New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights 19 October 2007

Volume 6, Number 42


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

Governor, TAG announce upcoming deployments

By Kryn P. Westhoven, Public Affairs Staff Officer

Two dozen media outlets posed questions to Governor Jon S. Corzine and Maj. Gen. Glenn Rieth, The Adjutant General, concerning the announcement that the state's 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team will be deploying to Iraq in 2008.  According to Maj. Gen. Rieth, the Adjutant General for New Jersey, the 50th Brigade will be conducting a variety of important missions in Iraq.  The brigade's pre-mobilization training begins immediately and will take place in New Jersey, with further theater-specific preparation being conducted out-of-state.

"We will ensure that our Soldiers are fully mission capable and ready to deploy.and that their families are taken care of back home," said Rieth, who went on to say that, "I have assured Governor Corzine that these deployments will not prevent our state's National Guard from responding to emergencies at home."

Originally slated to go to Iraq in 2010, the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team is being deployed earlier to compensate for the changes needed to comply with new Department of Defense policies. The Brigade deployment will bring the total number of New Jersey Soldiers now being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan to over 3200.  Additional units being sent overseas include an embedded training team, two aviation units and a military police company.  All units will be mobilized for one year, which includes stateside training and "boots on the ground" in theater.

Civil Support Team hosting orientation day, Oct. 27

The 21st Civil Support Team will be hosting an orientation day on Oct. 27, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Members of the Guard and civilians are invited to attend. Discover how a CST works.

The orientation will be divided into three sessions. Sessions will repeat every two hours, 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., in order to better accommodate participants.

Each session will consist of the following:

v    Civil Support Team overview

v    "What It Takes To Be A Member" brief

v    Facility tour and equipment demo

v    Decontamination Line demonstration

v    Hands on participation/familiarization with equipment

v    Wear of SCBA (Self Contained Breathing Apparatus) and level A suits

Individuals who wish to participate in the wear of self-contained breathing apparatus and level A suits may wear PT uniform, civilian fitness clothing, ACU OR BDU.

This is a unique opportunity for members of the NJ Army and Air Guard to see first hand what a Civil Support Team does. Civil Support Team members will engage in face to face sessions with participants in order to bring a clearer understanding of team member responsibilities. All applicants, future applicants and interested Soldiers and Airmen are encouraged to come and participate in the orientation day.

Individuals who wish to participate in wearing of the SCBA and level A suits; please send an email to terrence.d.taylor@us.army.mil or toby.tirrito@us.army.mil. This will aid us in accommodating all participants and meeting safety requirements. For further information you may contact 1st Sgt. Terrence Taylor at 609-562-3139 or Staff Sgt. Toby Tirrito at 609-562-3236.

108th celebrates arrival of new aircraft

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

The arrival ceremony of the KC-135R to the 108th Air Refueling Wing was held on Monday, October 15 at 11 a.m.. To celebrate this event Congressman Jim Saxton, Gen. Arthur Lichte, Maj. Gen. Glenn Rieth, The Adjutant General of New Jersey participated as guest speakers during the ceremony. An estimated 450 Guard members, Team McGuire, retirees and civic leaders where in attendance.

254th Regiment hold training courses

The 254th Regiment (CA) will be holding training courses in the upcoming months at the National Guard Regional Training Institute, Sea Girt.

Inactive Duty Training -

Small Group Instructor Training Course, (SGITC) Jan. 5-6, Feb. 2-3, March 1, 2008. You can learn about personality types and the human thought process, how to control the sharp shooter in class, and how to present the best class possible. Few seats remain, sign up now.

Basic NCO Course,(BNCOC) next course starts in April 2008 .

Military Police (31B10 MOS-T) Phase I, Nov. 3, 2007, June 7-8, 2008; 5 seats available. Class starts in 3 weeks, get your soldiers registered today.

PRE WARRIOR Leadership Course, three weekends: Jan. 5-6, Feb. 2-3 and March 1-2, 2008; seats available. Tune up those map reading skills, pass Warrior Leadership Course.

Officer Candidate School Class 52 (OCS)- Project officers interviewing candidates at this time.

Active Duty Training -

Combat Medic Training Course (68W Sustainment), Dec. 3-12, 2007, 20 seats will be available. Look for course in ATRRS on Oct. 22.

Combat Lifesaver (CLS), 1st class will be held Oct. 29-31, 2nd class will be held Nov. 1 -3, 2007. 3rd class will be held Nov. 13-15, 2007; 30 seats have been filled for each class. Thank you for a great job!

For more information, contact Master Sgt. G. Davidson, 254th Regiment operations sergeant, 732-974-5912, Gary.Davidson@us.army.mil or your unit Readiness NCO. You can also visit our school information on ATRSS at https://www.atrrs.army.mil/atrrscc/, school code is 1004.

Clint Black performing in live concert on Fort Dix, Oct. 29

Country music star Clint Black will be performing at a free concert on Oct. 29 on Doughboy Field, Fort Dix. The concert will begin at 6 p.m. It is open to all DoD ID card holders and their families. Priority seating to military in uniform. No pets or coolers; lawn chairs are allowed. For more information, call 609-562-5853 or www.dixmwr.com.

VA Mobile Medical unit at Trenton Vet Center on Nov. 7

The VA Mobile Medical Unit will be at the Trenton Vet Center, 934 Parkway Ave. Ewing on Nov 7, 2007.

This is an opportunity for veterans to enroll in VA health care services, receive a health care assessment and check out medical benefits.

For more information, call 609-882-5744.

Annual Coat and Gifts drives coming soon

The Annual Coat and Gifts for Kids Drive will run from Nov. 1-23. The Gifts for Kids drive will run from Nov. 26-Dec. 17.

More information will follow.

Free entre for veterans at McCormick and Schmick

From the desk of retired Chief Master Sgt. Paul Gunning, Wing Family Program coordinator

McCormick & Schmick's to honor veterans with free entree a part of its ninth annual Military Veterans Appreciation Event http://www.roa.org/site/ R?i=d9OCwxPsQ7V5y0Ccu4TpCQ. McCormick & Schmick's seafood restaurant will offer all retired U.S. military veterans a free entre on Nov. 11, 2007, in appreciation for their service to our country. The offer extends to all who are defined as a veteran by the Veterans Administration, Title 38 US Code 101, which is a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. All veterans must show proper identification. Traditionally, the McCormick & Schmick's Veterans Appreciation event is held on the Sunday prior to the formal Veterans Day holiday. Since Veterans Day falls on a Sunday this year, the McCormick & Schmick's Appreciation event will take place this year on the formal holiday itself.

VFW sponsors scholarships

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

The Veterans of Foreign Wars has two scholarship programs. The Voice of Democracy (VOD) scholarship program is an audio-essay contest for high school students in grades 9-12 that annually provides more than $3 million in scholarships. The Patriot's Pen award is a youth-essay writing contest that gives students in grades six through eight the opportunity to write essays expressing their views on democracy. The deadline for both scholarships is Nov. 1, 2007. Learn more at http://www.vfw.org/index.cfm?fa=cmty.levelc&cid=1836&tok=1.

 

More unemployment benefits for military spouses

New Jersey, Arkansas, South Carolina and Connecticut have come onboard to allow military spouses to collect unemployment compensation when they quit their jobs to move to new duty stations with their service-member spouses. This makes a total of 21 states that authorize unemployment benefits. Eight other states flatly deny benefits while the remainder will consider them on a case-by-case basis. The changes have occurred since the Department of Defense launched a "USA 4 Military Families" campaign three years ago. To assist, DoD has assigned 10 regional representatives to act as liaison between the services and the appropriate state agencies.

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

Keep going with the Fitness Challenge

From the desk of Ernie Razzano, DMAVA Health Professions recruiter

I just wanted to congratulate those of who took the Fitness Challenge - you on getting to the half way mark. The challenge ends on Nov. 3, so hang in there! I want to thank all of you for participating this year.  We have more than four times as many participants (67) than we did last year (15).  For those of you who are using this challenge as a springboard to start a fitness program - I salute you!  Keep up the good work and contact me at any time for any motivation you may need.  For those of you already in a fitness program, you have the unique advantage of knowing the benefits you're obtaining as you continue to train.  If you have any questions regarding the program or fitness in general and would like to speak to a certified fitness professional, don't hesitate to contact me at 609-530-6767.

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.

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

Program expands services to families of fallen Soldiers

As part of ongoing efforts to better assist Families of fallen Soldiers, Army Long Term Family Case Management added 11 new categories to the Support Program section on its Web site.

The information can be found in the Support Programs section of www.ALTFCM.army.mil.

