Fall 2009 Edition NJDMAVA Veterans

About NJ Veteran Journal:
The New Jersey Veteran Journal is an official publication of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and is intended to serve New Jersey's veterans, their families, friends and concerned individuals and groups. All correspondence should be sent to:

Veteran Journal Editor, NJDMAVA/PA, PO Box 340,
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

Military Working Dogs
Story and photo by Sgt. 1st Class Joe Donnelly, 444MPAD

For decades, the fate of military working dogs when they retired was essentially a death sentence.

Recently at the Vietnam Era Educational Center, in Holmdel, Debbie Kandoll, founder of Military Working Dog Adoptions, discussed how this all changed nine years ago when federal laws allowed for easier public adoption of these canine heroes.

Kandoll’s dedication to these four-legged veterans began two years ago when she saved a German Shepherd named Benny, who was only a week from being euthanized.

“In October of 2007, Benny had reached the end of his useful military service because of degenerative joint disease”, Kandoll said. After almost 50 phone calls, nearly 30 of them wrong numbers, Benny was heading to his new home with Kandoll.

Kendoll said she needed to apply everything she learned about the military from her husband, a veteran, on her route to adopting Benny.

“I wondered how many more Benny’s could be falling threw the racks and I had to do something about it,” Kandoll said. Her belief that future adoptions should be

Debbie and Mike Kandoll, left, discuss how they adopted Benny, center, with Fern Zappala, Bethesda, Md. Debbie was the guest speaker at the event at the Vietnam Era Educational Center. John Burnam, author of " Dog Tags of Courage" escorted Zappala to her fi rst war dog memorial ceremony.

made easier prompted Kandoll to contact Ron Aiello, President of the U.S. War Dogs Association in Burlington.

The pair teamed up to create a Website: www.militaryworkingdogadoptions. com, which has become a one-stop source to assist in the adoption process. Adoption success stories, web links, phone and numbers and other information makes it as easy as possible for you to be a military working dog’s final handler.

Not one of these military heroes ever served for the money, honor, fame or glory. They did it for the love of one person, their handler.

Now these highly trained animals have more chances for a well-deserved retirement.

Vets Haven eligible for tax refund contributions

By Kryn P. Westhoven, NJDMAVA/PA

It will soon be that time of year that most folks dread, or at least cringe at: income tax season.

If you are one of the taxpayers who will be getting a refund on your 2009 New Jersey state income tax, you have an opportunity to assist homeless veterans of the state.

It is the second year that the Veterans Haven Support Fund is offered as an option for taxpayers to donate all or part of their state income tax refunds. In 2009 nearly $10,000 was donated to the program.

The Veterans Haven check off will help veterans receive added necessities to help get a job or move out on their own at the end of the two-year transitional housing program. Since 1995, more than 800 veterans have entered the doors of the Winslow Township facility after being evaluated at a VA Medical Center. Eligible veterans must agree to a long term commitment focusing on psychological, social and vocational rehabilitation in a drug and alcohol free environment.