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From the Council/Chapter 

NEW OFFICERS INSTALLED FOR OHIO COUNCIL OF CHAPTERS

The Ohio Council of Chapters (OCC) installed new officers for 2021-2023 at a swearing-in ceremony on Saturday, 16 January 2021 at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, Ohio. The installation ceremony was conducted both in person and virtually. New OCC officers installed are President, MG Daniel Hahn, USA, Ret.; 1st Vice President, CAPT Michael Glaser, USN, Ret.; 2nd Vice President LTC William Radcliffe, USAR, Ret.; 3rd Vice President, CAPT Michael Mentas, USN, Ret.; Secretary/Treasurer, LTC John Anderson, USA, Ret.; Legislative Affairs Officer, LCDR Bryan Beamer, USPHS, and Surviving Spouse Liaison Officer, Former LT Florence Hosler, USN. The swearing in officer was Past OCC President, Col. Dick Calta, USAF, Ret., from his vacation residence in Florida. Officers present were Dan Hahn, Mike Glaser, Mike Mentas and John Anderson; with Bill Radcliffe, Bryan Beamer and Florence Hosler were sworn in virtually. The Presidential Gavel of authority was presented to Dan Hahn by outgoing President LTC Roderick Hosler, USA, Ret.




Officers preparing for swearing in are: (Left to Right) Secretary/Treasurer LTC John Anderson, 3rd VP CAPT Mike Mentas; 1st VP CAPT Mike Glaser; President MG Daniel Hahn; Outgoing President LTC Rod Hosler (Far right)



January 2022

Happy New Year to all Ohio Chapters; their leaders and all members, surviving spouses and spouses of members! This past year has been another challenging year due to COVID and all the restrictions related to the pandemic. Still I am impressed how all our Chapters maintained continuity and kept their organizations moving forward. Recruitment was a bit slow but all in all, every Chapter was able to add new members. Programs to help Veterans were maintained although not without great challenge.

I look forward to a great year. There is a lot on the agenda, particularly in the first half of the year. We will have our Ohio Council of Chapters Convention hosted by Central Ohio Chapter, May 13-15. There will also be an Advocacy in Action conducted live in Washington DC from April 25-28. We have the submission of the Harris Communications award by Feb. 1 and the Level of Excellence award submission by May 1. There will be considerable preparation and leader involvement to ensure these events are successful.

At the Council level, we need to replace a couple of leaders. First is a legislative liaison officer to replace Bryan Beamer who was reassigned at the end of the year and is no longer in Ohio. Second is another Vice President, to replace Mike Glaser who submitted his resignation for personal family reasons. These are critical positions to maintain our legislative outreach and maintain a stable progression of leadership for the Council.

Further as I found out at the December Council and Chapter Affairs Quarterly meeting of Council Presidents, there are a lot of initiatives MOAA will be introducing this year that will affect Chapters. In my recent email to our leadership I highlighted several of these. I think the most significant will be: 1. Rollout of the Social Media Cookbook in January; 2. Development of a Speakers Bureau to provide virtual resources (speakers) on various topics for use at your meetings and events; 3. Use of Chapter Effectiveness Principles in the coming year. There will be a lot more to follow on these topics from MOAA.

The Social Media Cookbook will have training associated with this effort. The Speakers Bureau will most likely require further input from us and we will need to use it to make it effective. MOAA plans to select the platform for these virtual sessions in February. We need to be thinking about what we need from the MOAA experts that can assist our Chapters and make us more effective. Finally MOAA’s use of the Chapter Effectiveness Principles will require the development of effectiveness metrics. We can expect the LOE metrics to change. MOAA will engage Council Presidents to assist, so I will be reaching out to all of you for your ideas.

The Committee module will change at the end of the 1st Quarter so look forward to learning how to use the new system. The new Committee module will be Fontiva. Not much is known yet but standby for more information. Obviously this will be an important transition.

We should look forward to a challenging year and opportunities to make our Chapters better. We need to work collectively and as individual Chapters on leader development and look to continue to expand our leadership pool. We all need to diligently work recruitment and retention and to share ideas on how to recruit younger members. I appreciate the opportunity to be your Council President for another year. I thank you for the help you provided me last year and know you will assist me again this year.

Dan Hahn
MG, USA, (Ret)
Ohio Council President


February 2022

The Importance of Joining MOAA and MOAA Chapter

MOAA Members Proudly Hail from Every Branch of The Uniformed Services. MOAA fights for the welfare of all Servicemembers, be they active, retired, veterans, and their families.

In authoring this article, we wanted to reemphasize what MOAA says about the importance of becoming a MOAA member and joining a local chapter. Some of this is personal narrative and the rest comes from various areas of the MOAA website.

When you join MOAA and a MOAA chapter, you are living up to the MOAA motto of Never Stop Serving. You are joining a community of officers and surviving spouses who share a mutual understanding. They understand the importance of what joining a chapter can do for the individual, his/her country, and for MOAA National. Whether you are on active duty or retired, when you join a MOAA Chapter and become an active participant, you are continuing and expanding your role as a leader. You are taking responsibility for the welfare of our military-at-large, the families, the survivors, and for those who will follow you.

Ok, you say. “Now that I have joined, what can I do?” Here are some suggestions.

MOAA’s local chapters provide critical grassroots support for MOAA’s national legislative agenda. Your benefits and ours are under attack, and MOAA is fighting to preserve them. Chapter members can contact their state/local legislators to express their concerns which in turn opens doors for the MOAA’s legislative team to meet Congressional leaders in Washington, D.C. In these challenging times, MOAA members need to work together, and our local chapters are the best way to accomplish these important issues.

Be an active user of the MOAA website: Make yourself heard. There are an unbelievable number of choices for you to review. You can actively contact your Congressional representatives: your congress men/congress women or your senators on the issues MOAA is working to get passed. When you join MOAA and a local chapter, you are joining over 355,000 members like you that can cause Congress to turn its head, take note, and listen.

Stay informed: Chapter newsletters, websites, and meetings provide you with the latest information on local, state, and national issues and changes to military benefits Also, be sure to check your local newspapers for announcements of meetings and local community involvement by MOAA chapters.

Network with fellow members: Chapters include second-career members in the work force and retired servicemembers who have contacts in their communities and surviving spouses that can be valuable to transitioning officers. You can communicate with and through MOAA at https://www.moaa.org/ in a number of ways from face-to-face meetings, to using MOAA’s informative weblink tools such as Live Chat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, “Never Stop Serving Podcast”, and the “MOAA President’s Advisory Councils” (Currently Serving and Surviving Spouses).

Influence your state legislation: Most states have a council of chapters like ours, “OHIO COUNCIL of Chapters” that unites chapters within the state. These groups often lobby for and help pass state level legislation that affects military members and their families, such as exempting military retired pay from state income tax and/or increasing funding for state veteran’s programs.

Build Friendship and Fellowship: MOAA chapters unite active duty, former, and retired officers from every branch of service, including National Guard and Reserve, as well as surviving spouses. This camaraderie not only gives you a chance to connect with other members with similar backgrounds and interest, but to also develop close and lasting friendships.

Give back to the community: Chapter members are MOAA’s ambassadors in their communities, supporting countless programs that are effective in the lives of others. These members continue their “officership” service and are giving back in the truest sense. By participating in Chapter activities, you become a value-added member. MOAA chapters sponsor interesting programs and opportunities to interact with civic, political, military, and business leaders on issues important to chapters’ members. And enjoy fun and informational socials!

