609-562-0739 to make reservations. RSVP no later than Aug. 29; no checks will be accepted at the door.
117th Cav holding Biennial reunion Oct. 18
The 117th Cavalry Association will be holding their 2008 Biennial Reunion on Oct. 18 at Gibbs Hall, Fort Monmouth, where they will honor those who have served and those who continue to serve.
The cocktail hour will be from 6-7 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. Cost will be $50 per person if the reservation is received before Aug. 15; $55 per person thereafter. Meal choices will be chicken francaise, prime rib or stuffed flounder.
There will also be a member appreciation get-together on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Westfield Armory Heritage Room; spouses and guests are welcome.
Send money and reservations to Col. (ret.) Dennis J. Dougherty, 615 Raymond St., Westfield NJ 07090 by Sept. 15.
Last week we reported that the Deptford, N.J., home of Maj. Dominic Genovese, accidently burned down on July 19. The fire had taken away all of his family’s personal belongs and nothing can be recovered.
We want to send a thank you out to all of you who have sent in your support. There have been a number of people wanting to donate furniture. While the offers are appreciated, the problem is that the family has nowhere to store the furniture at this time.
Maj. Genovese is a member of the Medical Detachment, 2nd Battalion, 254th Regiment, Sea Girt. Genovese and his wife have daughters, ages 7 and 5.
The family is in need of clothing, food, money, gift cards, etc. If you can help the family in any way, contact Maria D. Morro, Toms River NJARNG Family Assistance Coordinator, office 732-341-9102, extension 13 or cell 609-312-9493.
Donations can be mailed or dropped off at the following locations:
Toms River Family Assistance Center (Toms River Armory)
ATTN: MAJ Genovese Fund
1200 Whitesville Rd.
Toms River NJ 08753
HQ 254th Regiment (Sea Girt Regiment)
ATTN: MAJ Genovese Fund
National Guard Training Center
PO Box 277
Sea Girt, NJ 08750
Chance for Soldier to sing in Soldier Show at Picatinny
Are you the next
American Idol? Idol Soldier? Let’s just ask: Can you sing?
There is a brand spanking new twist to this year’s Army Soldier Show which is returning to the stage at Picatinny Arsenal on Oct. 10. It’s the opportunity for local Military Talent to be IN THE SHOW.
To recognize and celebrate the last 25 years of the U.S. Army Soldier Show, an opportunity is being offered to identify a local Soldier-singer to join the cast of the 2008 Soldier Show on stage during the finale number in the production.
Picatinny wishes to identify an active duty Soldier, National Guard or Army Reserve to perform on stage. The selected Soldier should be equivalent to that expected of performers in The Soldier Show. The Soldier will be performing a solo of the second verse of the song, “Go the Distance,” by Michael Bolton, and then continue to perform with the entire cast for the rest of the finale song. Sheet music is available for review. An MP3 version of the song with and without lyrics is available by going to AED website www.armyentertainment.net and clicking on U.S. Army Soldier Show. The key of the song (D) will not change. The Soldier must be prepared to sing the song in that key. This is a singular opportunity for the hosting installations to recognize local Soldier talent and participate in a unique way with the 2008 25th Anniversary Tour of The US Army Soldier Show.
If you think your singing talent is up to the standards, drop an e-mail to Linda Huff-Franey who will be overseeing the selection at Linda.email@example.com.
Auditions would be held in September. This is open to Soldiers only, no members of other services or family members.
Employees required to register for MBOS
From the desk of Lisa J. Dandrea, Human Resources, Personnel Assistant
MBOS is the Member Benefits Online System. Through MBOS, employees may review their pension contributions, loan status, health benefits information, update their beneficiary information, apply for retirement, as well as many other applications. It has been encouraged that all employees register for this helpful tool. However Pensions is now working on MBOS being a requirement in order for employees to make certain updates to their personal information.
Effective immediately, in all cases where an employee is eligible to become a member of the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), the employer will be required to submit all enrollment information to Pensions via online. Important to note is that the online PERS Enrollment Application does not include the Designation of Beneficiary page. Instead, once the member is enrolled and issued a pension number, they must register for a MBOS account at: www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions/mbosregister.htm and complete the online Beneficiary Designation form. Until the member completes his or her Designation of Beneficiary, the member’s “Estate” will be the beneficiary of record.
Current employees –note, even if you are already enrolled into PERS, if you wish to make any changes to your beneficiary information, you too will need to be registered for MBOS. Members will not be able to submit the Change in Beneficiary Designation paper form since this will no longer be acceptable through the Division of Pensions and Benefits.