Policy change boosts G.I. Bill eligibility for some Guard, Reserve

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

A recent Defense Department policy change widens the eligibility window for some Reserve-component troops who want to use their Montgomery G.I. Bill education benefits.  The DoD policy now aligns with Department of Veterans Affairs rules, which say National Guard members and reservists are eligible to receive Montgomery G.I. Bill education benefits for the period covering the amount of time they served on active duty, plus four months.  The total amount of G.I. Bill coverage for reservists is still 36 months and reservists normally have 14 years to use their Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits. However, that time might also be extended by the amount of time Guard or Reserve members serve on active duty, plus four months.

The Reserve Education Assistance Program (REAP), established by the 2005 National Defense Authorization Act, is another DoD education initiative for members of the Guard and Reserve. To be eligible, servicemembers must have served at least 90 consecutive days of active service after Sept. 11, 2001, in response to a Presidential or Congressional call-up of military forces for wartime or other emergency service.

Guard and Reserve members who served for two continuous years on active duty in support of a contingency operation would qualify for both the Montgomery G.I. Bill and REAP and could select which program they want to use,

Servicemembers can determine if they qualify for the Montgomery G.I. Bill and REAP by contacting their local education office.

Project Victory offers rehabilitation services

 

Project Victory will provide free rehabilitation services to veterans across the country who suffer from moderate to severe Traumatic Brain Injury sustained in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

The program is funded by a three-year grant from the Iraq Afghanistan

Deployment Impact Fund of the California Community Foundation.

Project Victory will serve 65 servicemembers annually. Applicants must meet criteria for care. Rehabilitation and housing costs will be covered.

Project Victory is outpatient rehabilitation/community re-integration programs that will help combat veterans achieve the greatest degree of independence in their daily lives.

A designated Family member or caregiver will participate as an integral part of the rehabilitation team.

Together, Project Victory staff and the servicemember's caregiver will assess progress and revise goals based on the patient's changing life situation. This will ensure a more successful transition back into the home and community environment.

Project Victory is a collaborative program uniting medical doctors from the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston with rehabilitation specialists from Memorial Hermann TIRR Challenge Program.

Memorial Hermann TIRR, a brain injury rehabilitation program, was recently named one of the top-five rehabilitation hospitals in the United States.

For more information visit: www.tirrfoundation.org/victory.asp contact Shawn Brossart, Project Victory Coordinator, at 713-383-5604, or

shawnbrossart@memorialhermann.org.

Enlisted Association announces new officers

From the desk of retired Command Master Sgt. Michael Hughes, EANGNJ

The Enlisted Association of the National Guard of New Jersey elected new officers at their Annual Conference at Valley Forge, PA on Oct 5-7.  The newly elected officers are:

President: retired Command Sgt. Maj. Michael T. Hughes
Vice President - Army: retired Sgt. Maj. Michael C. Amoroso
Vice President - Air: retired Chief Master Sgt. Kathy Christian
Corresponding Secretary:    Sgt. 1st Class Valerie A. Hopkins
Recording Secretary:          Staff Sgt. Beth B. Lapoint
Treasurer:                          retired Chief Master Sgt. Leon Cisek
Immediate Past President:  Chief Master Sgt. Thomas J. Quinn
Rep JF HQS:                     Staff Sgt. Andrew J. Faucett
Rep Air McGuire:               Master Sgt. Vincent Mazza
Rep Air Atlantic City:          Master Sgt. Joseph A Iacovone Jr
Rep 57th Trp Cmd:             Sgt. 1st Class Larry S. Rosenthal
Rep 50th Brigade:              Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A. Wright
Rep 42nd RSG:                 Command Master Sgt. Richard Vanderclute
Rep Air Retired:                 retired Chief Master Sgt. Chuck Adamson
Rep Army Retired:             retired Command Master Sgt. Richard T. LaRocca

Mailing help for holiday overseas packages

By Karen Jowers - Army Times Staff writer

If you want to get holiday gifts to a service member deployed overseas by Dec. 25, it's time to start thinking about mail deadlines.

The first suggested deadline of Nov. 13 is for packages going by parcel post to deployed troops and those living on overseas installations, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Parcel post may be the slowest option, but it's the cheapest, too. For packages to arrive by the start of Hanukkah, at sundown Dec. 4, they should be mailed by Oct. 23.

You can check the cost of mailing your package through different avenues on the Postal Service's Web site.

Postal officials strongly advise families to consider these deadlines because of the volume of mail during the holiday season. Many groups are already gearing up to send packages to deployed troops.

