New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights 7 December 2007

Volume 6, Number 48


Contacting us is easy!

Public Affairs Office

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



Veterans' Organizations Contact Information

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

NJ Advisory Committee for Women Veterans
Mrs. Anna Hoffman
hoffmanannem@aol.com

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



Veterans Hotlines

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

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



DMAVA Highlights Archive

DMAVA Highlights Archive Page



NJ World War II Memorial

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

WWII Memorial on the web



New Jersey Freedom Loans

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

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

Or

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

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

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

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

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

Manasquan Savings Bank
732-223-4450

North Jersey Federal Credit Union
1-888-78NJFCU

Peapack-Gladstone Bank (908)
719-BANK

Pennsville National Bank
856-678-6006

PNC
1-866-PNC-4USA

Sovereign Bank
1-877-391-6365

Sun National Bank
1-800-691-7701


Quote for the Week

Necessity never made a good bargain.

- Benjamin Franklin

Man is what he believes.

- Anton Pavlovich Chekhov

He who reflects too much will accomplish little

- Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

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

- Anonymous


Download PDF Version of this week's highlights

News For Your Views

"Mission: See Your Soldier" will be held in New Jersey

The companies of Glowpoint, MSpace, and TANDBERG are opening their videoconferencing networks to military families - nationwide - this holiday season so that they can communicate face-to-face with their loved ones deployed to Iraq this holiday season on Thursday, Dec. 13, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. EST.

Military families in New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Texas, Georgia, Minnesota, and California can arrange for hosted videoconferencing calls to Freedom Call Centers in Iraq. The New Jersey location is Glowpoint, 225 Long Avenue, Hillside. There is also a location in New York at: The Digital Sandbox, 55 Broad Street, Fourth Floor, New York, NY.

Working in partnership with the Freedom Calls Foundation, the host companies will connect families and military personnel stationed in Iraq for 30-minute videoconferences at one of the following five military installations on the day of the event:

v    Camp Taji

v    Al Asad Air Base

v    Camp Fallujah

v    Camp Victory (Baghdad)

v    Camp Taqaddum

Please call Christopher Welch at 866-456-9764 extension 2002 or at cwelch@glowpoint.com to request a videoconferencing session - and for additional information - for Thursday, December 13, 2007. You may also go to www.glowpoint.com and click on the Freedom Calls icon to make a request. The deadline for all requests is 5 PM (EST) on Friday, December 7.

Country music icon and military supporter Charlie Daniels will also take part in the "Mission: See Your Soldier" project by making video calls to the troops stationed in Iraq. Daniels traveled abroad in 2005 and 2006, visiting Iraq and Kuwait to perform for U.S. troops as part of the Stars for Stripes tour. During the 2006 tour, The CDB performed at some of the camps that will participate in these videoconference calls.

108th holding holiday party on Dec. 9

From the desk of 1st Lt. April Kelly, 108th ARW PAO

On Sunday, Dec. 9, the 108th Air Refueling Wing will be hosting a Commander's Call to include a Holiday Party for unit members and their families. The 108th will sponsor Operation Youth Deployment where family members will be able to take part in a simulated deployment.

Military Officers Association honors 177th Airman, Officer of the Year

The Military Officers Association of America's Southern New Jersey Chapter has announced the recipients of its Outstanding Company Grade Officer and Airman of the Year awards for 2007. The 177th Fighter Wing's Senior Airman Walter Kienzle of the Security Forces Squadron and Capt. John Cosgrove of the Civil Engineers Squadron will be honored at a MOAA luncheon this month. The awards recognize military members who demonstrate outstanding service and performance of duties. Congratulations to both!

"Wreaths Across America" coming to Doyle cemetery

Starting in 1992, Morrill and Karen Worcester (owners of the Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine) began voluntarily donating and shipping truckloads of holiday wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. Through their efforts, some 5,000 wreaths were placed, last year, on the graves of the honored dead who are entombed at the historic venue.

Now known as "Wreaths Across America," the initiative seeks to involve every national and state veteran's cemetery in the nation in honoring our deceased veterans, and their families, during the holiday season.