Visit the link above for complete instructions to register for MBOS. If you encounter any problems with registration, you may e-mail Pensions and Benefits with your questions/concerns and they can assist you through the process. You may also obtain a tri-fold brochure with MBOS instructions from your Human Resources Office.
MyArmyBenefits Website – the single source for all Army Benefits
MyArmyBenefits at http://myarmybenefits.us.army.mil is the official Army benefits resource for active-duty, Guard and reserve Soldiers, family members and retirees. Active-duty Soldiers with AKO accounts can access personalized reports on the survivor, disability, and retirement benefits through MyArmyBenefits.
Army Information Line: 1-800-833-6622
The Army Information Line (1-800-833-6622) is designed to help all Soldiers and their Family members whether they are deployed; stationed stateside or overseas; are brand new to the Army; or are 30 year veterans.
In addition to The Army Information Line, Army Well-Being's Army Families Online Web site www.ArmyFamiliesOnline.org recently welcomed its 2-millionth visitor this year.
The Army Information Line also celebrates its 25-year existence of providing information and referral services to those Soldiers and Family members.
Honor Guard program wants YOU!
Looking for a way to serve and get some satisfaction at the same time? The Honor Guard program is looking for members of the Army and Air Guard to join the team to perform honor guard duties at the funerals of veterans. There is an initial eight hours of training for all new enrollees, with on-going sustainment training. As an honor guard member, you will receive a day of pay for each day’s mission, minimum of $50, and traditional drilling Guard members receive a retirement point for each day’s duties.
If you are interested in applying for the Honor Guard program, call retired Sgt. Maj. Ed Goetschius at 609-530-7090.
NJNG retiree “information” e-mail on its way
About three years ago, retired Col. Carmen Venticinque, who is a New Jersey Army National Guard retiree, sent out an e-mail to about 50 retirees of both the Army and Air National Guard asking if they would be interested in receiving an e-mail on information of interest to NJNG retirees. Within a few weeks he received over 100 additional names and e-mail addresses. There are now close to 300 retiree e-mail addresses. All names will be sent the first e-mail, however, those wishing to opt out after receipt of the first group email can do so simply by notifying Col. Venticinque. The overwhelming response and positive comments received from retirees ranging from General Officers to Senior Enlisted personnel is solid evidence of their interest in not only their fellow retirees, but what is currently happening in our New Jersey National Guard.
Col. Venticinque can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To protect the privacy and integrity of the list, addresses will be listed as “undisclosed recipient” or placed on the “Bcc” line.
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
Absentee voting open to military, family
The Uniformed And Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) allows the following U.S. citizens to vote absentee:
• Members of the U.S. Uniformed Services (on active duty) and merchant marine,
• Their family members, and
• U.S. citizens residing outside the U.S.
Members of the U.S. Uniformed Services or merchant marine and their family members may vote absentee while away from their place of voting residence, wherever stationed, inside or outside the United States.
U.S. citizens residing outside the United States and its territories may vote in the state or territory where they last resided immediately prior to departing the United States, even if many years have elapsed and the citizen maintains no residence in the state or territory and the intent to return to that state or territory may not be certain.
No handbooks available for NJDIRECT
Inquiries about NEW handbooks and directories for NJDIRECT has prompted this reply from Pensions and Benefits:
"Unfortunately, we do not have NJ Direct Handbooks to give to members and will not be receiving a supply. Members may visit the NJ Direct website www.horizonblue. com/shbp. Members without computers are encouraged to use their local library or a relative's computer or call the plan directly".
You may also look up benefit information and visit the Unified Provider Directory on the Pensions and Benefits website under State Health Benefits Program.
State employees who move, marry must contact HR department
From the desk of Lisa Dandrea, Human Resources Office
Please remember if you have an address change and/or a name change, it is extremely important that you contact Lisa Dandrea in the Human Resources Office. There have been a lot of issues with tax W2s, pension statements and pay checks being returned to our office, as well as some employees not receiving their new health cards, all due to incorrect addresses. Your address change is not automatic and it is not limited to completing a new W4. There are specific forms for employees to complete that updates their new information statewide. Your change of address or name affects your paycheck, your pension statements, W2s, loans, any information sent out by your health care provider, promotional announcements from Dept. of Personnel, etc. If you have had an address/name change and have not updated your information, please make sure you contact Lisa Dandrea in HRD-ESB at 609-530-6888 or e-mail Lisa.Dandrea@njdmava.state.nj.us.
