New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights » 31 August 2007

Volume 6, Number 35

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

News For Your Views

Albanian Army trains at Fort Drum

By Sgt. 1st Class Robert Stephenson, New Jersey National Guard Public Affairs

Practicing the age-old adage that "one good turn deserves another," the 50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (IBCT) of the New Jersey National Guard hosted members of the Albanian Army during the brigade's Annual Training in August at Fort Drum, N.Y.

This July, Albania hosted members of the 50th IBCT's, Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 113th Infantry for training during Phase I of a Unit Level Exchange (ULE) program.  This is part of the ongoing bilateral relationship that the New Jersey National Guard has with the republic of Albania, which is part of the State Partnership Program, sponsored by the National Guard Bureau, according to Capt. Dennis Stiles, of Bravo Company, 2-113th Infantry, and the Project Officer for the ULE. 

Capt. Kastriot Cera, commander of Cobra Company, 2nd Battalion, Rapid Reaction Brigade, Albanian Army was on hand to share the experience. "We are here to gain as much experience from the U.S. Army.  This experience will be shared, not only inside my company, but inside my battalion, and inside my Rapid Reaction Brigade, so it will be expanded, not just inside the platoon and company, but wider," Cera notes.

Phase I consisted of squad tactics centered on Movement-to-Contact training in a wooded environment in the hilly countryside of Albania.  In Phase II, members of Cobra Company trained together with Soldiers from Alpha Company at the Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) site at Fort Drum.

"The MOUT operation range is really great," said Cera, whose company will deploy to Afghanistan sometime next year.  "I myself will give this idea to the higher command.  We really will get a lot from this range during this operation."

Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Ropel of Alpha Company, 2-113th, who spent some of his active-duty time as a member of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, is supervising the training at the MOUT site.

"They're very well-trained Soldiers," according to Ropel.  "They have good knowledge about basics, about our NATO techniques as well, and they are using them."

Training at the MOUT site is initiated by members of the 2-113th Infantry, but Soldiers from both countries can benefit from the cross-pollination of tactics and techniques and the preparation that comes with it. 

"It's multi-cultural," commented Ropel.  "It makes our Soldiers richer because they are able to learn their culture, and we experienced this first hand when we were in Albania."

In addition to MOUT Village Training, Cobra and Alpha trained at the MOUT Assault Course, and conduct Close Quarters Combat training.

108th ARW will be receiving two awards during NGAUS conference

Brig. Gen. Michael Cunniff and Col. Robert Meyer will be accepting a Distinguished Flying Unit Plaque that will be presented to the 108th Air Refueling Wing during the Air Separate Session at the NGAUS conference.

In addition to the Distinguished Flying Unit Plaque, the 108th is also the recipient of the Maj Gen John J. Pesch Flight Safety Trophy. This trophy is awarded by the National Guard Bureau-Air.

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

On September 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.

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!!!

Summer is ending, but safety continues

From the desk of Sgt. Maj. Nick Kampf, Safety and Occupational Health, NJARNG

The 101 Days of Summer are rapidly coming to an end; this will be the final weekend of the summer. I hope that all of you enjoy the weekend to the fullest, but also keep in mind the topics that were presented to you over the summer!

v    Water Safety

v    Boating Safety

v    Fireworks Safety

v    Barbeque Safety

v    Responsible Driving

v    Limit Alcohol use

v    Cell Phones & Driving- NO

Have a "Great Weekend" and return to work safely!!!

Helpline for military members who want to become U.S. citizens

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

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) launched a toll-free helpline for military service members attempting to become U.S. citizens.

The helpline, 1-877-CIS-4MIL (1-877-247-4645), is accessible both inside the United States and overseas. It is available for service members and their families, with expedited service for service members set to deploy or for families applying posthumously.

The helpline will assist callers Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. with the following:

v    Tracking their application for naturalization (Form N-400)

v    Notifying USCIS of a new mailing address or duty station

v    Checking the status of an application or petition

v    Bringing a spouse, fiancée or adopted child to the United States

v    Obtaining posthumous citizenship for a deceased member of the Armed Services

v    Submitting an application for expedited processing

In addition to the helpline, USCIS has developed a web page,, providing information and links to services specifically for the military and their families. (Source: Press release, office of Senator Barbara Mikulski's (D-MD) )

OIF/OEF Soldiers sought for recognition at Formula Drift championship

Operation Tribute Freedom is seeking OIF/OEF Soldiers to be recognized during opening ceremonies prior to each Formula Drift Championship. The Formula Drift Championship series is a choreographed motor sport competition that incorporates the techniques seen in the "Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" movie.

