New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
DMAVA Highlights Archives

9 December 2005

Volume 4, Number 49


NJ Dept of Military and
Veterans Affairs

Maj Gen Glenn K. Rieth
The Adjutant General

Brig Gen Maria Falca-Dodson
Deputy Adjutant General

Col (Ret) Stephen G. Abel
Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs


Contacting us is easy!

Office of the Assistant Commissioner

Col (Ret) Michael B. Smith

Mrs. Laura A. Branham

Phone: (609) 530-6987

Fax: (609) 530-7109


We're on the Web!




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


NJ World War II Memorial

For Information or to make a donation, call


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) 719-BANK

Pennsville National Bank


Sovereign Bank

Sun National Bank




Annual Coat Drive is a great success!!

Special thanks to all of DMVA’s employees who donated coats for our annual drive.

This year we collected 113 coats along with numerous hats, gloves, and scarves, which will be delivered to local soup kitchens and shelters.

Thank you for your generosity.

Laura Branham
Terry Dearden

Coat Drive Chairpersons







NJ World War II Memorial Commission initiates fund drive.

New Jersey’s World War II Memorial Commission initiated its fund drive on December 7th with a press conference at the State House. The Commission is trying to raise the final $4 million from private and corporate donations. Anyone interested in making a donation can call Diane Donahue at 609-530-7049 for information.

Jewish War Veterans make a generous donation to the NJ World War II Memorial.

At a meeting Monday night, 5 December 2005, COL (Ret) Stephen G. Abel, Deputy Commissioner for Veterans Affairs, gratefully accepted a $2,000 donation from the Cherry Hill Post of the Jewish War Veterans, for the NJ World War II Memorial.

Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) gratefully accepts coats donated by the Department.

The Trenton Area Soup Kitchen gratefully accepted the more than 100 coats donated by DMVA employees during our recent coat drive. TASK is a charitable, non-profit organization serving hungry people in the Trenton area by providing more than 3,000 meals per week. On Thanksgiving Day, TASK served 860 meals to the hungry in our area. TASK also provides services that encourage self-sufficiency and improve quality of life.

National Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars visits Vineland Home.

The National Senior Vice Commander-in-Chief of the Veterans of Foreign Wars visited the Veterans Memorial Home at Vineland on Saturday, 3 December 2005. He was impressed with the state-of-the-art facility and stated that the facility is clearly the best in the nation. Residents will complete their move into the facility by 13 December 2005.

108th Air Refueling Wing participated in Operational Readiness Exercise.

The 108th Air Refueling Wing participated in an Operation Readiness Exercise (ORE) in Alpena, Michigan, on October 17-2, 2005.

The ORE was one of a series of test runs to see how the 108th ARW operates in a simulated wartime environment. “Everything went well,” said Colonel Micha3l L. Cunniff, Commander of the 108th ARW. “I am very pleased with the results.”

Throughout the week, 108th personnel had to set up workspaces and operate with the simulated threats of ground attacks, scud missiles, and enemy infiltration around every corner. Conditions changed constantly during the week, sometimes keeping unit members in the highest level of their chemical gear - MOPP 4 – for hours at a time. The next ORE is scheduled to take place in April, which provides further preparation for the actual Operation Readiness Inspection in July of 2006.

SAT and ACT test preparation programs are available.

Military members with teen relatives who are preparing to apply to college should visit where they can purchase a copy of SAT and ACT test preparation programs simply for the cost of shipping and handling – compliments of a group of professional football players.

This group of players, in association with the Department of Defense and other organizations, have made it possible for military members to go to the website, confirm their military status, and for the $9.95 shipping charge, have the program shipped to their home. The athletes will cover the $199.99 cost of the program.

The program consists of two CD-ROMs with more than 10 hours of training video and requires about 40 hours of student participation. Students can select the areas that they need the most and then study at their own pace.

Requests are not limited to the service members’ own children. For example, an aunt or uncle van purchase copies of the program for each of their nieces and nephews.