Some tips from the Postal Service:

v    Packages must be addressed to an individual service member. Mail cannot be delivered to "any service member." Use the member's full name, military organization or unit and APO/FPO address.

v    Do not include the country name in any part of the address when using an APO/FPO address.

v    Choose a box strong enough to protect its contents, and use plenty of cushioning material such as popcorn or newspapers.

v    Consider using the Postal Service's free Military Kit - eight boxes of three different sizes popular for mailing to military personnel, along with mailing labels, tape and U.S. Customs forms. Kits can be obtained by calling toll-free to (800) 610-8734. Choose option 1, and when a live agent responds, ask for Care Kit 4.

v    Write the delivery and return addresses on one side of the package.

v    Place a return address label inside the package.

If you miss the parcel post deadline, here are your options for getting mail to an APO/FPO address by Dec. 25 (subtract 21 days from these deadlines to ensure delivery in time for Hanukkah):

v    Space Available Mail (SAM): Nov. 27.

v    Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL): Dec. 4, except for ZIP codes starting with 093, which are all areas of contingency operations. The suggested deadline for those locations is Dec. 1.

v    Priority Mail: Dec. 11 (093 ZIP codes, Dec. 4).

v    First-class letters and cards: Dec. 11. (093 ZIP codes, Dec. 4).

v    Express Mail Military Services: Dec. 18 (not available to 093 ZIP codes).

Visit the following Web site to check out mailing guidelines. http://www.usps.com/ send/preparemailandpackages/preparingpackages.htm.

Cyber Security Awareness month

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Cyber Security Division (NCSD) is spearheading the fourth annual National Cyber Security Awareness Month which is intended to raise awareness of the growing need to protect our nation's critical infrastructures and key resources from cyber threats and vulnerabilities.

The theme of this year's campaign, "Protect Yourself Before You Connect Yourself," was chosen to demonstrate that both individual and enterprise users can take simple steps to protect their part of cyberspace and help secure America's cyber assets.

Assistant Secretary of Cybersecurity and Communication, Greg Garcia, is providing some practical advice to thwart future cyber attacks:

*         Take cyber risks seriously and ask neighbors and coworkers to do the same.

*         Educate yourself on ways to safeguard yourself and your family from identify theft, fraud, and other cyber threats by going to the Web site, www.OnGuardOnline.gov.

*         Spread the word and became an ambassador of cyber security by reporting incidents to your IT department or to US-CERT at www.US-CERT.gov.

*         Explain the importance of protecting yourself while online to those around you.

Golf tournament is cancelled

Be aware that the Enlisted Assoc Golf Tournament scheduled for Oct 22 has been cancelled.

Retirement Dinners

Dinner to be held for Catherine Vasil

Here is your chance to say goodbye to Catherine Vasil of the DMAVA Human Relations Division. Her retirement dinner will be held Oct. 26, 5 p.m., at Mastoris Restaurant, Bordentown.

Cost of the dinner is $30 per person which includes the gift. RSVP no later than Oct. 19 to Anna Marie Boutchia at 609-530-6889.

Farewell to CWO Curving

The retirement dinner for Chief Warrant Officer Five Albert G. Curving will be held on Nov. 2 at the Lawrenceville Armory. Cocktail hour begins at 6 p.m. and dinner will be served at 7 p.m.

Cost of the dinner is $32 per person. For more information, to make payments and reservations, contact Maj. Denise McCleary at 609-562-0213. Reservations must be made by Oct. 15.

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 the Army 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.

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.

ANG Dinosaurs holding fall gathering on Oct. 24

The (NJ) ANG Dinosaurs are holding their fall gathering of Air National Guard retirees at Moore's Tavern, Freehold, on Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. All ANG retirees and current ANG employees who are soon to be retired are invited. Army Guard retirees are welcome to attend also.

Please RSVP to Mel Sylvester at 609-298-5970 or NuffSaidMel@aol.com or Rich Donovan at 732-223-2051 or 732-223-4445 or DONOVAN@exit109.com. Cost of meal (drinks will be separate) with tip will be about $25.

North Jersey AUSA chapter will hold meeting Oct. 25

The Northern New Jersey Chapter of the Association of the United States Army will hold their fall meeting on Oct. 25 at The Rutgers Club in New Brunswick. Cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and the buffet dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m.