Battlemind supports Soldiers, families through deployment cycle
Battlemind is a term used to describe combat readiness. The first Battlemind product was a mental health post-deployment briefing. It quickly became a training system supporting Soldiers and families across the seven phases of the deployment cycle. The Battlemind system includes separate pre-deployment training modules for Soldiers, unit leaders, health-care providers and spouses. Psychological debriefings are given in theater and upon redeployment. There is also a post-deployment module for spouses and several post-deployment modules for Soldiers. Pre-deployment Battlemind tells Soldiers what they are likely to see, to hear, to think and to feel while deployed - by describing the worst-case scenario. Post-deployment Battlemind addresses safety concerns, relationship issues, normalized combat-related mental health reactions and symptoms -- along with teaching Soldiers when they should seek mental health support for themselves or for their buddies. All of the Battlemind products (training modules, brochures, debriefings and videos are available on the Web site, www.battlemind.org.
Reduced rates on NJ Transit for military, dependents
Here is another benefit offered to military members, retirees and their dependents by the state of New Jersey.
Eligible passengers may ride at reduced fare rates on any NJ Transit bus, rail or light rail service at all times, without restriction, upon presentation of authorized identification.
All military personnel and their dependents will be permitted to purchase transportation at the senior citizen/passengers with disabilities reduced fare rate upon showing their military or military dependent ID card. The following military personnel are entitled to this fare: Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard or Retired for Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard.
N.J. licenses, registration extended for deployed troops
New Jerseyans who are on active duty military, in the National Guard or the military reserves, serving in the war on terrorism, are eligible for automatic extensions of a valid driver license, registration or inspection expiration dates. Go to www.nj.gov/mvc/ for more information.
Discounts offered for State employees
Are you a state employee looking to save a few $$$?
Visit www.state.nj.us/personnel/discounts/index.htm and you can find a number of businesses who offer discounts to New Jersey state employees. From amusement parks to fitness to computer to phones and lots of other discounts between, you will find many ways to save money. For more information, please contact Cindy Leese at email@example.com or call 609-530-7056.
For the Families
Support for military children of deployed and injured Guard members
From the desk of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes, Family Assistance specialist
Our Military Kids (OMK) provides tangible support to the children of deployed and severely injured National Guard and Military Reserve personnel through grants for enrichment activities and tutoring that nurture and sustain the children during the time a parent is away in service to our country. OMK grants are made to honor the sacrifices military parents make and to ensure that the children have access to activities and support that help the children better cope with challenges arising during a parent's deployment or injury recovery. For additional information go to www.ourmilitarykids.org
Healthy Families resource packet available
Order your free copies of Promoting Healthy Families in Your Community: 2008 Resource Packet today. Developed for service providers, the packet highlights strategies to strengthen families by promoting key protective factors that prevent child abuse and neglect. It also includes tip sheets in both English and Spanish to share with parents.
The Resource Packet is produced annually by the Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau, Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Welfare Information Gateway, and the FRIENDS National Resource Center on Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention. The 2008 packet was developed with input from more than 30 national organizations that work to promote healthy families.
The packet and corresponding poster can be downloaded or ordered at www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/res_packet_2008. Or contact Child Welfare Information Gateway at 1.800.394.3366 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Family Readiness Groups (FRG) play an important role during deployments.
Yet, in order to be successful, these groups rely on the support of volunteers.
FRGs are comprised of volunteers who donate their time to make sure our Soldier’s “Homefront Heroes” are supported through networking with other family members and mutually offering support to one another.
If you would like to be a volunteer or a participant please contact your local Family Assistance Center. You can reach them by calling our toll free number 888-859-0352 and selecting the prompt of the Family Assistance Center near you.
Financial counseling available for deployed service members
From the desk of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes, Family Assistance Specialist
The Military Housing Assistance Fund (MHAF) helps military families to become homeowners by providing them with grants to assist them with purchasing a home. The Fund also provides financial counseling to members of the National Guard and Reserves, deployed and serving in combat zones overseas, which are having problems meeting their monthly obligations due to their deployment and activation. Learn more at http://www.militaryhousingassistancefund.org. The Fund is a project of the Financial Counselors of America (FCA), a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization founded in 1991 to help Americans manage their finances and get out of debt. Visit the FCA website at http://www.financialcounselors.org.
Child care $$$$$ available for spouses of deployed military
From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator
Child care money is available for spouses of Title 10 Army National Guard activated Soldiers only. If the spouses are employed, seeking employment (for 60 days) or going to school, they can qualify for a $100 per month per child stipend for fulltime care (licensed child care provider required). Call the National Guard Child Care Program today to apply 1-888-642-2799 or email@example.com.
