Guardlife - Volume 30, Number 2

Table of Contents

 Guardlife Staff
 TAG's Message
 CSM's Message
 177th Supports OEF
 Combat Veteran to Head NJANG
 'Faithful and Brave' Arrive
 1-114th Deploys to Arrabian Penninsula
 253rd TC Back from Iraq
 Mobilization Page
 News Guard Families Can Use
 Salute the Troops
 NJNG Newsmakers
 Jersey Air Guardsman Wins Services Award
 Photos from Iraq
 Finance Battalion Update
 Family Appreciation Day
 Short Rounds
 NJ Places 17th in NG Marathon
 Army and Air Enlisted Promotions
 In Memoriam

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News Guard Families Can Use

Daughter Accepts Deployed Guardsman's College DegreeDaughter Accepts Deployed Guardsman's College Degree

Photo and story by Tech. Sgt. Mark Olsen, NJDMAVA/PA

Jenna Betten (left), daughter of deployed New Jersey Army National Guardsman Sgt. Shawn Betten, accepts her father’s college diploma from Dr. Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr., (right) President, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, during the 2004 Graduation Ceremony held May 14. Jenna was given special permission by Stockton College to accept her father’s Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management at the ceremony. Jenna was given a prolonged round of applause by the audience when the announcement was made that she was accepting on behalf of her father who had been deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Sgt. Betten is assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 112th Field Artillery, headquartered at the National Guard Armory in Cherry Hill. The Battalion is part of the New Jersey Army National Guard contingent that recently deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Better Soldiers Sailors Act

Compiled by the Guardlife Staff

A new law replacing the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act (SSCRA) of 1940 will provide military personnel greater protections to handle their personal financial and legal obligations.

The focus of the Service-members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) is to provide protections to service members who have difficulty meeting their personal financial and legal obligations because of their military service. The SCRA clarifies and updates provisions that existed in the SSCRA, while adding additional protections.

A significant change added in the SCRA is an automatic 90-day stay of civil proceedings upon application by the service member. This applies to all judicial and administrative hearings. In the past, stays were discretionary with the courts.
The SCRA states that the six percent limitation on interest rates for pre-service debts requires a reduction in monthly payments, and that any interest in excess of six percent is forgiven, not deferred.

The SCRA also expanded the protection against eviction. Previously, service members that entered into a lease for $1,200 or less could not be evicted without a court order. The SCRA increased that maximum lease amount to $2,400 and added an annual adjustment for inflation. For 2004, the maximum will be $2,465.

The SCRA also gives the service member who has received permanent-change-of-station orders or who is being deployed for not less than 90 days the right to terminate a housing lease with 30 days’ written notice. Prior to the SCRA, service members could be required to pay for housing they were unable to occupy.

A provision in the SCRA that did not exist in the SSCRA was an added protection for service members who have motor vehicle leases. Any active duty service member who is being deployed for not less than 180 days, may terminate a motor vehicle lease. The law prohibits early termination charges so service members won’t have to pay monthly lease payments for a car they can’t use.

If service members have questions about the SCRA or the protections that they may be entitled to, they should contact their unit judge advocate for further assistance.