The Brig. Gen. William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, located at 350 Provinceline Road, North Hanover Township, will participate for the second straight year. On Saturday, Dec. 15, at noon, there will be a brief ceremony at the Memorial Walkway at the Doyle Cemetery. This ceremony will be held in concert with 229 other veteran cemeteries across the nation.

During the ceremony, representatives of the New Jersey Wing of the Civil Air Patrol will join with members of the cemetery's Joint Honor Guard to present wreaths honoring each branch of our armed services. All members of the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard, active duty military and the general public are invited to attend.

State Employees' Toy Drive looking for toys, gifts

The New Jersey State Employees Toy Drive will start on Nov. 26, and will run through Dec. 17. The toys and gifts will be distributed to children under the supervision of the Department of Children and Families, Division of Youth and Family Services. Gifts are needed for all age groups, the greatest need each year is for children ages 10-17 years old. Gifts should be new and unwrapped. A suggested list is provided for age appropriate gifts.

Toys can be dropped off at the drop off boxes that were used for the annual coat drive located in various locations. For Central Office the drop off box is located in the central lobby.

If you have any questions, contact Paul Serdiuk, coordinator at 609-530-6878. He can supply you with gift suggestion lists for the children.

253rd FRG meeting is scheduled for Jan. 30

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

The 253rd Transportation Company's Family Readiness Group has their next meeting scheduled for Jan. 30, 2008, at 7 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Cape May Court House Armory.

Bush declares holiday for federal workers on Dec. 24

President George W. Bush signed an Executive Order on Thursday, Dec. 6 that closes all executive branch departments and agencies of the Federal Government and excuses their employees from duty on Monday, Dec. 24. Certain offices and installations may remain open and employees must report to duty for reasons of national security or defense or other public need.

MRSA seminar to be given by NJ Dept. of Health at Lawrenceville

"Let's Talk About MRSA" - Media reports in the fall of 2007 raised public awareness of skin infections that were resistant to anti-biotic caused by MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).  What exactly is MRSA?  Who is at risk?  How is it treated? What can you do to protect yourself? These questions and more will be answered in this timely seminar.

A representative from the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services will be in Conference Room A, Central Office, on Friday, Dec. 20, 10-11 a.m., to give a presentation on MRSA with a question and answer session after the presentation.

Seating is limited, so please contact Paul Serdiuk at 609-530-6878, or Serdiuk@njdmava.state.nj.us  to reserve a seat.

FRG volunteers: track your time

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

Here is a friendly reminder to all Family Readiness Group volunteers. First of all we would like to thank each and every one of you personally for your time and dedication to our troops and their families.  If you have not already done so we would appreciate it if you would take a few minutes each day, week or month to go into the Volunteer Tracking System on guardfamily.org and insert the precious time that you have committed to making our Family Program the best!  This is a way for the Family Program and the senior leadership to see who is helping out in their Guard communities and to award those who go the extra mile.

ReserveAid 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: http://www.reserveaid.org

2-1-1 - new statewide number for assistance

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

Need help?  Dial 2-1-1:   You can find everything from basic needs like food, housing and healthcare to legal services, drug treatment, job assistance, childcare, mental health services, transportation, financial assistance, municipal programs and much more.  The 2-1-1service is a new statewide number for New Jersey residents. It connects people with the resources they need to solve problems.  It is free and confidential.

Vietnam Vets Memorial Foundation holds holiday lighting ceremony

From the desk of Sibley Smith, Director of Education, Vietnam Era Educational Center

On Saturday, Dec. 1, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation, with assistance from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, held its annual Holiday Lighting ceremony at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Holmdel.

More than 200 people attended the commemorative event, designed to not only kick-off the holiday season, but to remember the men and women who cannot be with us to celebrate the holidays because they were killed in action or became missing in action during all American wars, past and present. The event was held at the Memorial's gateway near the flags of the United States and the State of New Jersey. Just beyond, down a short walkway, is the circular, black granite wall bearing the names of 1,560 New Jerseyans whose lives were lost in the Vietnam War.

The ceremony began with welcome address, posting of the colors and a Junior Girl Scout trout leading the Pledge of Allegiance.

Sid Lichter, the State Commander of Jewish War Veterans of America, assisted by Ellen Rosen, State President of Jewish War Veterans of America, Ladies Auxiliary, gave a reading about the Hanukkah Celebration. Children of the Jewish War Veterans of America then led the lighting of the Menorah in celebration of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights. 