So, what more can we say. If you are an active-duty officer of one of our eight military services, a member of a National Guard, reservist, retired, or a surviving spouse, and not a member of MOAA, join MOAA National now, and one of our six chapters in Ohio. When you do, check the many benefits and services MOAA provides. You can gain access to a myriad of services ranging from military and pay benefits resources, post military career transition guidance and assistance to exclusive member discounts and more. And, as a PREMIUM and LIFE member you can log in to access greater benefits and savings on products and services of all types. You will not ever regret it. You will never stop serving.

We look forward to having you “onboard”!

Lynda L Farkas, Surviving Spouse, President/OWRC
LTC John Anderson, USA Retired, Secretary/OWRC.


March 2022

Mahoning-Shenango Valleys Chapter

The Mahoning-Shenango Valleys Chapter (MSVC) continues to be an active advocate of the military within Ohio and Western Pennsylvania our geographic area. Membership continues to grow mainly due in large part to our active meetings and programs and chapter involvement. MSVC meets monthly with a dinner or lunch followed by a lively information program. Of particular interest was a two event program designed for preparing members and spouses for the inevitable end of life. These luncheon workshop provided information and speakers from six federal, state and county agencies! Handouts were provided by MOAA National, and the agencies that presented topics. Other programs also included a slide shop presented by a chapter member about his recent deployment to Iraq as a CH-47 helicopter pilot; and Active shooter defense provided by a local SWAT team leader. Chapter’s premiere event is our Cadet Recognition Dinner in which we invite and recognize outstand Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets from three area high schools and a cadet from the Youngstown State University Army ROTC program having been awarded the MOAA medal and scholarships. Additionally, the MSVC provided Second Lieutenant bars and branch insignia to five soon to be commissioned cadets. The chapter will assembled in July to participate in our annual picnic and “gun shoot” at the Vienna Fish and Game Club; as well as a Joint Christmas party and raffle in December to raise money for a veterans charity.

The chapter president participated in the annual MOAA’s Advocacy in Action (AIA) in April where Congressional legislative representatives; Congressman Bill Johnson (OH-06 District) and Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13 District) are personally contacted to solicit support of key bills and legislation that affect military personnel and their families. Consistent with this effort are the legislative articles in the chapter’s newsletters and legislative moments at monthly meetings. Members of the chapter actively participate in many local veterans programs and ceremonies for veterans as leaders and speakers. Chapter members volunteer at the local VA Clinic as part of our give back initiative. The chapter is proud of its MOAA National recognition by receiving a Five Star Level of Excellence Award and a Five Star Colonel Marvin Harris Award for the chapter website and newsletter. The MSVC continues to extoll the MOAA motto, Never Stop Servicing.

Rod Hosler
LTC, USA, Ret.
President, MSVC


April 2021

The Mahoning and Shenango Valley Chapter

     Greetings from the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys Chapter (MSVC). We are the youngest MOAA affiliate chapter in Ohio and will be celebrating out Tenth Anniversary in October 2021. The MSVC encompasses three counties in northeast Ohio (Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana) and two counties in western Pennsylvania (Mercer and Lawrence) continues to thrive. Although the China COVID-19 Flu Virus has had an impact on the country and state, the MSVC has persevered. Our meetings have had to relocate from the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna to an outstanding facility, A La Cart Catering in Canfield, that follows the Ohio state health guidelines. The Chapter is proud to proclaim that we have safely met monthly since June of 2020, NO member has contracted the China COVID-19 Flu Virus.

     Our diverse monthly meeting have had an array of speakers and programs that included: Captain Amy Soileau, Commander’s Action Group, U.S. Space Force; Mr. Carl Schneider, Director, Carl Nunziato VA Clinic of Youngstown; Mr. Stephen Brown, former Navy Lieutenant and intelligence officer serving on a mine sweeper that conducting anti-infiltration patrols and mine sweeping operations off the North Vietnamese coast in 1973 as part of the Paris Peace Accords ending the war enabling the release of American POWs; and a conducting personal affairs workshop dealing with the death of the military spouse and how to prepare for the inevitable, preventing unnecessary aggravation in dealing with end of life paper work.

