New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights » 14 September 2007

Volume 6, Number 37

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

NJ Advisory Committee for Women Veterans
Mrs. Anna Hoffman

BG Willam C. Doyle Cemetery Advisory Council
Mr. William Rakestraw

Veterans Hotlines

Benefits & Entitlements

Mental Health

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.


* 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

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

First Morris Bank & Trust

Manasquan Savings Bank

North Jersey Federal Credit Union

Peapack-Gladstone Bank (908)

Pennsville National Bank


Sovereign Bank

Sun National Bank

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


108th Security forces sends third group to Iraq

The third and final group of the 108th Security Forces Squadron will leave on Saturday, Sept. 15 from McGuire Air Force Base for support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

While deployed, the Airmen will perform duties such as perimeter security and entry control point and rapid response team.

The 108th Air Refueling Wing deploys stateside and overseas in support of various military operations and conducts in-flight refueling for U.S. and allied aircraft on a worldwide basis.

177th's Mitchell returns from Iraq

Master Sgt. Daniel Mitchell, 177th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron First Sergeant, returns from Afghanistan this weekend.  He has just finished performing First Sergeant duties for more than 400 active duty, Guard and Reserve Airmen.   Airmen under his watch were stationed at over twenty locations scattered around the Afghan countryside.  A police officer in his civilian career, Mitchell was most recently an Antiterrorism specialist at the 177th.

Constitution, Citizenship Day

September is a month laced with reminders of the importance of defending democracy from the events of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to remembering 60 years of the Air Force's continuing defense of America.

The nation's leaders have designated Sept. 17 as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day to commemorate the signing of the Constitution in Philadelphia on that day in 1787.

Guardsmen wanted to join the PTAE

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

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

All applicants must be eligible and submit the following:

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

v    A current Retirement Point Assessment Statement

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

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

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

v    Current resume

v    Eligible to obtain a Secret security clearance.

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

For more information call Lt. Col. Walter Nall at 609-562-0321 or or Master Sgt. Jonny Hannigan at 609-562-0337 or

Anti-terrorism awareness and Force Protection information

From the desk of Col. Stephen J. Hines - Anti-Terrorist Program Manager

Our greatest countermeasure to Terrorist surveillance and other associated attack planning efforts starts with YOU!

Below are some things to consider when out and about to help limit your vulnerability to terrorist attack.

v    General security issues

v    To/From work - in-transit security

v    Official/Unofficial travel security

v    Telephone security

v    Home security

v    Mail bomb incidents

Go to the web site below, which is a link to the Anti-Terrorism Level 1 Awareness Training Program.  This training program is designed to provide you "Situational Awareness" of your own situation and how vulnerable you project yourself to terrorist surveillance.  This training is easily accessible, customized, user-friendly, and generally takes about 30-60 minutes to complete.  However, if you can't finish the training in one sitting, you can pick up where you left off by using the "resume training" option.

To complete the training:

v      Go to:

v      Click:  Create a training program

v      Enter:  the required data (The name you type will appear on the training completion Certificate);

       For "service" click the arrow and select N/A

       For "region" click the arrow and select NORTHCOM Command (US)

       For "grade" click the arrow and select N/A

v      Click:  The "Submit" button'

v      Click:  "AT level 1 training"

v      Click:  "Begin training (complete the training)

v      Click:  The "print" certificate button

Congratulations!  You now have a working assessment as to how much of a "target" you are when traveling, during hotel stays, commuting to/from work and what vulnerabilities you project to terrorist surveillance.  Now - implement corrective actions!

Thank you for doing your part in our Global War on Terrorism.

Hispanic Heritage Month - Sept. 15-Oct.15

From the desk of Dorinda Sapp, Affirmative Action Officer

In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week.  The observance was expanded in 1988 to a month-long celebration (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15).  America celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations within Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

Sept. 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of the independence of five Latin American countries:  Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.  In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.

Throughout the history of our nation, Hispanic-American service members have embodied the military core values for generations.  From the birth of our nation to the current Global War on Terrorism, Hispanic American service members have effectively provided strength and leadership in defending freedoms of the United States. 

For the next four weeks in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, DMAVA will highlight major accomplishments and Hispanic contributions to military service.

DMAVA celebrates the contributions of Hispanic-American service members and their importance to the nation in the past, present and future.   

Petrangeli earns CDFM designation

From the desk of Lt. Col. Christopher J. Eads, 50th Finance Battalion commander

Congratulations to Meg Petrangeli for being the first financial professional in the NJARNG to earn the Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM) designation. This is a monumental achievement.  For Petrangeli, this is the result of many hours of preparatory study, hard work and many years of professional experience. She currently serves as the Accounting Officer in the Comptroller Division of the USPFO-NJ.

Professional certification is the preeminent indicator of the knowledge and competencies of individuals in the profession they represent. The CDFM is a credible and widely respected examination-based certification in the Resource Management profession. The CDFM was established by The American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC) in partnership with the Department of Defense.

The CDFM covers the full spectrum of complex subject areas contained in resource management environment, budgeting and cost analysis, accounting and finance, and acquisition. The Program is managed by a certification commission which governs the standards of performance for each competency and oversees the process for maintaining certification.

Homecoming event for OIF/OEF veterans

The New Jersey Health Care System and the Department of Veterans Affairs will be holding their first annual Homecoming Event on Oct. 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Auditorium at the East Orange Campus, 385 Tremont Ave., East Orange.

The event will have a meet and greet with representatives of the Vet Center, Social Security, Dept. of Labor, DMAVA, OUTREACH, mental health, War-related Illness and Injury OIF/OEF team and many more community service agencies. 

Tours will be available at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. of the museum, OIF/OEF Transitional Unit and the War-Related Illness and Injury Study Center.

Prizes and food will be available for the whole family.

For more information, contact Michelle Stefanelli at 973-395-1727 or Carolyn Snyder, 908-647-0180, ext. 4398.

New Jersey Bar Association offers pro bono military legal assistance

The New Jersey Bar Association established and administers the Military Legal Assistance Program.  This pro bono program provides assistance to New Jersey residents who have served overseas as active duty members of reserve components of the armed forces after Sept. 11, 2001.

Individuals who have been adversely affected upon their return from deployment and cannot be represented by military lawyers can use this program. The program currently offers assistance to the following areas: family law, employment law, veterans' benefits and debtor-creditor law.

The Military Legal Assistance program will refer members of the military who contact the state bar association to volunteers qualified to assist them with their specific legal issues.  Volunteers who accept a case through the program must agree to handle such case from inception to resolution without compensation or reimbursement for expenses.

If interested in the program, call toll free 1-888-541-1900 for referral or visit the New Jersey State Bar Association web site at and click on the button for the Military Legal Assistance program.

Military spouses eligible for scholarships

The Council of College and Military Educators announce the offering of scholarships to 10 spouses of uniformed service members.

This program is a need-based education assistance program to provide military spouses with financial assistance in their pursuit of an education.

Applicants must be a spouse of a military member - active duty, reserve or guard; be currently enrolled in an associates, bachelors or graduate degree program; attending a regionally or nationally accredited academic institution; and have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Applications should be submitted through the CCME web site:  Questions can be addressed to Doug Barr at or call 619-563-7481.  Deadline to apply is Sept. 17, 2007.

Free tickets to Radio City's Christmas show

Join "the 75th Celebration of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular," when they perform "A Salute to Our Troops" on Nov. 12 at 5 p.m.

Microsoft in partnership with the USO brings this celebration on stage for fee to families of the Armed Services.  To reserve your complimentary tickets, go to Tickets are only available at this web site.

Vets Haven residents receive another car

From the desk of Robert Sauselein, Superintendent of Veterans Haven

For the third consecutive year, the Township of Maple Shade has donated a vehicle to Veterans Haven.  This year they donated a 1998 Ford Crown Victoria.  The staff and residents of Vets Haven would like to take this opportunity to thank Mayor Claire Volpe, Deputy Mayor Lou Manchello, Councilman Jack Galloway, Councilman James Fletcher and Councilman Anthony Saporito.   Thank you for your continued support of our Veterans.

HBCU holding career fair for students

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

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

Suicide seen as major threat to National Guard Soldiers

By Sgt. 1st Class Erick Studenicka, National Guard Bureau

ARLINGTON, Va. - In terms of a threat to Army National Guard Soldiers, it easily rivals rounds from a concealed sniper, the devastation of an improvised explosive device or a blast from rocket propelled grenade.

The threat doesn't stem from any foreign armed forces or military power, and casualties resulting from this threat are often the saddest and most heartbreaking of deaths for the family and friends of these Soldiers.

The threat is suicide, which ranked as the No. 3 cause of death for Army National Guard Soldiers through Aug. 13, according to the Army National Guard's Suicide Prevention Program. There have been 42 cases of suicide in the Army National Guard this fiscal year, and it narrowly trails only combat (47) and accidents (45) in terms of Soldier deaths.

Statistics reveal the National Guard suicide trend mirrors the active-duty Army and the numbers are increasing. The Army Suicide Event Report released Aug. 16 reported there were 99 confirmed suicides among active duty Soldiers in calendar year 2006, its highest number since 1991. The Army National Guard's total of 42 is already 17 more than the 2006 total and marks the highest total since the Army National Guard began keeping suicide statistics in 2004.

The comparison to the active duty has one major difference though, said Master Sgt. Marshall Bradshaw, the National Guard Bureau suicide prevention manager.

"The active duty Army has resources and facilities available to the Soldiers 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Bradshaw said. "They have a greater ability to track information and provide suicide prevention resources to their Soldiers.

"Providing suicide prevention resources (for the National Guard) is a greater challenge," he said.

It's yet to be proven, however, that there is a direct correlation between deployments and suicide. Col. Elspeth Ritchie, the behavioral health psychiatry consultant to the U.S. Army surgeon general and roundtable participant, said there is currently little statistical evidence linking suicide with the number and length of Soldiers' deployments.

She did say that said failed relationships are believed to be the cause of 70-80 percent of suicides and that deployment-linked stress definitely could be a factor behind strained relationships.

Finances and employment issues are two other major causes of suicide, Bradshaw said.

National Guard statistics reveal 60 percent of Soldiers, who committed suicide this year, have been on a previous deployment.

Other National Guard suicide statistics from this fiscal year show that gunshot wounds are the most common method of suicide (67 percent) and lower enlisted ranks make up the majority of suicides (32 of the 42 suicides were committed by the ranks of sergeant and below). Thirty-nine of the 42 suicides this year were committed by male Soldiers.

The National Guard's suicide rate (12 per 100,000) remains about the same as that of the general U.S. population, which is 11.05 per 100,000, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Every Soldier is an important, valuable resource to the military, and the National Guard will continue to prioritize suicide prevention, Bradshaw added.

NGB has adopted the Ask your buddy, Care for your buddy, Escort your buddy (ACE) Suicide Awareness and Prevention Training and disseminated it to all ranks. All Army National Guard chaplains have been or will be trained in this program at the annual Chaplain Area Sustainment Training this year.

Lt. Gen. Clyde A. Vaughn, director of the Army National Guard, has declared September to be Suicide Prevention Month, and all units will incorporate suicide prevention awareness into their September unit training.

Bradshaw said anyone considering suicide but fearing the stigma associated with seeking help should know that studies have shown careers are not affected by requests for mental-health guidance or counseling. Anyone considering suicide or who knows someone pondering suicide is encouraged to contact their local chaplain or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, the civilian suicide prevention number at 1-800-SUICIDE or military OneSource at 1-800-342-9647.

