Veterans, National Guard Members And Families
To Receive Support Through Newly Signed Legislation
Taxpayers will now be able to make voluntary contributions on their income tax returns to provide support to the state’s National Guard members and their families.
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Jim Beach (D-Camden) and Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cumberland, Cape May, Atlantic) establishing and permitting taxpayers to donate to a special fund called the “NJ National Guard State Family Readiness Council Fund” was signed into law by Gov. Christie on Friday.
“Our National Guard members make tremendous sacrifices to keep us safe, defending our country at home and abroad,” said Van Drew. “Establishing a program that allows residents to show their support to our men and women in uniform by allowing them to make donations through their tax returns, as so many people do for other worthy causes, is the least we can do to honor our members’ service.”
Jeff Van Drew
The “NJ National Guard State Family Readiness Council Fund” will provide support to members of the NJ National Guard and their families to help them cope when a wage-earner has temporarily left civilian employment to be placed on active military duty.
Founded in 2004, the Readiness Council is a nonprofit organization that provides education, counseling and financial planning to members and to the spouses of deployed Guard members.
“I’m equally pleased to sign S-173, establishing the Veteran to Veteran Peer Support Program telephone helpline,” said Christie.
“Serving in a combat zone puts overwhelming stress on the mind and body that the average New Jerseyan will never know. So, this program is a critical component of the healing process in the long-term mental health of our service members who return from Iraq and Afghanistan as well as veterans of previous conflicts.”
Governor Christie signed bills supporting military veterans and National Guard members and their families into law on Friday.
The NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMAVA), in conjunction with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, operate a 24-hour toll-free peer support telephone helpline.
This helpline provides access to a comprehensive mental health provider network of mental health professionals specializing in post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury and other emotional and psychological disorders.
The helpline’s peer counselors are trained in other veterans’ issues that range from marriage and family life to substance abuse and stress management. All services are free, confidential and available seven days a week.
Through S-173, an annual appropriation will be designated for the helpline. Additional information can be found at www.njveteranshelpline.org.