NJ Veteran Journal
Fall 2005 Edition
Vets Programs Participates in Reconstitution
By Patty Richter, Chief, Veterans Benefits Bureau

Patty Richter addresses New Jersey Army National Guard Soldiers going through a reconstitution

briefing sponsored by the NJDMAVA. Photo by Lt. Col. Roberta Niedt, NJDMAVA/PAO.Returning service members are more likely than ever to have experienced stressors with deployment and will face significant changes at home.

Soldiers returning from deployment are faced with finding a “new normal.” They have to adjust to their family, workplace and community. In order to do this successfully, The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has initiated a Reconstitution Program for our demobilized Soldiers.

During the Reconstitution briefing the soldiers and families are made aware of the psychological
challenges of transitioning from active duty to a citizen lifestyle and they are provided with an opportunity to meet with a counselor. All soldiers are educated on enrolling into the VA Health Care system after deployment, applying for VA Disability Compensation, Educational Benefits, Home Loan opportunities, the soldiers are immediately entered into the state system as veterans
for civil service and pension purposes. Additionally, they are approved for the New Jersey Distinguished Service Medal and they are also given information on specific state and federal benefits. Once the soldiers return to their drill status, which is 60 days after demobilization, our Veterans Affairs Team provides a follow up at the drill site.

Family members are unsure what to expect, their soldier may seem distant and unemotional
when they return and may have difficulty warming up to their family, therefore causing additional stressors for the entire family.

Among soldiers serving as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom there is an increase in divorce rates, suicide rates and vehicle fatalities. PTSD is also a large concern; a recent study from Walter Reed reported one in six returning troops suffer psychological damage.

The New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA) in conjunction with the
University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey developed a free 24 hour confidential helpline staffed by veterans, volunteers, counselors, and clinical professionals who understand what our service members are going through.

Participating in this program, veterans will receive peer support, clinical assessments and case
management. Veterans are referred to a Comprehensive Mental Health Vet work of providers within their home of record. The hotline number is 1-86-VETS-NJ 4 U (1-866-838-7654).

To date we have 71 percent of our reserve soldiers deployed, the Army and Air Force will increase the number of reservist in support of the partial mobilization which will bring the total percentage to 75 percent by the end of the year. These service members are heroes who are returning to their civilian lives and jobs as fully productive members of their ommunities.

Every one of them is a veteran with full state and federal entitlements. If you have any questions or are interested in having our team brief you please contact Patricia Richter, Chief, Veterans Benefits Bureau at 609-530-6949.


Table of Contents
Be Powerful, Be Heard
DCVA Message
Governor's Letter
WWII Memorial
Kiosk Highlights Benefits
Veterans Homes Criteria
Reconstitution Process
NJ Vets Benefits
Stand Down 2005
One Shots
Grave Blankets
VSO Listing

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