     Our premier chapter activity is its support to the Army ROTC program at Youngstown State University and the Army JROTC program at East High School in Youngstown and Air Force JROTC programs at the Trumbull County Technical Center in Warren, and Fitch High School in Austintown by providing MOAA Medals and scholarships. Highlighting officership, the Chapter provided newly commissioned Second Lieutenants from the YSU Army ROTC program with Second Lieutenant Gold Bars and an Officer’s Guides.

     The Chapter is extremely active in pursuing the missions and goals of MOAA. During the past year the Chapter has been awarded the Five-Star Level of Excellence (LOE) Award, and the Five-Star level Colonel Marvin J. Harris Communications Award for its newsletter and website.

     Chapter members are active in volunteering in local programs that aid the Veterans community; helping to operate a Food Distribution program; and donating funds and clothing for an organization helping homeless veterans, and a monetary donation to support the Veterans Resource Center at Youngstown State University. Chapter members actively engaged in speaking and participating at local Memorial Day and Veterans Day program. Placing flags on Veterans graves and providing programs at local schools.

The Mahoning and Shenango Valleys Chapter amplifies the MOAA motto, “Never Stop Serving.”

Roderick A. Hosler
LTC, USA, (Ret)
President, MSVC-MOAA


May 2021

Greetings on behalf of the MOAA Ohio Council of Chapters Legislation Team,

On the legislative front, a lot has happened in 2021 that I want to share with you. The first big event for us at the MOAA OCC was hosting a Legislative Coordination meeting via ZOOM on Thursday, January 21, 2021. In all about one dozen Ohio MOAA members participated from around the state. In that meeting, a guest speaker, James Rickel, DOD Defense-State Liaison Office Central Regional Liaison spoke about these DOD state priorities for 2021:

     • Licensing Compacts recognizing separating Service members and military spouses.
     • Licensure Evaluation.
     • Enhanced State Initiatives to Improve Military Spouse License Portability.
     • Facilitate military spouse teacher certification.
     • Advance enrollment.
     • In-State Tuition Continuity.
     • Virtual School Enrollment.
     • State policy to support identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect.
     • Purple Star Schools Program.
     • “Ask the Question” Campaign.

Mr. Rickel stated that Ohio is doing quite well on most of these issues and he is looking forward to working with us and the Ohio State Veterans Caucus on more accomplishments in 2021.

During the meeting, many participants mentioned a desire to participate in national MOAA advocacy efforts in 2021. This desire resulted in a March 9 ZOOM meeting between COL Dan Merry of National MOAA and several MOAA Ohio members regarding MOAA’s 2021 Advocacy in Action campaign. During the meeting, COL Merry stated that this campaign will be different from past ‘Storming the Hill’ Campaigns in that:

     • Each state is to identify teams who will make plans to set meetings with all Ohio Representatives and Senators’ offices during May 2021.
     • Each Ohio MOAA chapter will be responsible for establishing teams to set up meetings with their US Representatives. Senior Ohio MOAA OCC leadership will be responsible for setting up meetings with Ohio Senators.
     • If you are interested in participating in your local chapter’s Advocacy in Action efforts, please contact your chapter legislative liaison or other chapter leadership.
     • For more information on MOAA’s Advocacy in Action campaign visit: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2021-news-articles/advocacy/advocacy-in-action-details-on-moaas-spring-campaign/

National MOAA Priorities
MOAA has other priorities listed on their Advocacy Web Page https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/advocacy/moaas-2021-legislative-priorities/ including the following:

     • Recognize the COVID-19 Pandemic Changed the Landscape for Many of Our Priorities.
     • Protect the Value of the Military Health Care Benefit.
     • Protect the MHS Pharmacy Benefit and Achieve Flexibility in TRICARE Pharmacy Copays.
     • Address Barriers to Accessing Care Within the MHS, Including TRICARE Coverage Gaps and Mental Health Care Access Challenges.
     • Achieve Concurrent Receipt of Service-Earned Retirement Pay and VA Disability Pay.
     • Protect Family Support Programs, and Ensure Military-Provided Services (Housing, PCS, Child Care) Are Affordable, Readily Available, and Meet Quality Standards.
     • Reform the Presumptive Process to Support Veterans Claiming Service-Connected Disabilities for Toxic Exposures.
     • Achieve Equity of Benefits, Protections and Administrative Support for Guard/Reserve Members Consistent With Their Active Duty Counterparts.
     • Sustain Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Foundational Missions and Services.
     • Protect Arlington National Cemetery as an Option for Those Currently Eligible to Receive Full Military Honors, Through Expansion of Our National Cemetery.
     • Sustain Pay Raises for Servicemembers and COLA Raises for Retirees.
     • Improve Survivor Benefits.
     • Ensure the Coast Guard Receives Pay During a Government Shutdown.

I wish you all the best of health during the rest of 2021 and am hoping that we all have expanded opportunities to spend more time with our friends and loved ones as the year progresses.

Very Respectfully,

LT Bryan Beamer, USPHS
MOAA OCC Legislative Director


June 2019

MOAA Ohio Council of Chapters 2019 Convention
"Continuing to Serve"

    The plans for the 2019 Ohio Council of Chapters are well underway and the Greater Cincinnati Chapter is very excited to be hosting this year’s convention the weekend of September 20-22. We have a great venue at the Quality Hotel Conference Center in Blue Ash which is right off the I-71, is easily convenient to anyone coming south on I-75 and less than 15 minutes from downtown Cincinnati. The hotel has given us a great rate for the weekend at $89 a night (without taxes) and has extended that rate to include Thursday and/or Sunday night for anyone looking to spend an extra day or two in Cincinnati. Breakfast is also included every morning at the hotel. The link for this special deal is https://www.choicehotels.com/reservations/groups/NK48T0.

        

Col Terri Coles, USA        Congressman Brad Wenstrup                  LtGen Atkins

    It promises to be an exciting weekend, starting off with a social at the hotel on Friday the 20th from 6-9 pm to allow everyone to get settled in and meet their fellow MOAA members from around Ohio. The convention starts in earnest on Saturday morning with our opening ceremonies starting at 0830. At 0900 we will begin with our morning speakers with our focus being on “Continuing to Serve”. Those speakers will include Col Terri Coles, USA (ret), MOAA’s Senior Director of Council and Chapter Affairs, Tracy Butts form the Cincinnati VA hospital, speakers from the Ohio State University and Xavier University Veterans offices and a speaker from a county Veterans office. Our invited lunch speaker is Congressman Brad Wenstrup from Ohio’s Second Congressional District who serves on the House Armed Services and Veterans Affairs committees and who is also an Army Reserve officer and an Iraqi War veteran. Finally, our dinner speaker will be LtGen Dana Atkins, USAF (ret) the president and CEO of MOAA. For those of you who were at the 2017 convention, you will remember LtGen Atkins as a personable and inspiring speaker. On Sunday morning, we will conclude the convention with the quarterly Ohio Council of Chapters meeting.

    The cost for this year’s convention is $65 for MOAA members and $60 for spouses. The link for registration is located both on the Ohio Council webpage (http://www.ohiomoaa.org/ ) and the Greater Cincinnati MOAA chapter webpage ( http://www.cincymoaa.org/ ). In addition to the convention, for anyone looking to spend an extra day or two in Cincinnati, Cincinnati’s annual Oktoberfest celebration is being held that weekend and the Cincinnati Reds will be home at Great American Ballpark on Sunday versus the New York Mets. Continue to watch both the council homepage and the Cincinnati MOAA homepage for updates.

