New Jersey Legionnaire NJ Legionaire September 2016 : Page 1

WORLD’S LARGEST VETERANS’ ORGANIZATION VOLUME 32, NO. 3 New Jersey LEGIONNAIRE Official Publication of THE AMERICAN LEGION, DEPARTMENT OF NEW JERSEY Index Dept. Service Officer Column Tom Lowe Legislative Report Adjutant’s Column Page 3 2 4 5 Dates to Remember 5 TRENTON, NEW JERSEY SEPTEMBER 2016 COMMANDER’S MESSAGE I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve as your Department Commander for the Legion Year 2016/2017. I particularly want to thank the Northern Caucus, the Sussex County Executive Committee, Sussex Post 213, and Has-brouck Heights Post 106 for endorsing me. I also want to thank all of the individuals who through the years have supported me and mentored me. I am relying on each of you to work with me in continuing the building and revitalizing of our great organization. First, we must work harder than ever to increase our membership. I believe we have a great membership team but they can’t do it alone. They need the support of every post and individual. Just think if each of us could recruit just one new member, how our organization would grow. Ask your neighbors, friends, and relatives, both young and old if they served in the military and if they are qualified, invite them to a meeting ROGER GENGARO or a Legion event, and don’t forget to follow up afterwards. Next, your support is needed on all levels to reach our goals on this year’s Department project. The epidemic of Homeless Veterans in the United States is a national tragedy and New Jersey is not immune. Although we have made some progress in decreasing the numbers, there are still far too many vets living on the streets with various physical and psychological problems. This in turn impacts their families and society as a whole. Too many turn to suicide as a means of easing the pain. After much research I identified a program that has been successful in turning around the lives of many of these vets. It is called “Hope for Veterans” and is run by a private nonprofit organization on the campus of Lyons Hospital. They operate a 95 bed transitional residence and have been successful in getting many former homeless vets back on their feet by enabling them to move on to a permanent housing situation through psychological, occupational and educational counseling. Up until last year, there was no on-site psychological counselor professional at the facility. Individual vets had to go on a waiting list and be transported to a therapist when they had an appointment. A pilot project last year included the hiring of a licensed professional counselor (LPC) who did individual and group counseling on site. The positive results were dramatic. There were fewer addiction relapses and fewer psychological hospitalizations. To continue the program they need $98,000.00 for next year to fund the on-site therapist with the intention of gradually making it a permanent part of the services at the “Hope for Veterans” facility. This is major part of the Department Project. In keeping with the theme of helping homeless vets the project also includes the purchase of some equipment for Vets Haven North and Vets Haven South. Vets Haven North will receive $16,000.00 to purchase 16 new computers and 30 computer chairs to upgrade their computer lab which will be very helpful to vets seeking jobs or training. Vets Haven South will receive $6,500.00 to purchase a gazebo and lawn furniture to provide the residents a place of peace and relaxation. Please join me in this effort to improve, or perhaps save, the lives of these veterans who as is said need “a hand up, not a hand out”. How about planning a fund raiser for this worthy project? I know that you have always been generous in the past and I thank you in advance for your continued support. n See related article on Page 3

Commander’s Message

I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve as your Department Commander for the Legion Year 2016/2017. I particularly want to thank the Northern Caucus, the Sussex County Executive Committee, Sussex Post 213, and Hasbrouck Heights Post 106 for endorsing me. I also want to thank all of the individuals who through the years have supported me and mentored me.

I am relying on each of you to work with me in continuing the building and revitalizing of our great organization. First, we must work harder than ever to increase our membership. I believe we have a great membership team but they can’t do it alone. They need the support of every post and individual. Just think if each of us could recruit just one new member, how our organization would grow. Ask your neighbors, friends, and relatives, both young and old if they served in the military and if they are qualified, invite them to a meeting or a Legion event, and don’t forget to follow up afterwards.

Next, your support is needed on all levels to reach our goals on this year’s Department project. The epidemic of Homeless Veterans in the United States is a national tragedy and New Jersey is not immune. Although we have made some progress in decreasing the numbers, there are still far too many vets living on the streets with various physical and psychological problems. This in turn impacts their families and society as a whole. Too many turn to suicide as a means of easing the pain. After much research I identified a program that has been successful in turning around the lives of many of these vets. It is called “Hope for Veterans” and is run by a private nonprofit organization on the campus of Lyons Hospital. They operate a 95 bed transitional residence and have been successful in getting many former homeless vets back on their feet by enabling them to move on to a permanent housing situation through psychological, occupational and educational counseling. Up until last year, there was no on-site psychological counselor professional at the facility. Individual vets had to go on a waiting list and be transported to a therapist when they had an appointment. A pilot project last year included the hiring of a licensed professional counselor (LPC) who did individual and group counseling on site. The positive results were dramatic. There were fewer addiction relapses and fewer psychological hospitalizations. To continue the program they need $98,000.00 for next year to fund the on-site therapist with the intention of gradually making it a permanent part of the services at the “Hope for Veterans” facility. This is major part of the Department Project.

In keeping with the theme of helping homeless vets the project also includes the purchase of some equipment for Vets Haven North and Vets Haven South. Vets Haven North will receive $16,000.00 to purchase 16 new computers and 30 computer chairs to upgrade their computer lab which will be very helpful to vets seeking jobs or training. Vets Haven South will receive $6,500.00 to purchase a gazebo and lawn furniture to provide the residents a place of peace and relaxation.

Please join me in this effort to improve, or perhaps save, the lives of these veterans who as is said need “a hand up, not a hand out”. How about planning a fund raiser for this Worthy project? I know that you have always been generous in the past and I thank you in advance for your continued support.

Read the full article at http://www.evergreeneditions.com/article/Commander%E2%80%99s+Message/2560738/330089/article.html.

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