For Your Calendar   

Army Soldier Show coming to New Jersey

The 2007 U.S. Army Soldier Show is a high-energy 90-minute live musical review showcasing the talents of active duty Soldiers who are selected by audition from throughout the Army. They are amateur artists who have a passion for music, dance and performing. They come from infantry, transportation, military police, medical, intelligence, aviation, signal and other tactical units. The show is assembled in six weeks, and then tours for 6 1/2 months.  The most recent tour began in May 2007.  It will be in our area on three occasions.

Sept. 19-20 - Fort Hamilton, N.Y.

Sept. 20 - Fort Dix, N.J.

Oct. 13 - Picatinny Arsenal, N.J.

Oct. 23 - Fort Monmouth, N.J.

Admission to all performances is free. Check with local Morale, Recreation and Welfare or public affairs officials for exact location, post access procedures, and curtain times. Dates and locations are subject to change.

Elks 3rd annual Army of Hope picnic in Forked River Sept. 16

On Sept. 16, the New Jersey State Elks Association's Army of Hope Committee will be holding their 3rd annual Army of Hope Picnic at Lacey Lodge in Forked River from noon until 4:30 p.m.  This picnic is the only major fund-raiser for the Army of Hope Committee. The cost is $20 per adult and $5 for children under 10 years of age. The donation includes food, drink, and entertainment.  In the first two years, the Army of Hope Committee raised more than $350,000 to help assist the families of Fallen Heroes and Wounded Warriors. For more information, contact Bruce Totten at (908) 246-0526 or Richard Tabachuk at (201) 939-1507.

Vehicles on show at Teaneck armory Sept. 30

Join the Rotary Clubs of Bergenfield-Dumont and Teaneck in a Car, Truck and Motorcycle Show at the Teaneck Armory, Teaneck and Liberty Roads, Teaneck N.J., on Sept. 30, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.  Proceeds from the event benefit the New Jersey National Guard Family Assistance Center.

Cost to register your vehicle for the show is $15 on the day of the show, $10 prior to the show.  Deadline for registration is Sept. 15. Spectator admission is $3 for adults and $1 for children 10 and under.

For more information, call Tom Pinnel at 201-384-8932.

Civil War statue dedication, Sept. 29

On September 29, the General Phil Kearny Memorial Committee will be dedicating a restored 1888 statue of a Civil War Infantryman which originally stood (1888-1933) in front of the New Jersey Home for Civil War Veterans.

This statue was located for many years at CSMS-B West Orange before the TAG and Chief of staff authorized its removal and restoration. It is now completed and ready for its unveiling.

In the decades that followed the Civil War, thousands of New Jersey veterans lived their final years at the "Old Soldiers' Home" located in Kearny.  For nearly fifty years, a six-foot tall statue of a Union Infantryman stood guard at the entrance of the home until the home was closed in 1933.  The barracks were torn down, cannon rolled away and the silent sentinel statue was removed from his post, and somehow severely damaged, eventually placed in storage and forgotten. 

Recently discovered by the members of the General Phil Kearny Memorial Committee, the group has raised nearly $35,000 to have this statue restored to its former glory.  The bronze soldier will be placed near where he originally stood; a 7-ton boulder from the Gettysburg Battlefield will serve as a pedestal.

The ceremony will take place at 314 Belgrove Drive, Kearny, N.J. at 1 p.m. The site of the New Jersey Home for Disabled Civil War Soldiers and Sailors, and the present location of the American Legion Hall.

The committee would especially like to invite all Civil War reenactors and history buffs to this event.  They ask that reenactors please register (no fee), as the committee plans to issue a dedication ribbon to all registered participants.

Re-enactors should contact: Bill Styple at or the Gen. Phil Kearny Memorial Committee PO Box 483 Kearny, NJ 07032, 201-991-8749.

Oktoberfest and town hall meeting on Oct. 12

Come to the DMAVA/JFHQ Town Hall meeting and afterwards join in the fun at the Oktoberfest at the Lawrenceville Armory on Oct. 12.  The fest starts at noon; the mandatory town hall meeting begins at 11:30 a.m.

For a mere $10 admittance fee, you can enjoy a roasted pig, bratwurst and sauerkraut, German and regular potato salads, baked beans, strudel and assorted desserts.  To wet your whistle, beverages include O'Doul's beer, birch beer, assorted soda and water.  Those attending are asked to contribute desserts.

