Volume 30, Number 1

News Guard Families Can Use
Compiled by the Guardlife Staff

Dealing With The Media: A Guide for Family Members
Sometime during your guardsman's mobilization and deployment, reporters may want to talk to you and other members of your family.

Here are some tips to help you make the experience of being interviewed a success.

It's up to you!
When a reporter asks to talk to you or your children, the choice is completely up to you. If you'd like to talk about being a military spouse, the hardships of separation, the Family Support Program, etc., you're free to do so. If you are comfortable with the idea your viewpoint can help present a more complete picture of today's military. If you think being interviewed would be too stressful for you or your children, just say so. You are under no obligation to talk to reporters, ever.

Keep security in mind
It's fine to talk generally about mobilization and deployment and what your spouse does. Avoid details such as the exact number of unit members, what type of weapons they carry and their exact destination. If you aren't sure whether or not to answer a question, don't. Call the Public Affairs Office at (609) 530-6939 for guidance at any time. A good reporter won't mind waiting a few minutes for an answer.

Avoid rumors and speculation
They won't add anything to your viewpoint and will subtract from your credibility.

What about complaints?
Everyone has at least one or two - but if you want to complain about your spouse's unit or mission, be sure to tell the reporter you're only speaking for yourself.

What about "off the record."
Talking to a reporter "off the record" is almost always a bad idea. It's too easy to lose track of twhat you said when, and find something that you didn't mean to make public in the media. The best general rule is, if you wouldn't want to see it in the media, don't say it.

We'd like to know
If you do talk to a reporter, and can take a minute to let us know, we'd appreciate it. We look for news stories about our units and families, both for our historical files and to forward to others in the organization. If you have any question, need informationor just want to tell us about your experience, call the NJNG Public Affairs Office at (609) 530-6939.

NJ National Guard Youth Group Council
Youth Group Available for Guard Teens
The New Jersey National Guard Youth Group is comprised of children of both Army and Air Guard members ages 12-17.

This group was formed to provide support and friendship to “Guard” teens throughout “Fort NJ” – the extended National Guard military community that spans the entire Garden State. Every teen is welcomed and encouraged to attend. The youth group has hosted youth symposiums, helped with family readiness and assistance center activities, socialized at different recreational events, and held activities at the officer’s conference in their own “teen” room.

These opportunities enabled these young people to come together and share their experiences, voice their concerns, and relate to other guard teens who may also be experiencing deployment and separation issues. For further information, check out the website at

Has Your Status Changed?
New Jersey recently extended eligibility for State Veterans' benefits to those who served in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Assembly Bill 3564, which was approved on Dec. 16, 2003, provides veterans who served at least 14 days in country in support of either Operation, benefits that include civil service preference, annual property tax deductions as well as other benefits.

If you have any questions, contact the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs at 1-800-624-0508 for more information.