The local championship event will be held on Sept. 8 at 5 p.m. at the Wall Township Speedway, Wall, N.J.

Uniform: ACUs/DCUs with beret.  No TDY is available.

If you are interested in attending the event in New Jersey, contact the DMAVA Public Affairs Office at 609-530-6950 or 609-530-7088.  You need to supply the following information: Name and rank, brief deployment history and awards.

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).

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.

All Guard members now eligible for affordable health insurance

Starting October 1, 2007, The Department of Defense healthcare system known as TRICARE Select is now available to all members of the Delaware National Guard at only 28% of the actual cost.  Monthly costs for traditional members are as follows:

v       $ 81 per month for a single Soldier or Airman

v       $ 253 per month for a Soldier or Airman and their family

This was made possible through the hard work of our professional organizations such as the National Guard Association (NGAUS), Enlisted Association of the National Guard (EANGUS) and Adjutants General Association (AGAUS) working with our congressional delegation.


v    LOG ON to the following website: index.jsp.

v    Complete the TRS request form (DD Form 2896-1) and sign the document.

v    Mail the form with the premium payment

            ($81.00 for an Individual Plan and $253.00 for a Family Plan).

            Mailing address is:

            TRICARE North Enrollment

            P.O. Box 870143

            Surfside Beach, SC 29587

v    The Form can also be faxed to the following number 888-299-4145.

v    After enrolling Soldier or Airmen needs to contact their verifying official.

v    Additional information about the program can also be obtained by visiting the following website: www.tricare/mil/reserve/reserve select or by contacting the following number 800-555-2605. There is also a link to TRS on the Delaware National Guard website homepage: new/content/dngnews/2007/aug/

To learn more about the new program, go to and click on My Benefit.

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.

"Bring your peanut butter and Jam with us" noon concert series

The New Jersey Department of State is offering "Jazz at Noon" featuring The Anthony Nelson Trio every Thursday in September.  The concert will be held at the State Capitol Plaza/State Cultural Complex which is between the State House Annex and the State Library.  The rain location will be the New Jersey State Museum auditorium.  This free series is a prelude to the New Jersey Statewide Cultural Festival which will be held on Sept. 29 at the South River Walk Park, Trenton. 

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.

TRICARE Dental offers program for Guard and family members

From TRICARE Dental

Did you Know? TRICARE Dental available for Guardsmen and family members National Guard & Reserve service members and their families are eligible for the TRICARE Dental Program (TDP).

Are you eligible? Does your sponsor have at least 12 months remaining on their service contract? Are you a traditional drilling member of the National Guard/Reserves? Is your DEERS record updated? Are you an active duty family member? If so you and/or your dependents are likely eligible for this program! Family members include spouses and unmarried children (including stepchildren, adopted children, and wards) under the age of 21. A child under the age of 23 who is a full-time student at an accredited university and is dependent on the sponsor for 50 percent of their financial support is also eligible.

The TRICARE Dental Program (TDP) is administered through United Concordia, also referred to as UCCI. TDP offers all enrolled members comprehensive dental coverage for diagnostic and preventative services (exams, cleanings, fluorides, sealants and xrays), basic restorative services (fillings), Endodontics (root canals), Periodontics (gum surgery), Oral Surgery (extractions), 

Prosthodontics (crowns, dentures) & Orthodontics (braces): There is no charge for preventative services and cost shares from 20-50 percent for other services with an annual per person benefit of $1,200 for all services other than Orthodontics which has a lifetime per person maximum of $1,500. For complete details about covered services please see the benefits handbook online at: http://www.tricaredental

Premiums are determined by the enrollment plan (single or family) and the military status of the sponsor. Rates change annually on February 1st.  See the chart below to see what your rate would be:

For enrolled active duty family members (ADFMs), the Government assumes 60 percent of the cost of your TDP premium while you pay 40 percent. If the military status of your sponsor changes from active duty to National Guard/Reserve, your premiums will change accordingly.

Premiums are paid on a monthly basis. They must be paid in full. There are no circumstances when a partial premium can be paid. If you fail to pay your premiums during the mandatory 12-month enrollment period, the Government will not pay any portion of the premium for the remaining months. United Concordia will collect the full amount-Government and member portions-of any remaining premium due for the 12-month enrollment period from you. Failure to pay the required premiums may result in referral of the account to a collection agency.

United Concordia offers a variety of options for paying your premiums including allotment from military pay, automatic withdrawal and monthly billing.