The entry fee includes a raffle ticket for two nights at the Borgota in Atlantic City, breakfast, dinner and comedy show tickets for two.

If personnel chose not to attend the Oktoberfest, it will be a normal and full workday at their regular duty station after attending the Town hall meeting. Casual attire is acceptable if you are attending the Oktoberfest; normal work uniform if you are attending the Town Hall only.

If you are interested in attending, see your department representatives.  At DMAVA, see Darlene Laarz, 609-530-6992, Karen Wallace, 609-530-6766, Dawn Espisito, 609-530-6717 or Tina Taylor, 609-530-7170; at Fort Dix, see Marie Durling, 609-562-0739 or Barbara Alcott, 609-562-0870; and at HSCOE, see Kevin Hearn, 609-530-7069.

This event is open to employees only.

Join local motorcycle riders on a ride, Oct. 13

Like to ride motorcycle?  Here is an opportunity to ride and support servicemembers and their families at the same time.  Join the 3rd Annual "Support Our Troops" Motorcycle Run on Oct. 13 (rain date of Oct. 14).

Registration is from 10-11 a.m. at the Tri-Towne Plaza, Route 70, Marlton and the ride departs at 11:15 a.m. The route is to travel the Pine Barrens to Sweetwater Casino Restaurant, Sweetwater (Hammonton mailing address). The run will be approximately 48 miles (one way). Please come with a full tank of gas.  Cost of the ride is a donation of $15 per rider and $5 per passenger.

Proceeds benefit the Freedom Alliance Foundation which provide:

§       Educational scholarships to the children of America's military heroes that have given the ultimate sacrifice.

§       For the injured in our hospitals pre-paid long-distance phone cards, gift cards for clothing, food, toiletries, books, and magazines.

§       Funding for family members to travel to see and encourage their loved one.

For more information contact John Atkinson at 856-596-9100, or go to, for local run information or to the national site -

Honorable Mention

NJDMAVA committed to work areas free from violence

The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs is committed to maintaining the work environment free from all forms of violence, in accordance with State of New Jersey Executive Order No. 49 and the State of New Jersey Workplace Violence Prevention Policy Statement dated Sept. 1, 1997.  The Department is committed to maintaining a strict policy that prohibits act of violence, harassment, or intimidation in any form, including verbal, written, physical, or any conduct that may be construed detrimental to the workplace environment.  This policy addresses violent acts by employees as describes procedures and training to be followed for the prevention of, and response to, these acts. See Departmental Directive number 230.80 for more information.

Army G-RAP program gives you money in your pocket

From the desk of Cyndi McCoy, NJARNG Recruiting, Marketing Representative

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, contact Cyndi McCoy at 609-672-6308, NJARNG Marketing Representative.

Federal Benefits Open Season is Nov. 12-Dec 10

From the office of J1-HRO

The 2007 dates for Federal Benefits Open Season are Nov. 12-Dec. 10, 2007.  What used to be known as the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Open Season has changed its name.  Because of the recent addition of two benefit programs, Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) and Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS), Open Season isn't just for FEHB anymore.

During the open season, anyone eligible to participate may change health plans or options, cancel or suspend their FEHB enrollment, enroll in the new programs and request plan brochures and information. You can find information at or  Air Guard federal technicians can all Carmen Fattore at 609-562-0887 and Army Guard technicians can call Jacquelyn Bertrand at 609-562-0866.

Join DMAVA, state in fitness challenge

From the desk of Ernie Razzano, Health Professions recruiter

Here is the link containing details of the 3rd Annual Fitness Challenge Walk and Rally:

The web page also has a link for the challenge registration form and exercise log book.  Please take a moment to complete the registration form and get it to me as soon as possible.  Anything you do that is above and beyond normal activity can be annotated in the log book.  For those of you who are already on an exercise routine it takes just seconds to fill in the blanks.  Our department definitely made an impression last year - we only had 15 participants!  We have more than that participating in the DMAVA Physical Fitness Program.  Be good to your body and get moving!!  Thanks for your support and participation!!!