Willie Mitchell, of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 779, honored the audience with a reading about the African-American holiday celebration known as Kwanzaa.

Kelly Watts, Executive Director of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation, gave a reading about the celebration of Christmas. This was followed by Shane Watts touching the Christmas tree to help it "magically" light up.

The color guard led the procession into the Memorial for the presentation of wreaths, followed by the Girl Scouts singing "God Bless America."

Following the ceremony, attendees enjoyed hot cocoa and cookies at the adjacent Vietnam Era Educational Center and its museum exhibit was open for viewing.

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.

NJVVMF "Salute to Patriotism" Gala 2007

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

On Thursday, Nov. 29, the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation, with assistance from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, held its annual "Salute to Patriotism" gala at the Vietnam Era Educational Center and the nearby Robert B. Meyner Reception Center in Holmdel.

More than 250 people attended the fundraising commemorative program, which began with a reception at the Vietnam Era Educational Center museum and culminated with dinner and a formal program at the Robert B. Meyner Reception Center. Money raised from the gala goes towards funding educational programming at the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial and the Vietnam Era Educational Center.

Assisting in the program were the 514th Air Mobility Wing Honor Guard, McGuire Air Force Base; Fabiola Franck, West Orange High School; Chaplain (Maj.) Michael Seaman, Beverly Fedorko-Ott, president of the N.J. Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation; N.J. Assemblyman Neil M. Cohen; retired Col. Stephen G. Abel, Deputy Commissioner of Veterans Affairs, DMAVA; and, Gary Englert, director, Division of Veterans Services, NJDMAVA.

Abel, Englert and Assemblyman Cohen presented the N.J. Distinguished Service Medal, N.J. Vietnam Service Medal and the N.J. POW Medal, to a number of veterans in the audience.

The keynote speaker was retired Army Gen. Frederick J. Kroesen Jr. Gen. Kroesen, a native of New Jersey and a graduate of Rutgers University, began his service in 1944 as an Army officer, commanding in Europe during World War II, then in Korea. Kroesen also served two tours in Vietnam commanding the 196th Light Infantry Brigade, part of the 23rd Infantry ("Americal") Division. He was wounded in each of these wars as well as in the Cold War, after Vietnam, when he returned to service in Europe as survived an assassination attempt against him while stationed in Germany. Since his retirement 20 years ago, he has continued to serve his country and the military as an advisor and inspirational speaker.

The attendees to the gala were treated indeed to a patriotic spectacle and they greatly helped support the efforts of the non-profit New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Foundation. The money raised during the gala, more than $40,000, will help the foundation in its efforts to provide quality educational and commemorative programs to the public.

Military Training, Schools, Opportunities

254th Regiment announces upcoming courses

Here are the 254th Regiment courses that are on the calendar. When using ATRRS, the school code is 1004.

Inactive Duty Training (IDT) Courses:

The Army Instructor Training Course, (TAITC)

April 5-June 7, 2008 - 12 openings

Basic NCO Course, (BNCOC)

April 5-Sept. 7, 2008 - 48 openings

Pre WARRIOR Leadership Course (3 weekends)

Jan. 5-6, 2008

Feb. 2-3, 2008

March 1-2, 2008

Officer Candidate School (OCS)

begins March 1, 2008

Active Duty Training (ADT) Courses:

68W Combat Medic Training Course Sustainmen

Feb. 4-13, 2008 - 32 openings

***NEW ON ATRRS, Combat Lifesaver Course (CLC-06)

11 classes

Dec. 4-6, 2007

Dec. 11-13, 2007

Dec. 18-20, 2007

Jan. 2-4, 2008

Jan. 8-10, 2008

Jan. 15-17, 2008

Jan. 22-24, 2008

Jan. 29-31, 2008

Feb. 5-7, 2008

Feb. 11-13, 2008

Feb. 19-21, 2008

13D10 MOS-T FA Tactical Data System Specialist

March 15-29, 2008 - 12 openings

13F10 MOS-T Fire Support Specialist

March 15-22, 2008 - 18 openings

31B10 MOS-T Military Police

March 8-22, 2008 - 20 openings

88M10 MOS-T Motor Transport Operator

March 15-29, 2008 - 16 openings

Company Level Command Team Course (for new Commanders & their 1SGs)

April 12-13, 2008 - 60 openings

11B10 MOS-T Infantryman

May 3-17, 2008 - 34 openings

11B40 Infantryman ANCOC

June 7-21, 2008 - 31 openings

If you have any questions, contact Master Sgt. Gary Davidson, 732-974-5912 or gary.davidson@nj.ngb.army.mil.