No-cost prescription savings plan available
From the desk of Marie Durling, Family Programs Specialist
Here is a no cost to you prescription savings program. This program offers discounts on all generic prescription medications at your local pharmacy. You do not have to do anything special to qualify. There is no income, residence, employment, age, citizenship or any other qualifications to meet. Not even an application to fill out. The Family State Programs Office at Joint Force Headquarters, Fort Dix has the group ID cards. Call Marie Durling at 609-562-0739 and one will be mailed to you. For more information check out www.mediservrx.com.
Camp Noble Cause serving children, spouses of deployed Guard members
From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator
Camp Noble Cause is a three day camping experience that will serve the children and spouses of the New Jersey National Guardsmen and women being deployed this summer. Our mission is to provide a no-cost summer camp experience, for a weekend of fun and camaraderie.
It will be held on August 22-24 at Camp Winnebago, 102 Timberbrook Road, Rockaway, N.J., approximately 12 miles from Wayne. It is being hosted by the Scouts of the Patriot’s Path Council, Boy Scouts of America and Operation Noble Cause.
All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Overnight camping capacity is limited to 300 and the day camp can accommodate an additional 200. Children must be old enough to tent camp comfortably to attend.
Planned activities include: mountain biking and nature walks, crafts, astronomy, shooting sports (archery, rifle, shot gun), rockwall climbing, waterfront activities (boating, swimming, fishing), Geocaching (GPS “hide and seek”), sports (softball, volleyball, basketball, soccer and more) and campfire activities.
Go to http://main.ppbsa.org and click on the Camp Noble Cause icon to register for families to go on weekend retreats.
Morris County offers program for military families
From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator
Family Service of Morris County in partnership with the Family Programs Office, New Jersey, would like to announce its Military Families Outreach Program. Based on a community effort, the Military Families Outreach Program strives to support Morris County military personnel and their families, including extended families, pre-deployment, during deployment and post-deployment.
We realize the pressures and problems that may occur when a family member is called to duty, and we want to assist with any services that you may need to ensure quality of life. Social services, support services and mental health services are some of the resources that will be available to Morris County residents. All services offered in this program are free of charge to you and your family and are bound by the highest consideration for complete confidentiality.
For more information about the Military Services Outreach Program, contact Wendy Parrinello, Military Families Outreach Case Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 973-538-5260, extension 326. You can also contact Tammy Rosenthal, Director of child and Adolescent Services at email@example.com or 973-538-5260. We are privileged to work with you who have given so much for your country!
Order a complimentary Blue Star Flag to show your family’s service
From the desk of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes, Family Assistance Specialist
The Blue Star Flag first appeared in 1917, when Capt. Robert L. Queissner, who had two sons serving on the front line, designed it as a tribute to their dedication and service. He proudly displayed this flag in the front window of his home and the flag quickly became the unofficial symbol of a child in the service. Also known as a Service Flag, the blue star stands for hope and pride. Order a complimentary Blue Star Flag to honor your loved ones in the service by visiting: www.grantham.edu/ promo/freebluestar.php.
Post Office offers boxes, discount rate to FPO/APO addresses
From the desk of retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes, Family Assistance Specialist
Now the U.S. Postal Service is making it easier for families to send care packages with a larger flat rate box and a special discount to FPO/ APO addresses. They are 50 percent larger than the current flat rate box and can be sent to any domestic address for $12.95. A special military version of the box will carry the "America Supports You" logo and can be shipped to any FPO/ APO address for $10.95. The new Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box is "12 x 12" x 5½". For complete guidelines on mail services to military members overseas visit the USPS website at:
Federal grant for spouses of deployed military
Grants from a funding from the Department of Community Affairs are available for spouses of deployed or recently deployed military (all branches across the state). Typical awards are $2,500 each and are available for financial difficulties (such as past due rent and childcare) as well as for recreational and stress relieving activities for kids. For more information contact Rene Mainor, Military Grant Liaison, Women's Opportunity Center, YMCA of Burlington County by calling 609-543-6200 Ext. 235 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rolling Thunder sponsoring Poker Run to benefit scholarship fund
Come join the 3rd Annual Ryan T. Baker / Philip Spakosky Memorial Poker Run, sponsored by: Rolling Thunder ® Inc., Chapter 2 N.J., on August 24. Start site is The Pub, Country Lakes Shopping Center, 558 Lakehurst Road, Browns Mills and the end point is the American Legion, Pemberton-Juliustown Road, Pemberton.