Honor Guard program wants YOU!

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

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

VA Launches Suicide Hotline

To ensure veterans with emotional crises have round-the-clock access to trained professionals, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun operation of a national suicide prevention hot line for veterans. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson said: "Veterans need to know these VA professionals are literally a phone call away. All service members who experience the stresses of combat can have wounds on their minds as well as their bodies. Veterans should see mental health services as another benefit they have earned, which the men and women of VA are honored to provide." VA's hot line will be staffed by mental health professionals in Canandaigua, N.Y. They will take toll-free calls from across the country and work closely with local VA mental health providers to help callers. The toll-free hot line number is 1 (800) 273-TALK (8255).

Discounts offered for State employees

Are you a state employee looking to save a few $$$?

Visit 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 or call 609-530-7056.

For the Families

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.

Military families can buy discounted Disney World ticket by phone

Military families who are unable to travel to a base to buy specially priced Walt Disney World Theme Park tickets have a new option.  Retired, Active, National Guard, Reservist and Department of Defense personnel are now able to purchase these specially priced tickets over the phone.  Disney Military Sales has offered discounted tickets to military families for over 20 years. The proceeds directly support the base community and the programs offered to the military personnel stationed there. Discounted tickets for qualifying military families may be purchased via mail-order by calling the Commander, Navy Region Southwest at 619-767-6000 or Air Force Central Ticket Program at 210-652-2855.

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 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:

Marriage seminars open to couples

From the desk of Marie Durling, Family Programs Specialist

Soldiers or Airmen (Army and Air Guard) and their significant others are encouraged to attend one of the upcoming Marriage Enrichment Seminars.  Soldiers will attend in a paid SUTA status and all expenses are paid.  These seminars have been extremely successful and are designed to strengthen relationships.    The cost of the hotel and meals are paid for by the State.

The seminars are not therapy sessions or encounter groups nor are they for sharing your personal concerns. The seminars are conducted by the state chaplains' office and begin with teaching effective communication skills, addresses problem resolution strategies that work and teaches how to discover the hidden issues in every relationship.  The program then moves into friendship, forgiveness, fun and sensuality. 

If you are interested in attending (soldiers that were deployed are given priority) or need additional information, please call Marie Durling at 609-562-0739.  These seminars usually fill up fast, so if interested, please call as soon as possible. Upcoming seminars are:

Sept. 21-23 in north Jersey

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, 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.

Tax information for military members who have deployed

From the Military Officers Association of America

Military pay received while deployed in a combat zone or other qualifying hazardous duty area is tax-free. But what specific rules apply? Here's a quick refresher course, which summarizes how you can take advantage of these savings opportunities.

All pay received (including base pay, special pays, and bonuses) is income tax-free up to the maximum enlisted pay rate of $6,381.90 per month, plus imminent danger pay.
Reenlistment bonuses received during a qualifying deployment month also are tax-free. Be aware, however, if a reenlistment bonus is taken in installment payments instead of a lump-sum, installment payments received after leaving the combat zone are not tax-free.

Thrift Saving Plan (TSP) contributions made while in a combat zone are not taxed on withdrawal or distribution.

Due to the Heroes Earned Retirement Opportunities (HERO) Act of 2006, servicemembers who were deployed in a combat zone or other qualifying hazardous duty area have up until May 28, 2009, to make IRA contributions for tax years 2004 and 2005. If the servicemember qualifies for a deductible traditional IRA, this can result in a tax refund for contributions made. For those under 50, the IRA contribution limits are $3,000 for 2004 and $4,000 for 2005. For those over 50, the limits are $3,500 and $4,500, respectively. You will need to file Form 1040X, Amended Tax Return, to claim any benefit. For more information, visit,,id=161175,00.html.  