For Your Calendar

Time to register for DMAVA holiday party is now

From the desk of Darlene Laarz, Holiday Committee

Hurry up and get your reservations in for the DMAVA /JFHQ's Holiday Party which will be held on Dec. 14.  There will be a mandatory Town Hall will be at 11:30 a.m., with the holiday party immediately following.  The cost of the event will be $10, which will include a raffle ticket for a big flat screen TV and a meal from Amici Milano's.  If you wait too late, payment to attend the party will be $20 at the door and limited to only 35 more people. Those employees who chose not to attend the holiday party must return tho their regular duty station after the Town Hall for a full and normal workday. Buses will be provided to and from Fort Dix for those attending the Town Hall only.

See your department representative to make your reservations:

v    DMAVA - Darlene Laarz, 609-530-6992; Karen Wallace, 609-530-6766; Dawn Esposito, 609-530-6717; and Tina Taylor, 609-530-7170

v    Fort Dix - Marie Durling, 609-562-0739; and Barbara Alcott, 609-562-0870

v    HSCOE - Kevin Hearn, 609-530-7069

Honorable Mention

Better Business Bureau partners with Air Force

The Air Force began an official partnership with the Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB) recently. The partnership encourages Airmen and their families to use the bureau's free programs, services and materials.

The BBB Air Force Line website aimed specifically at its Air Force audience. The site includes BBB products and services such as reliability reports on businesses and charities, consumer tips and alerts, and a link to file complaints. The site also includes news items of particular interest to military consumers. Through the website, Airmen may sign up for a monthly newsletter that contains a regular "scam alert" feature. Visit http://www.bbb.org/airforce for more information.

Affordable TRICARE benefit for drilling National Guard members

The John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (P.L. 109-364), enhanced the TRICARE Reserve Select (TRS) health plan. Under this new TRS health plan, effective October 1, 2007, certain members of the Selected Reserve may qualify for health care coverage under TRS at $81 for single coverage and $253 for family coverage. Selected Reserve members who are enrolled or eligible to enroll in a health benefit plan under chapter 89 of title 5 U.S.C. Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP), IRR and ING Soldiers are excluded from purchasing TRS.

Soldiers currently enrolled in the three tier TRS program must have transitioned to the new program by Sept. 30, 2007. For more information or to enroll contact your state representative listed on http://www.tricare.mil/mybenefit, select the "benefits update" link for the Tricare Reserve Select information page.

N.J. licenses, registration extended for deployed troops

New Jerseyans who are active duty military, including the National Guard and 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.

DMAVA Suggestion program alive and well

The DMAVA Suggestion Program is still in effect and the Suggestion Box is located in the cafeteria on the center column wall.

You can find the suggestion form at www.nj.gov/military; click on Blank Forms. Unsigned suggestions may/or may not be answered, depending on their importance.  Unsigned suggestions, if they warrant a response, will be answered at Town Hall Meetings.  All signed suggestions will receive a response from Col. Alan Bunting, TAG-SEA.

If you have any questions regarding this program, call Renee McGuire, 609-530-6983.

Free downloadable CD available for military

By Samantha L. Quigley, American Forces Press Service

Just in time for the holidays, 13 major recording artists have created a musical "Thank You" for the troops.

"CD for the Troops" will be available for anyone with a valid military identification card to download at no cost from the Army and Air Force Exchange service Web site, www.aafes.com, beginning tomorrow, Nov. 17.

Musicians such as Billy Joel, Brooks & Dunn, the Goo Goo Dolls, Jewel, Josh Groban, Los Lonely Boys, Melissa Ethridge, the Neville Brothers, Sarah McLachlan, the Lt. Dan Band, Montgomery Gentry, the Fray and Five for Fighting contributed to the project.