How to enroll or get more information: Visit or call the UCCI Enrollment and Member Services Department at 1-888-622-2256. You can register online in minutes, or complete the form and mail or even fax it in. Applications received by the 20th of the month will begin coverage on the 1st of the following month. Your first month's premium is due when you enroll. Don't have access to the internet? Your local Family Assistance Center can give you an application!

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.  

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.

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.

Seminar available on counter-terrorism/medical disaster preparedness

NJIT Department of Health and Environmental Safety, The Military Order of the Purple Heart and The USMC Reserve Association are sponsoring a one day counter-terrorism symposium on Sept. 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Campus Center.

The mission of this symposium is to educate the public on counter-terrorist prevention strategies and disaster response.  There will be a particular emphasis on response resources and looking at real scenarios run in a major medical center environment.

Some topics that will be covered include:

v    Medical Disaster Preparedness - from the medical/civic health viewpoint.

v    A leading Doctor from Saint Joseph's Regional Medical Center looks at medical situations arising from Hurricane Katrina tells his first hand experience with medical problems/mitigation strategies.

v    School Security Overview - NJ State Police on campus security, intruder protection, etc.

v    Industry Focus - facing airlines and trucking industries security issues

v    Information Technology - identity theft awareness/prevention

v    Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) Threats and Emergency Preparedness - presentation from Iraq War Veteran and tactical security officer stationed at The Pentagon

v    Professional/Citizens Groups - how to engage and educate/train the public in counter-terrorism.

There will be educational credit available to eligible professionals/participants seeking continuing education credits [for physicians/nurses].

For more information or to register, call retired Col. Walter F. Conner, USMC at 609 977-2114 or email:  There is a military discount in the registration fee.

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

For Your Calendar   

Town Hall meeting for DMAVA scheduled for Sept. 6

Deputy Adjutant General, Brig. Gen. Maria Falca-Dodson, and retired Col. Stephen G. Abel, Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs, will conduct a Town Hall meeting on Sept. 6, 2007 at 8 a.m.

At 8:45 a.m. retired Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Pierson and retired Col. Jay Lovas will brief employees on the COOP/COG, which is how the department would function in the event of a disaster. 

The Town Hall meeting and briefing will take place on the Drill Floor at the Lawrenceville Armory. Attendance for DMVA state employees is mandatory.

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.

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.

Honorable Mention

Monmouth county VSO offers additional day at clinic

From the Veterans Service Office

Effective Aug. 22, Don McNamara, Monmouth County Veterans Service Officer will be at the Fort Monmouth VA Clinic Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8 to 4 pm. He can be reached there at 732-532-4496.

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

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. 7-9 in south Jersey

Sept. 14-16 in central Jersey

Sept. 21-23 in north Jersey

ARMS offers discounted trip for families to Great Wolf Lodge

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

ARMS is again sponsoring a trip to Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos on Oct. 26-28.  This is a wonderful place for children and adults and a great way for families of all ages to connect.  Right now they have 30 rooms on hold, so it will be on a first come, first serve basis.  ARMS has done this as a group before and many of our military families have attended. 

The price they have given is fantastic. The cost for a room for Oct. 26-28 is $500 and for Oct. 27-28 is $250, tax is included in the prices. The price for a group up to six people and includes admission to the indoor water park during your stay.  The water park is open from 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m.  Meals are not included.  Each room ha a refrigerator and the master suites also have a microwave.

Your children may wear their Halloween costumes on Saturday night.  Great Wolf will be sponsoring a trick or treat night for the children. Great Wolf is not just for children. They have many things to offer for adults: a ½ mile down the road there is an outlet mall for shopping.

Check out the Great Wolf Lodge website at Locations/Poconos/ for information about the resort.

If you would like to attend, they need to know as soon as possible. Please send the following information to Ronnie Micciulla at or call 732-890-4914:

Name, phone number, how many people will be attending and which days everyone will be there.  No money is due before Sept. 10, but all money MUST be paid by then.  Checks can be made out to ARMS and sent to ARMS, 64 Harding Road, Red Bank, NJ 07701.

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.

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

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.

NGANJ's calendar for members in 2007

The National Guard Association of New Jersey will be conducting the following event.  All members (active and retirees) are encouraged to participate:

§       NGANJ Website - The above information is posted on the NGANJ website.  If you need copies of the forms, specific contacts or additional information, please go to the website at:

Veterans Information

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. 14, 7 p.m. - "An Evening with Adrien Cronauer," a special presentation by the original "Good Morning, Vietnam!" Armed Forces Radio disc jockey.

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 Vietnam and 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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