Job assistance for military spouses, retirees, injured military

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

Re/Max in conjunction with the US Department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Initiative launched Operation Re/Max in 2006 to help mentor interested military members and their family members in a career in real estate.  Interested military spouses, retirees and injured soldiers can obtain detailed Operation Re/Max information at real_estate/index.aspx or contact operation or 1-800-826-7720.

Sports and Entertainment

ESGR Golf tourney on Sept. 18

From the desk of Hank Pierre, NJ ESGR

The NJ Friends of the Guard and Reserve is proud to present the 2007 State Chairman's Annual Golf Outing.  The golf outing will be held on Sept.18, at the Miry Run Country Club in Robbinsville, N.J.  The rain date is Sept. 25.  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 golf club.  Corporate, hole and cart sponsors are also being sought.  All proceeds to benefit the activities of the NJ Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.  For additional information please contact Hank Pierre at 609-562-0156 or Tammy Cartagena at 609-562-0157. 

Dave Savino Golf Tournament to be held Sept, 17

The 11th Annual Lt. Col. Dave Savino Memorial Golf Tournament will be held on Sept. 17 at the Fountain Green Golf Course, Ft. Dix.   Shotgun start is at 8 a.m., with a two-person scramble (best ball).  Cost to play is $85 per person, with checks made payable to "Lt. Col. Dave Savino Memorial Fund."  Call Senior Master Sgt. Mike Balas at 609-330-4069 or Connie Cisek at 609-562-0901 for more information.  Proceeds from the tournament go to help fellow Guardsmen in need.

First Annual Jack Green Memorial 5K Run/Walk

The First Annual Jack Green Memorial 5K Run/Walk will be held Sunday Oct. 21 at 8:30 a.m. at the 177th Fighter Wing, 400 Langley Road, Egg Harbor Twp, N.J.

Registration will be held from 6:30 to 8 a.m., in building. 229 - the Base Gym.  Pre- registration fee is $15 if postmarked by Oct. 10.  Race day fee will be $20. Please make checks payable to: 177 Fighter Wing Chief's Council and mail to: Master Sgt. Frank G Heath, 400 Langley Road, Egg Harbor Twp., NJ 08234.

For an application or information contact Tech. Sgt. Erica Nelson at (609) 645-6224 or Master Sgt. Frank Heath at (609) 645-6109 or

This event will be open to unit members, dependents, and individuals that would normally have access to the base.  This is not open to the general public.

Enlisted Association holding golf outing on Oct. 22

The Enlisted Association of the National Guard of New Jersey is holding a golf outing on Oct. 22 at Gambler's Ridge Golf Club, 121 Burlington Path Road, Cream Ridge, NJ.  All proceeds from the event go to the association's scholarships.

Registration and a continental breakfast begins the day at 7:30 a.m. The play is two-person best ball with a modified shotgun start at 8:45.  A donation of $90 includes greens fees, cart and luncheon.  There will be prizes for first and second place teams for the low gross, closest to the pin on all par 3's and the longest drive.

For more information call Mike Amoroso at 609-562-0754. Make checks payable to EANG-NJ (Golf) and mail to Leon Cisek, PO Box 365, Wrightstown NJ 08562 no later than Oct. 15.

Inaugural Joint Base Race to be held Sept. 29

MGUIRE AFB, N.J. -- McGuire Air Force Base, Fort Dix and NAES Lakehurst will hold the Inaugural Joint Base Race Sept. 29 at 8:30 a.m.

The race, featuring a half-marathon, a 5-K Run/Walk and a Kid's Run, will be open to any interested participants, and all DoD cardholders are encouraged to participate. All are invited to compete against the men's and women's military academy marathon teams from the Air Force Academy, Naval Academy and West Point in the first of what base leadership plans to be an annual event.

"This will be a good event for us," said Col. Tom Kastner, U.S. Army Academy Marathon Team officer in charge. "The cadets will enjoy the sister academy competition and the whole experience."