Registration time is 9-11 a.m. and the donations will be $10 for each rider and $5 for each passenger.
Proceeds Benefit the Fallen Hero Scholarships and New Jersey Fallen Hero’s Scholarship Fund. The event will take place rain or shine. There will be door prizes, live music, food (pigs on wheels), RTNJ2 product sales, vendors and face painting.
For more information, call 609-971-3544 or visit www.rollingthunder-nj2.org or email@example.com.
Hunterdon County Vets Alliance celebrates special day with ball game
Come watch the Somerset (N.J.) Patriots play the Bridgeport (Conn.) Bluefish during the Hunterdon County Veterans Alliance sixth annual Veterans of America Day on Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. The Veterans of America celebration will begin the evening with guest of honor, Marine Maj. Jason E. Smith, present commander of the recruiting Station New Jersey and veteran of two tours of Iraq.
After the celebration, enjoy the Atlantic League game with free tickets for veterans and discounted tickets - $5 each – for friends and family. Discounted tickets must be ordered in advance. Contact 908-252-0700 for more information. Cal Joe Yuzuik at 732-563-4012 for information on the Veterans events scheduled prior to the game.
Trenton Thunder offers reduced tickets to military personnel, vets
The Trenton Thunder baseball team and its community partner, the Trenton Vet Center, have collaborated to sponsor reduced ticket prices for veterans and their families during the 2008 Trenton Thunder baseball season.
A regular $10 ticket has been reduced to $7 for veterans and their family members.
Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard, separated, and retired veterans are eligible for this program. Interested veterans must have a picture I.D. and provide proof of their veteran status by showing one of the following documents:
- Military I.D. card.
- Federal Department of Veteran Affairs medical I.D. card
- DD Form 214
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.
The 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.
Free tickets to Busch Adventure Parks for military, families
Any active duty, activated or drilling reservist, or National Guardsman is entitled to free admission to a Anheuser-Busch Adventure Park under the Here's to the Heroes program. He or she need only register, either by going to this Web site http://www.herosalute.com/ and submitting his or her information or in the entrance plaza of participating parks, and show a Department of Defense photo ID. As many as three direct dependents of military personnel also are entitled to free admission. Dependents may take advantage of the offer without their service member, though an adult must accompany minor dependents, and dependent ages 10 and over must present valid dependent I.D. Busch Gardens Williamsburg and SeaWorld San Antonio are seasonal operations that will remain closed until spring 2008. Military personnel interested in visiting those parks should check operating schedules. The remaining parks, SeaWorld Orlando, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay and SeaWorld San Diego are open year round.
Valid for one complimentary single-day admission per person, per year, to one of the following Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks: SeaWorld Orlando, San Diego, or San Antonio, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay or Williamsburg, Sesame Place, Water Country USA, Adventure Island. Not valid at Discovery Cove and Aquatica.
Armed Forces Vacation Club offers affordable lodging
The Armed Forces Vacation Club is a "space available" program offering Department of Defense affiliated personnel affordable condominium vacations at over 3,500 resorts around the world. Visit www.afvclub.com/ for more information.
Shades of Green offers Disney for military
Now that the summer is just around the corner, thoughts of how to spend your next vacation week are probably starting to pop into your mind. “Can we go someplace better or different, nearer or farther from home, all without breaking the bank?”
One place to consider if Florida is one of your next vacation places is Shades of Green in Orlando. Minutes from the Disney attractions, this resort is also close to golf, dining and other Florida attractions.
Their web site, www.shadesofgreen.org can give you tours of their rooms and family suites, the local attractions and other amenities that are offered by the resort. The rates are reasonable and will be an opportunity to visit Orlando with your family.
Scholarship, Education News
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Education news for NJARNG
Education Services Brochure Booklet (ESB2)
Access the New Jersey Army National Guard's ESB2 at www.nj.gov/military/education. The ESB2 is a comprehensive guide with links and shortcuts to civilian education benefits available to New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers.
G.I. Bill Notice of Basic Eligibility
New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers can print their Eligibility of Mobilized Soldier notification letter for CH 1607 as well as Notice Of Basic Eligibility for CH 1606 at https://www.nationalguardbenefits.com; click on G.I. Bill Home Page.
American Legion offers scholarships, booklet on their Web site
The American Legion has scholarship information on their Web site – www.legion.org – including the 152-page booklet, Need a Lift, which is a complete financial aid reference guide for veterans, family members and the American Legion family. When you get on the site, click on “Scholarship Information” in the “Useful Links” block.