The special guests for the meeting will be Lt. Col. Peter Sandberg, professor of Military Science, Rutgers University Army ROTC and Cadet Lt. Col. Robert Preziosi of the Scarlet Knight battalion. They will host a discussion on Army ROTC's role and mission and how it develops future leaders in the U.S. Army. The chapter will also recognize 18 Rutgers ROTC seniors, 13 of whom are in the New Jersey Army National Guard.

Cost is $35 per person. To RSVP, call retired Col. Richard F. Plechner at 732-549-1535. The uniform of the evening is Mess Dress/Dress Blue or civilian business attire.

Historic Soldier Weekend will collect for Operation Shoebox

Operation Shoebox, NJ will be on site accepting donations to ship overseas for our troops at Historic Soldier Weekend, held on the historic Burlington riverfront, Oct. 27 and 28.

They are accepting donations for the shoeboxes.

The following list contains items frequently requested by U.S. Soldiers and Marines serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Please note that aerosol products cannot be shipped overseas. Also, all items must be in their original packaging. When in doubt, think small. It is easier to ship smaller packaged items than large, economy size.

Lip balm, Sun block, Moist wipes, Bug spray - non-aerosol, Bars of soap, Small bottles of shampoo, Deodorant - non-aerosol, Powdered drink mixes, Cereal/Snack/Granola bars, Instant oatmeal - individual packets, Boxes of hot chocolate that contain individual packets, Small cans of tuna with pop-tops, Small cans of fruit with pop-tops, Microwave popcorn - individual bags can be sent, Athletic socks, Batteries - all sizes, Gum, Candy, Small boxes of cereal, Small bags of trail mix, peanuts, pretzels, etc.

Operation Shoebox NJ is a registered non-profit organization. Operation Shoebox NJ has shipped more than 12,000 packages to U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq, Kuwait, Afghanistan and other posts in the Middle East.  (http://opshoeboxnj.org/)

For more information on the Historic Soldier Weekend, which is an historical encampment featuring re-enactors and their equipment from every American conflict, spanning from the French and Indian War to the Vietnam War, visit http://www.historicsoldiersweekend.com/.

Honorable Mention

Are you Red for the Post Deployment Health Reassessment?

Is your AKO stoplight Red for My Medical Readiness?

Is AKO telling you that you are due to complete your Post Deployment Health Reassessment (PDHRA)?

Want to know how to fix this? The PDHRA seeks to identify proactively potential health issues before they become chronic conditions. The PDHRA provides education, screening, assessment and access to care for a wide variety of questions and concerns that Soldiers may have about their health after they return from deployment. Soldiers who redeployed from a combat zone more than 90 days ago are eligible for the PDHRA.

Just follow these simple directions.

Option 1: Begin PDHRA online and complete it over the phone. You may complete the PDHRA online through AKO by going to https://apps.mods.army.mil/mwde/ secure/AKOForms.asp and logging in with your AKO username and password. You must then call 1-888-PDHRA-99 to discuss your responses with a healthcare provider.

Option 2: Complete PDHRA entirely over the phone. If you do not have access to a computer or AKO, you may call 1-888-PDHRA-99 and complete the entire assessment over the phone.

Questions? Visit www.virtualarmory.com/mobiledeploy/PDHRA for more information.

Nominate your co-worker for a state award

Here is the chance to nominate your fellow employees for a state award. Has the person in the cubicle next to you done something that makes you proud?

Nominate your co-workers for an award in one of the following categories:

v    Heroism

v    Exceptional service

v    Co-worker recognition

v    Community service

v    Teamwork/Partnership

v    Customer service

v    Professional achievement

Rules, instructions and forms are available on the Human Resources page of the DMAVA Intranet or by calling 609-530-7107. Completed forms must be typed, signed by the nominee's supervisor and received at DMAVA-HRO no later than Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. to be considered for this year's awards.

Send Highlights your happenings

We want your stuff!! Is your unit doing some unique training? Did someone in the New Jersey Guard receive accolades for accomplishing something extra special? Is your unit running a special event for the community? Does your section of DMAVA have something they need to tell the rest of the department? We want to know about it.

Send us a short piece on what is happening so we can publish it in DMAVA Highlights. Let us know who wrote it so we can give them credit. If there are photos, you can send those too. While we do not publish photos in Highlights, we can give them to the editor of Guardlife and they may be used in that publication.

When you send in your article:

    Identify all people in the article with rank, first and last names and job title or position.