The 13.1-mile route will be on paved surfaces within McGuire AFB and Fort Dix's Cantonment Area and will pass static displays such as McGuire's "Pudgy's" aircraft, a replica of the P-38 flown by Maj. Thomas B. McGuire Jr, and a C-118 that actually flew Elvis Presley to the U.S. from Germany in March 1960. On Fort Dix, runners will see U.S. and Soviet military tanks including a Huey Helicopter, a Russian T-72 Main Battle Tank and more.

Participants will receive a T-shirt (if registered before Sept. 1), a participation medal, a pasta dinner the night before the race, post-run snacks as well as entertainment. Runners will also compete against each other in various categories.

For more information or to register, call 1st Lt. Terry Demille, 305th Services Squadron, at (609) 754-4750 or go online. Registration deadline is noon Sept. 24.

Here's To The Heroes

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

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

Scholarship, Education News

Scholarships for OIF/OEF veterans

The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans is offering scholarships to combat veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. It offers a scholarship of up to $1,250 per year for person pursuing a BA/BS degree. You must have an honorable service record and a 2.0 GPA.

The deadline for applying is Sept. 28, 2007. Contact:

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::

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 - - 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 of NGNJ conference slated for Oct. 5-7

From the desk of retired Sgt. Maj. Jerome Zebrowski

The 34th annual conference of the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of New Jersey will be held at the Radisson Hotel, Valley Forge , Penn., Oct. 5-7.

Proceeds from this weekend event are spent directly on our membership.  It is a nice feeling to know that for every 50/50 ticket and Chinese Auction ticket you buy helps fund the scholarship program allows junior enlisted to attend the National Conference and supports legislative actions for benefits and so much more. 

Friday night features "The American Game Show Challenge," which is a series of fun trivia contests and physical challenges.

Saturday is back to business with a business meeting and elections for the executive council.  The new Junior Enlisted Team is sponsoring the Chinese Auction.  Local attractions are abundant; register for trips to Valley Forge and/or Longwood Gardens.  Saturday Night wraps up our conference with our customary formal Military Ball. 

There are several package plans to fit your particular needs.  If you have any questions, call retired Sgt. Maj. Jerome Zebrowski at 609-214-6959 or e-mail at or Co-Chairman retired Sgt. Maj. Edward Goetschius at 609-965-1972 or e-mail at  Visit the association's web site at for additional information, updates and applications.

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, click on Become a Member for the application and find out more about what the association does.

Veterans Information

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

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 or contact at 732-499-7295 or at

Eligible veterans entitled to property tax deduction

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

Veterans' eligibility

v    a citizen of the United States

v    resident of New Jersey

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

Surviving spouse's eligibility

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

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

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

v    Has died on active duty in a wartime period.

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

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 12, 13*, 14

Livingston Mall

October 2, 3, 4

Deptford Mall

October 30*, 31, November 1

Brunswick Square Mall

November 27, 28, 29

Quaker Bridge Mall

*Medal ceremonies begin at 10:30 a.m. on these dates.  The kiosk will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., July-Sept.; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Oct. and Nov.

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.

Sep. 16, 12:30 p.m. - Rolling Thunder-NJ Motorcycle Run for POW/MIA Awareness, departs Warinaco Park, Roselle, N.J. at 11:30 a.m.; arrives N.J. Vietnam Veterans' Memorial at 12:30 p.m.

Sep. 21, 11:00 a.m. - National Gold Star Mothers Day and National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony.

Sep. 22, 1 p.m. - Secret and Dangerous: Night of the So'n Tay POW Raid, lecture and book signing by the author, Vietnam Veteran air commando pilot Bill Guenon.

Oct. 19, 8 a.m.-3:00 p.m. - "Weighing In On War, and Why: Public Opinion and Its Influences, Vietnam to Iraq," 9th annual Forum on the Vietnam Era.  Keynote Speaker: Bobby Muller, Founder of Vietnam Veterans of America.  Preregistration required. 

Oct. 20, 1 p.m. - "Choppers at War: Vietnam to Iraq," a lecture by NJ Iraq War Veteran, Lt. Col. Mark Preston, USA.  

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

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.


For further information call 1-800-648-VETS or visit


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