A holiday message from Ch. Captain Christopher L. Miller (108th Air Refueling Wing Staff Chaplain)

The holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year is a time when many people begin to think about family, home, and friends. Many of us have the opportunity to travel to our old hometowns and be with our families, look up those friends from high school that we have not seen for a while and bask in the glow of our memories of days gone by.

It’s hard to miss the holiday season. The radio stations begin to play holiday music. The store decorations are a brilliant red, green, blue, silver, and gold. Even the chill in the air seems to be a welcome relief from the heat of summer and becomes an excuse for some to snuggle together as they walk the streets looking for that perfect gift for the ones they love.

I only wish the above scene that I have tried to paint were true for all of us. For far too many of our fellow Guardsmen and women the holiday season is a season of depression. There are those for whom the season only dredges up memories of disappointment and difficult times. There are those whose grief at the loss of a loved one is still way too close to the surface, and the holidays just seem to make that grief more pronounced. For others, hard times and financial strain is not a memory of the past, but a consistent, present reality. The holidays only make that reality harder to deal with as we feel we will only disappoint our family and friends or worse yet dig ourselves deeper and deeper in debt.

It is a well-known fact that suicide attempts rise during this time of year and that is not a coincidence but a direct result of those who feel overwhelmed by hopelessness during this season.

One of the universal truths of religion around the world is that God (however you conceive of God) seeks to hold you up during times of grief, pain, confusion, doubt, sadness, and despair. I believe that one of the ways that God achieves this is through people.

Let me challenge all of us to keep our eyes open and our hearts sensitive to those of us who may not be handling the holiday “fun” as well as we might. Make yourself available to a friend who might not be able to be with his/her family this season. Be ready to share a grief with a buddy. Take time to notice those who seem to be angry or depressed and find out if there is anything you can do to help. You just might be the gift that someone needs to get through the holiday season.

NJ Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial and Vietnam Era Educational Center’s upcoming event schedule.

17 Dec, 6pm
Holiday Lighting Ceremony

21 Jan, 1 p.m.
"The Khe Sanh Veterans Book of Poetry" - Written by veterans of the Battle of Khe Sanh during the 1968 Tet Offensive of the Vietnam War, these are about Khe Sanh, the war, friends, and the aftermath of war. Poetry reading and author lecture by a contributor, Khe Sanh Vietnam Veteran Joe Belardo.

For more information about any of these events, please call the NJ Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation office at (732) 335-0033.

The Vietnam Era Educational Center is located adjacent to the NJ Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial off the Garden State Parkway at Exit 116.

Part-time opportunities in Military Funeral Honors Program.

The New Jersey Army National Guard Military Funeral Honors Program has several part-time employment opportunities immediately available across the state for TDGs and Technicians. Earn one day’s base pay and one retirement point for a few hours work providing Military Funeral Honors for our Veterans. If you are interested, please contact SGM Edward Goetschius, Military Funeral Honors Coordinator, at 609-530-7090 or by e-mail at

US Army Veterans recognized – Freedom Team Salute.

The U.S. Army initiated the Freedom Team Salute program six months ago to recognize and honor year-round the Army’s more than 11 million veterans and those who support Soldiers today. This past Veterans Day, Freedom Team Salute expanded so that U.S. Army veterans may be nominated by anyone wishing to recognize their service. The mission of Freedom Team Salute is to strengthen the Army community by honoring veterans for their service and dedication to the U.S. Army. And by providing Soldiers – Active, Guard, and Reserve – the opportunity to recognize those who support them through a simple nomination process. Nominating someone for a Freedom Team Salute can be done online at The commendations are mailed within 4-6 weeks.

Community members wanting to learn more about FTS outreach, provide feedback on the program or to sign up as an FTS Ambassador can log on to or e-mail to

Fitness Corner– Ernie Razzano, Certified Fitness Trainer,

Cold and Flu Season

The following guidelines may help you to ward off that ever impending cold or flu this flu season:

* I always start with this recommendation – Wash your hands frequently. This is often your best defense. Wash the entire hand using warm water and soap. Don’t forget to clean under fingernails. Wash for at least 10 seconds.