John Ondrasik, the singer-songwriter who performs under the stage name "five for fighting," spearheaded the project.

Ondrasik is a staunch support of America's service members. He hopes the downloadable version of the CD will be available on the AAFES Web site through April. Hard copies of the CD will be sent to troops in theater, military hospitals and Fisher Houses. Onderasik hopes the music "inspires, motivates, provides and avenue for reflection or simply distracts you from a mission few can imagine, much less undertake."

"If anything, let each tune be a small piece of home to carry you forward," he said. "Thank you for all you do, and feel free to shoot me an e-mail with requests for 'CD for the Troops II.'"

Guard, Reserve members, families encouraged to nominate employers

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

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

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

Position openings in Family Programs

There are several contractor positions open in Family Programs.

Family Assistant Center Coordinator - 2 openings

Locations: Jersey City and Morristown

General Duties: Serve as liaison between NJNG members, family members, the local community and the State Family Programs Director. Provide assistance to family members of deployed service members to include referral service, resource assistance/management, Family Readiness Group training and moral support . Must also be able to develop working relationships with state and local agencies, military, government and social services agencies, business and civic organizations that are willing to offer assistance and provide services in support of National Guard members and their families.

Family Readiness Assistant - 1 opening

Location: Joint Force Headquarters, Ft. Dix

General Duties: Assist the State Family Programs Director in developing and maintaining Family Readiness Groups (FRG) throughout NJ. Train FRG committee members on overall conduct to include regulatory guidelines, limitations, duties and responsibilities. Serve as a liaison between Rear Detachments, military points of contact and volunteers.

Resumes should be submitted no later than Dec. 28 to:

NJ Army National Guard

JFHQ-NJ, Attn: Family Programs, CPT Glatz

3650 Saylor's Pond Road

Fort Dix, NJ 08640

For more information call Capt. Amy Glatz, State Family Programs Director at 609-562-0668.

Identity theft and your child

With all the talk of identity theft, one group has been completely forgotten: your children.

In 2004, more than 400,000 children were identity theft victims; double the number from 2003.

So how is this possible?  Simple, children are registered for social security numbers almost immediately after being born.  Because they have no history, their records are the perfect opportunity for abuse by identity thieves.

Here are some simple steps to prevent this from happening:

v    Discuss with your child about the importance of keeping their information private and never share that information with strangers.

v    Watch the mail for offers from credit card companies or bills with their name on them; report any suspicious activity to credit bureaus.

For more information on identity theft; go to www.ftc.gov/credit.

Photography contest for military youths

From the desk of Amanda Balas, State Youth Coordinator

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

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

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

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

Army Information Line: 1-800-833-6622

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

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

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

Support for military children of deployed and injured Guard members

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

Our Military Kids (OMK) provides tangible support to the children of deployed and severely injured National Guard and Military Reserve personnel through grants for enrichment activities and tutoring that nurture and sustain the children during the time a parent is away in service to our country. OMK grants are made to honor the sacrifices military parents make and to ensure that the children have access to activities and support that help the children better cope with challenges arising during a parent's deployment or injury recovery. For additional information go to www.ourmilitarykids.org

N.J. State Family Readiness Council offers Family Grants Program

The New Jersey National Guard State Family Readiness Council has expanded its Family Grants Program to include an additional grant.  There are now two levels of Family Grants; TIER I is the $2,500 grant that has been in place for the past couple of years.  The TIER II opens family grants to New Jersey Army and Air National Guard non-deployed service members who were on State Active Duty or State Missions (e.g., hurricanes, floods, border missions) for more than 20 consecutive days.  Service members meeting these criteria are eligible to apply for a financial hardship grant up to $1,500.  Applications are available at all New Jersey Army and Air National Guard Family Assistance Centers.

Program offers assistance to spouses of deployed military

The Deployed Military Spouses Assistance Program provides direct assistance and referrals to existing programs for spouses of deployed military personnel (active duty, reserve and National Guard) who face unusual financial and emotional stress as a result of the deployments. 