Enlisted Association holding conference Sept. 26-28
It’s time for the 2008 Enlisted Association of the National Guard of New Jersey Conference, being held in Atlantic City at the Sheraton Hotel on Sept. 26-28. Come see your friends and have fun. The options are unlimited. Come Friday and do your own thing or join the Junior Enlisted sponsoring a hospitality room featuring a “Taste of Atlantic City,” with food to match. Saturday, our business meeting is from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. The Military Ball cocktail hour is 6-7 p.m. and then it’s dinner and awards. Have your picture taken by our photographer or visit our Chinese auction. Following the Military Ball, the Junior Enlisted will entertain everyone with “Boogie Nights” in the hospitality room.
To see all that Atlantic City has to offer, visit www.starwoodmeeting.com/book/EANGNJ.
Visit our Web site EANG-NJ.org for the application and to discover more about the conference. For more information, contact Jerome Zebrowski, 609-214-6959, email@example.com, or Edward Goetschius, 609-965-1972, firstname.lastname@example.org.
117th Cav Association announces meeting schedule
The 117th Cavalry Association, whose mission is to promote and enhance the friendships and camaraderie of our members, who are mutually bound by service and devotion to our country, announces its upcoming meetings. They will be held at 7:30 p.m., at the Westfield Armory's Heritage Room. Meetings will be on Oct. 17, Nov. 7 and the reunion on Oct. 18 at Fort Monmouth, N.J.
Enlisted Association wants YOU!
By retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes, EANG-NJ
The Enlisted Association National Guard-New Jersey is off to a good start for 2008 as we have realigned all the committees and filled both the Executive Council and Committees with a cross section of Army and Air, uniformed and retirees, and several junior NCOs. Everyone appears to be enthused and pledges to support the Association in all its efforts. All we need now is for you to get on board as a member and bring your fellow soldiers and airmen with you.
We have many challenges facing us over the next few years whether it is another round of base closures via the Base Realignment Commission (BRAC), reduction in TRICARE benefits, reduction in troop strength, attempts to maintain the retirement age at 60, etc. We need a powerful voice to put our message across to the State and Federal Legislators and this can only be accomplished through a strong membership in our State Association (EANG-NJ) and the National Association (EANGUS).
The new membership year starts on 1 January 2008 and we need your help in making our Association grow. We encourage all enlisted soldiers and airmen to join the Association as Active Members and also welcome all officers, warrant officers, federal, and state employees to join as Associate Members. Applications for membership can be obtained from our website www.eang-nj.org.
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 email@example.com.
To ensure veterans with emotional crises have round-the-clock access to trained professionals, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has a national suicide prevention hot line for veterans. VA's hot line will be staffed by mental health professionals in Canandaigua, N.Y. They will take toll-free calls from across the country and work closely with local VA mental health providers to help callers. The toll-free hot line number is 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255).
Web site provides support to separating military members
TurboTAP (Transition Assistance Program) is an easy to use, interactive Web portal that provides life-long support to separating military service members (Active Duty, Guard and Reserve) and their families. It is a single source starting point for accessing key resources available for servicemembers transitioning out of the military at any point in their military career. Resources include Department of Defense, Department of Labor, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Education, Small Business Administration, the National Veterans Corporation and the National Guard Bureau. For more information go to www.TurboTAP.org or email TAPHelp@military-inc.com.
DMAVA Veterans Outreach Campaign continues
The DMVA Veterans Outreach Campaign continues with kiosk displays at selected malls throughout New Jersey. The schedule is as follows:
September 2*, 3, 4
Bridgewater Commons Mall
October 14*, 15, 16
Menlo Park Mall
November 5*, 6, 7
*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:
Free guided tours of the Memorial are offered on the first Saturday of each month at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Aug. 9, 1 p.m. – "Centaurs in Vietnam: Army Air Cavalry at War" – a video and oral-history presentation by N.J. Vietnam Veteran Carl Burns, former chopper pilot with the "Centaurs" of the 25th Infantry Division.
Sept. 19, 11 a.m. – National POW/MIA Recognition Day and National Gold Star Mothers Day Ceremony at the N.J. Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.
Sept. 21, 12:30 p.m. – Arrival at the N.J. Vietnam Veterans' Memorial by Rolling Thunder-N.J., annual motorcycle run for POW/MIA awareness.
For further information call 1-800-648-VETS or visit www.njvvmf.org.