* Avoid putting your hands near your eyes, nose, or mouth unless you have washed. Most bacteria and germs are spread from a surface to your hands to your face. Few germs are transmitted through the air.

* Clean your “shared spaces” more often than other times of the year. Remember phones, keyboards, steering wheels, office equipment and other items used by several people during the day.

* Flu shots are beneficial for those with weakened immune systems, the elderly, or those who come in contact with a lot of people.

* Get enough sleep. During sleep, your body’s immune system goes into high gear to protect you from illness. Lack of sleep can reduce immune functioning making you susceptible to sickness. Even more important, lack of quality REM sleep can be just as bad if not worse.

* Drink more water. In the fall and winter, it is easy to overlook your thirst and get dehydrated.

* Implement an integrated training approach if you have not done so already. Try to maintain a 3-4 day a week exercise routine. Consistency is key.

* Follow a balanced nutrition plan.

* Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol can be dehydrating which, in turn, may decrease your resistance to bacteria.

* Finally, listen to your body. If you are less than 100%, you will feel better and recover faster if you let yourself rest.

Did you know that New Jersey was once named Albania?

By the mid 1600s, control of the world’s shipping trade by the Dutch was of great concern to the English. The Dutch were slowing colonizing New Netherland, a vast tract of land extending from Connecticut south to Maryland – land that the English considered to be their own. New Netherland was positioned between the existing English settlements in New England and their settlements in Maryland south through the Carolinas.

James, Duke of York and brother to King Charles II, emerged as a leading figure in the Royal Court in support of dealing with the Dutch problem. In 1664, King Charles granted James a wide assortment of lands extending from the St. Lawrence to the Delaware, including the Dutch area of New Netherland. James, in turn, having control over the Royal Navy, sent Colonel Richard Nicholls to oust the Dutch and to govern the territories.

Colonel Nicholls and his four frigates picked up some help in Boston in July, 1664 and arrived in New York in August. Colonel Nicholls succeeded in taking part of Long Island, where he raised a small group of English volunteers, and also took part of Staten Island. He then blockaded New York harbor threatening a siege of the main Dutch fort and center of government in Manhattan. Peter Stuyvesant, receiving no support from the Dutch West India Company, surrendered New Nethlerland without firing a shot.

Colonel Nicholls renamed the New Amsterdam portion of New Netherland – New York, in honor of James, Duke of York. He called Long Island – Yorkshire, and he called the area that would become New Jersey – Albania, as a compliment to James, the Duke of York and Albany. The name Albania was changed when James sold his rights there to Lord Berkeley and George Carterert (without telling Colonel Nicholls). Berkeley and Carteret settled on the more familiar New Jersey as the territory’s name.

Time is running out for Christmas Delivery -- Military postal agency offers holiday mailing advice.

“Pack it well” and “mail it early” are two tips a military postal official offered for holiday mail being sent to servicemembers overseas. The Defense Department recommended the following mailing deadlines:

* December 10 for priority mail

* December 19 for express mail

Here are additional mailing tips:

* Use nylon or reinforced packing tape on packages because other tapes tend to come off

* Buzzing, ticking, or vibrating items will be “red flagged.” Remove batteries from electronics.

* Fill out customs labels completely.

* Use proper military address to help move the package through the system.

* Boxes with hazardous substance or alcohol markings won’t make it through the system.

* Boxes should be strong and well-packed because of the long distances traveled and the high volume of packages moving with them.

Individuals who may not personally know a servicemember overseas, but want to share the holiday spirit should visit the website.

Call today to volunteer at a Family Readiness Center near you.

If you are able to assist the families of our deployed soldiers and airmen, please call our Family Readiness Center at our toll-free number 888-859-0352.

Food for thought. As 2005 draws to a close, it is good to remember..

“Everything that has a beginning has an ending. Make your peace with that and all will be well.” - Buddha


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