Applicants should contact Fawn Mutschler at 609-543-6200 ext. 325 or wocmilitarygrant@ymca-bc.org to obtain an application.  In addition to the completed application form, applicants will also need to submit the following documentation: LES/paystub for applicant and spouse; statement of Financial Need (i.e. reason for applying and how the grant will help); bill or pricing of expenditure as well as any other supporting information the applicant feels may be helpful. Additional information can be found at: www.state.nj.us/dca/dow/depmilspouseasst.shtml

Travel Help, Ideas

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 http://www.afvclub.com/ for more information.

Shades of Green offers Disney for military

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

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

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

Visit West Point, take in the Ike Hall theater

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sports and Entertainment

 

Scholarship, Education News

Commissary agency offers scholarships for 2008

The Defense Commissary Agency's 2008 Scholarships for Military Children are now available in commissaries worldwide. The $1,500 scholarships are for children of active-duty and retired military, as well as children of Guard and reserve servicemembers. Applicants must be must plan to attend an accredited college or university full time in the fall of 2008. The deadline to apply is Feb. 20, 2008. At least one scholarship will be awarded at every commissary location with qualified candidates. Applications and further eligibility requirements are available in commissaries and online at http://www.commissaries.com or at http://www.military scholar.org.

Free SAT/ACT Offer Extended

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

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

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

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

American Legion offers scholarships, booklet on their Web site

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

Association News

Enlisted Association wants YOU!

By retired Command Sgt. Maj. Mike Hughes, EANG-NJ

The Enlisted Association National Guard-New Jersey is off to a good start for 2008 as we have realigned all the committees and filled both the Executive Council and Committees with a cross section of Army and Air, uniformed and retirees, and several junior NCOs. Everyone appears to be enthused and pledges to support the Association in all its efforts. All we need now is for you to get on board as a member and bring your fellow soldiers and airmen with you.

We have many challenges facing us over the next few years whether it is another round of base closures via the Base Realignment Commission (BRAC), reduction in TRICARE benefits, reduction in troop strength, attempts to maintain the retirement age at 60, etc. We need a powerful voice to put our message across to the State and Federal Legislators and this can only be accomplished through a strong membership in our State Association (EANG-NJ) and the National Association (EANGUS).

The new membership year starts on 1 January 2008 and we need your help in making our Association grow. We encourage all enlisted soldiers and airmen to join the Association as Active Members and also welcome all officers, warrant officers, federal, and state employees to join as Associate Members. Applications for membership can be obtained from our website www.eang-nj.org.

NGANJ group life insurance available to members

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

Enlisted Association of the National Guard of New Jersey

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

Veterans Information

N.J. Militia Museum conducting Retiree Oral History Program

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

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.

Vet Career Connect helps military members find jobs

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

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

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

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:

 

January 8,9, 2008

Woodbridge Center

February 5, 6, 7

Moorestown Mall

March 4*, 5, 6

Paramus Park Shopping Center

April 1, 2, 3

Voorhees Town Center

May 6*, 7, 8

Ocean County Mall

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

N.J. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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

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

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

Jan. 19, 1 p.m. - The U.S. Air Force in the Battle of Khe Sanh, an oral-history presentation by N.J. Vietnam Veteran, ret. Maj. Gen. Clark W. Martin, U.S. Air Force.

Feb. 2, 1 p.m. - In the Navy in Vietnam, an oral history presentation by N.J. Vietnam Veteran and Monmouth University President, ret. Vice Adm. Paul G. Gaffney II, U.S. Navy.

Mar. 1, 1 p.m. - American Vietnam Veterans Who Wouldn't Come Home, an oral-history discussion about American ex-patriots recently encountered on a trip to Thailand by Steve Lonegan, Mayor of Bogota, N.J.

Apr. 12, 1 p.m. - We Were There: Voices of African American Veterans, from World War II to the War in Iraq, a book discussion by the author, Yvonne Latty.

May 7, 11 a.m. - New Jersey Vietnam Veterans' Remembrance Day Ceremony at the Memorial.

May 17, 1 p.m. - On the Road to Recovery, an oral-history discussion by NJ Vietnam-Era veteran Bishop Fred Rubin about his service tending wounded G.I.s in the Army hospital in Hawaii during the Vietnam War.

May 26, 11 a.m. - Memorial Day Ceremony at the N.J. Vietnam Veterans' Memorial.

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

 

 

   
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