Fall 2013 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
PO Box 340
Trenton, NJ 08625-0340

By Gladys Krasicki, Veterans Haven vocational counselor

Markus Kemmelmeier, a political science professor at the University of Nevada, once wrote, "In the United States, the act of displaying the flag is readily recognized as a statement affirming one's allegiance to America and the American people. As such (an act), the flag is of critical importance to the maintenance and reproduction of American identity as it connects Americans to their nation by reminding them what the United States stands for."

That, my friends, is what Flag Day is all about, Americans taking a day during National Flag Week to express their loyalty to the ideals by which this nation was founded.

As a United States Army veteran who served 10 years and deployed three times overseas, I will be the first to admit that many of us take more than just a day to express our loyalty. Rather than just being quick to salute to the flag, we carry it in our hearts and in our minds. We remember our fallen comrades who served this nation proudly so that the American people could live in a free nation. For many of us who survived the struggle and won the war abroad, we came home continuing to battle the wars in our minds.

Therefore, this Flag Day was unique for all the veterans currently residing at Veterans Haven in Winslow, N.J.

A Home Depot team of veterans and volunteers developed a list of the materials needed to update and repair Veterans Haven. To put it simply: Home Depot came to fix our house. As if that was not enough, they also brought home cooked meals, their hearts and smiles and gave gladly of their time to take notice of the many veterans that reside here.

"Simple, yet sweet," said Veterans Haven resident Laura. "Oh my goodness, the food was delicious."

"The music was playing and they barbecued on the donated grills," said Avis, another resident. We had a good time eating and enjoying their company."

As I walked down the hallways and saw the older side of the building getting renovated, Gus smiled and asked, "So, how do you think it's coming along?" which I responded with, "to be honest, it's coming along quite excellent."

When the American poet Howard Schnauber wrote My Name is Old Glory, "When I am flown with my fellow banners, my head is a little higher, my colors a little truer." He echoed what was happening at Veterans Haven.

These home improvement projects, a little color here or there, and even that feeling of being at home makes a person lift their heads up with dignity and pride. Consequently, our family at Veterans Haven would like to express our sincere gratitude to Home Depot for their patronage and sense of national pride.


The Stars and Stripes movie theater at the Veterans Memorial Home at Vineland was dedicated on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2012. This marks the completion of a project started in 2009 by then New Jersey Veterans of Foreign Wars state commander Jack Shiverdaker. The project, which cost $76,500, encompasses a 92- inch high-definition television, a Dolby sound system and 16 movie theater rumble seats with room for wheelchairs. And yes, there is a popcorn machine in the lobby. The room is also used as a multi sensory location where sensory stimulation and specialized lighting is provided to individuals with dementia. Photo by Mark C. Olsen, New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs