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

Volume 6, Number 36


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

100 N.J. ChalleNGe cadets graduated on Aug. 25

From the desk of retired Col. Kenneth J. Prossick, ChalleNGe commandant

On August 25, 100 New Jersey Youth ChalleNGe Academy students of Class 26 graduated at the War Memorial in Trenton, N.J. The graduating class had 91 percent who earned their State of New Jersey high school diploma. The ceremony was attended by hundreds to include family members, mentors, VIPs and members of the state legislature. Special thanks go out to the graduation keynote speaker, Mayor Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, for sharing his thoughts and insight with the Youth ChalleNGe graduates. The event concluded by recognizing the achievements of the graduates who demonstrated superior performance in various academic areas and leadership roles. Congratulations to all of the graduates!!!

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.

Patriot Day Sept. 11 - Fly your flag!

Each year since 2002, September 11 has been designated by the president as Patriot Day. In the official proclamation, the president calls upon state governors and other government officials to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Patriot Day. In urging the people of the United States to observe Patriot Day, the proclamation recommends participating in ceremonies and activities, displaying the flag at half-staff from homes, and observing a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. eastern daylight time - or another appropriate commemorative time - to honor the innocent victims who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Since most home flags are not designed to be flown at half-staff, other methods are acceptable. One such method is to attach a black ribbon - same width as a stripe and same length as flag - to the top of the flag.

Patriot's Day ceremony at Sea Girt, Sept. 11

There will be a Patriot's Day ceremony at the National Guard Training Center, Sea Girt on Sept. 11 beginning at 9:45 a.m. to honor the lives lost by the many civilians and first responders in the terrorist attacks. The ceremony will also honor the men and women who are serving, continue to serve and those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Global War on Terrorism. The New Jersey State Police, New Jersey Department of Corrections, members of the New Jersey National Guard and local first responders will be participating.

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.

Military suicide rates rising but service hopes to combat problem

By Chaplain (Maj.) Christopher L. Miller, 108th ARW Chaplain

September has been adopted as Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month. You may ask why. I will tell you; the rate of suicide attempts and success is climbing through the roof!

A recent article from United Press International reports that "a new U.S. Army report reveals the suicide rate among Soldiers is on the rise. The study said failed relationships, legal woes, financial problems and occupational/operational issues are the main reasons why an increasing number of Soldiers are taking their own lives." (United Press International, published: Aug. 16). In 2004, 67 Soldiers committed suicide. In 2006, 99 Soldiers committed suicide and we are well on our way to eclipsing that number this year.

But don't assume that it is only soldiers who are at a higher risk these days from suicide. Airmen are also dealing with multiple stressors at home and at work that could become the tipping point that leads to an attempted suicide.

In a Letter to Airmen titled "Stress, Mental Health, and Suicide Prevention" dated Aug. 7, The Honorable Michael W. Wynne (Secretary of the Air Force) wrote:

"As Airmen fight terrorism in the far corners of the world, the sacrifices asked of them and their families have increased significantly. These sacrifices have been accepted with courage and valor, and I am very proud of their contributions both at home and abroad. Nevertheless, under such circumstances, it is natural for our people to feel the stress of these demands and to be overwhelmed at times. Tragically, too often, these pressures end in suicide. This year the Air Force has lost more Airmen to suicide than to direct enemy action."(Emphasis added).

Further along in his letter Secretary Wynne says: "In the battle against suicide, knowledge is one of our main weapons." I could not agree more. We must know ourselves and our Wingmen. We must be able to recognize signs of stress and depression. We must realize when we or others are being overwhelmed by the demands of the mission and families on our already thinly stretched lives.

Not only do we need to know how to recognize the warning signs, but we must know how to respond in order to save lives. As I have said in each of my Suicide Awareness and Prevention briefs; "Suicide is not prevented in the emergency room; it is prevented by our Wingmen, supervisors, friends and family."

Following Secretary Wynne's article is a "Checklist for Suicide Prevention" that I want to share with you.

Good Leadership is Good Prevention

    Create an atmosphere of trust and a work climate that fosters communication.

    Know your people, walk around your duty section every day, talk to Airmen about their personal lives and interests, and spend time listing to their concerns.

    Encourage healthy lifestyle choices by role modeling and healthy behavior and values

    Encourage Airmen to look out for each other and be great Wingmen.

    Publicly encourage help-seeking behavior and emphasize that asking for help is OK

    Know the critical warning signs (depression, hopelessness, social isolation, etc.)

    Ask the tough questions (i.e., about life, distress, suicidal ideation, alcohol use, etc.)

    Express caring and hope - Compassion isn't weakness or lack of resolve.

Wingmen Look Out for Each Other

    Put the Wingman ideal into practice every day.

    Take responsibility for one another; act decisively when you see someone in crisis.

    Don't miss an opportunity to make a critical difference to someone who may be suffering in silence.

    For those struggling with suicidal thoughts/feelings, help is available through your chain of command, your local Medical Treatment Facility and your Mental Health Clinic.

    Reach out to someone you trust, and ask for help.

    A wealth of information is available on the Air Force Suicide Prevention Program web site at http://afspp.afms.mil/

Secretary Wynne's entire letter can be found at the Air Force Portal on the web. You can also find great resources at www.militaryonesource.com.

Finally, don't forget that in the Chaplain's office we care very much about you and the problems you face. You can always find a listening ear when you come to see us.

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.

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 w.styple@att.net or the Gen. Phil Kearny Memorial Committee PO Box 483 Kearny, NJ 07032, 201-991-8749.

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

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 http://www.opm.gov/retire/asd/htm/2007/07-401.asp or www.opm.gov/insure. Air Guard federal technicians can all Carmen Fattore at 609-562-0887 and Army Guard technicians can call Jacquelyn Bertrand at 609-562-0866.

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.

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 www.citikids.org/freedom.htm, for local run information or to the national site - www.freedomalliance.org.

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.

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.

For Your Calendar

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.

"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.

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.

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 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.

Honorable Mention

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: http://www.nj.gov/personnel/wellness/events/statewidewalk.htm.

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!!!

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

HOW TO ENROLL?

v    LOG ON to the following website: https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/trs/ 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: http://www.delawarenationalguard.com/home/ new/content/dngnews/2007/aug/www.delawarenationalguard.com

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

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).

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. 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 program.com/tdptws/forms/

Premiums are determined by the enrollment plan (single or family) and the military status of the sponsor. Rates change annually on February 1st.

Premiums are paid on a monthly basis. They must be paid in full. 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 www.tricaredentalprogram.com 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!

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

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.

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. 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 mile down the road there is an outlet mall for shopping.

Check out the Great Wolf Lodge website at http://www.greatwolflodge.com/ 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 usslibertyhouse@comcast.net 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.

Shades of Green offers Disney for military

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

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

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

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 www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,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 http://www.remax.com/inside_remax/become_an_agent/new_to_ real_estate/index.aspx or contact operation remax@remax.net 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.

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 www.herosalute.com 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: www.horatioalger.org.

Free SAT/ACT Offer Extended

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

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

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

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

American Legion offers scholarships, booklet on their Web site

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

Association News

Enlisted Association 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 jcptfalc@aol.com or Co-Chairman retired Sgt. Maj. Edward Goetschius at 609-965-1972 or e-mail at esgtmaj@comcast.net. Visit the association's web site at www.eang-nj.org/conference_2007.pdf 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 EANG-NJ.org, click on Become a Member for the application and find out more about what the association does.

Veterans Information

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.

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:

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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.

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.

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

 

   
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