    Spell out all acronyms.

    When it comes to equipment, do not just give the nomenclature, also include the "name" of the equipment. Do not use M998 alone, HMMWV is also needed.

    Give us as much as possible of the meat of the story - who, what, when, where, why and how concerning the event.

    Photos need identification of people in the photo and what is happening in the photo.

Deadline for each week is noon Thursday and should be e-mailed to Barbara.harbison@njdmava.state.nj.us. We do not publish flyers or Adobe files. If a Web site is out there to give people more information or to get a registration form, put that in your article.

Don't be intimidated by writing, we edit it for understanding and grammar. Your article may look a different when it is published as we also edit to fit the standards of the AP Style Guide.

Show us your stuff!!

Counterdrug Task Force has job openings

The Counterdrug Task Force announces an opening in the Counterdrug support operations. Two positions are open to any qualified current member of the New Jersey Army and Air National Guard. It is a full time, Active Duty Special Work, military duty position vacancy (Title 32). Military grade needed to apply for the position is E2-E5 with E5 being the maximum grade.

Members who are selected for the job are subject to unusual and additional duty hours. They must maintain responsibilities to their unit of assignment to include MOSQ, attend scheduled drills and annual training, and maintain readiness status.

The job consists of assisting Law Enforcement Agencies with intelligence analysis support and developing investigations and cases for prosecution. Activities include, inputting, reviewing and analyzing collected information and providing legal, paralegal and auditing assistance. Operational support to LEAs is designed to enhance the effectiveness of the supported agency and release law enforcement officers for drug enforcement duties.

For more information on how to apply for the positions, contact Staff Sgt. Christina D. Ermi at 609-530-7166.

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 walter.r.nall@us.army.mil or Master Sgt. Jonny Hannigan at 609-562-0337 or jonny.hannigan@us.army.mil.

New Jersey Bar Association offers pro bono military legal assistance

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

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

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

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

Honor Guard program wants YOU!

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

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

VA Launches Suicide Hotline

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

Discounts offered for State employees

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

Visit www.state.nj.us/personnel/discounts/index.htm and you can find a number of businesses who offer discounts to New Jersey state employees. From amusement parks to fitness to computer to phones and lots of other discounts between, you will find many ways to save money. For more information, please contact Cindy Leese at cindy.leese@njdmava.state.nj.us or call 609-530-7056.

For the Families

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

Sports and Entertainment

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 frank.heath@njatla.ang.af.mil.

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.

Scholarship, Education News

HBCU holding career fair for students

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

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

Free SAT/ACT Offer Extended

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

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

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

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

American Legion offers scholarships, booklet on their Web site

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

Association News

NGANJ group life insurance available to members

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

Enlisted Association of the National Guard of New Jersey

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

Veterans Information

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.

Veterans Day ceremony in Ewing

The Department of Veteran Affairs/Readjustment Counseling Service requests your company at their annual Veterans Day celebration on November 7 at noon at their office located at 934 Parkway Avenue, Ewing. Their will be a reception immediately following the ceremony.

For more information contact Darryll Johnson at 609-882-5744.

Helmets to Hardhats

The New Jersey State Building and Construction Trades Council's Helmets to Hardhats Program (NJ H2H) is designed to help transitioning military personnel, National Guardsmen and Reservists find the careers in the building and construction industry. The program seeks to help military members find a career in one of 15 affiliated trades, such as electrical workers, carpenters and painters.

They work in cooperation with the national Helmets to Hardhats program, adding a personal component to the program's on-line services. NJ H2H offers veterans preparation for successful application to any of New Jersey's registered apprenticeship programs in the building and construction trades. Services include career counseling, entrance test preparation and referral to supportive services.

For program registration and information, visit online at www.njbctc.org/h2h or contact at 732-499-7295 or at H2H@njbctc.org.

DMAVA Veterans Outreach Campaign continues

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

 

October 30*, 31, November 1

Brunswick Square Mall

November 27, 28, 29

Quaker Bridge Mall

January 8,9, 2008

Woodbridge Center

February 5, 6, 7

Moorestown Mall

March 4*, 5, 6

Paramus Park Shopping Center

April 1, 2, 3

Voorhees Town Center

May 6*, 7, 8

Ocean County Mall

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

N.J. Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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

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

Oct. 20, 1 p.m. - "Choppers at War: Vietnam to Iraq," a lecture by N.J. 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.

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

 

   
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