    

Michael Glaser
CAPT, USN, Retired


September 2021

Greetings from Mahoning and Shenango Valleys Chapter and Ohio Council of Chapters Surviving Spouse Liaison.

As the chapter and councils’ newly appointed Surviving Spouse Liaison I planned a workshop called Being Dead is No Excuse, in February, making use of personal experiences, as well as MOAA guides and on-line forums to assist members in planning for the inevitable. I began by sharing sever-al insights from Margareta Magnusson's 2018 book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter, which is available from Amazon in hard-cover, paperback, audio, and Kindle. Death is a subject that occasionally needs some humor to lighten the mood.

I also reviewed two valuable tools MOAA makes available free of charge to Premium and Life Members, its Personal Affairs Guide: A Personal Inventory for Peace of Mind (2017) and Survivor’s Planning Guide: A Handbook for One of Life’s Toughest Assignments (2019). Each contain advice and fill-in checklists members can use to organize vital documents and end-of-life planning decisions, as well as service points of contact, DEERS, and DFAS telephone numbers survivors will need follow-ing a service member, retiree, or veterans death.

Also presenting during the workshop was Mahoning County Veterans Service Commission Director Susan Krawchyk, who provided an overview of the commission’s work and explained what services veterans and their survivors are entitled to. She emphasized the importance of having a copy of a veteran’s DD-214 form readily available, and that veterans residents of Mahoning County are eligible for a six hundred dollar burial stipend.

Ms. Krawchyk was followed by Department of the Army contractor Melissa Wise, one of seven state-wide coordinators for its Survivor Outreach Services program. Ms. Wise explained the program helps survivors of service members or veterans stay connected with someone past the Casualty Assistance Officer period, who can connect them with federal, state, local, and private resources.

To wrap up the workshop, MSVC President Rod Hosler gave an overview of veterans’ and surviving spouse benefits, including burial benefits from the Department of Veteran's Affairs and the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, OH. He also distributed copies of Planning Your Legacy: VA Survivors and Burial Benefits Kit, published by the VA.

The resources presented in the workshop are available to all Ohio Chapters. Each county has a Veterans Service Commission and the Survivor Outreach Services program is statewide as well. Look for all these references posted on our chapter website. msvc-moaa.org/personal-affairs and feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like me to provide the workshop to your chapter. msvcmoaa@gmail.com Ohio Council of Chapters website also offers links to many of the MOAA resources used: forms and publications.

Florence M Hosler, LT, USNR
MSVC-MOAA & OCC
Surviving Spouse Liaison


October 2021

Greetings from the Central Ohio Chapter (COC) - MOAA

"The Central Ohio Chapter of MOAA had limited activities during the first six months of 2021 due to the pandemic. The board met by ZOOM each month; however, several of our programs continued to operate at approximately 50% capacity. Dorothy Williams sent several care packages to deployed soldiers when she could get k-cups and other refreshments for the packages, and other items by special request. She has continued sending packages through October albeit with limitations. ROTC and Ohio National Guard liaison was maintained monthly by Jeff Collins, even though the ROTC programs were closed until September due to the pandemic. The Ohio National Guard has been deeply involved during the pandemic. Honor Flights were cancelled until August, at which time flights resumed with greater frequency to serve the same number of veterans as they would fly in one year. The Chapter supported the substitute StandDown with duffle bags for homeless veterans. Pete Wilkinson raised money from members in addition to the Chapter donation, and assisted the Stand Down committee with distribution.

In June 2021 the chapter board returned to meeting in person, and a reduced luncheon was held through September. Formal luncheons with speakers, toasts, and the Pledge of Allegiance will resume in February 2022.

The biggest push by the Chapter board from June through October has been to plan and begin to resource the upcoming Convention, hosted by our chapter. It was originally scheduled for October 2021, but due to the pandemic it was rescheduled for 13-14 May 2022. This convention will serve all of the Ohio chapters and the Ohio Council of Chapters; and invitations will be given to officers in other programs, such as the National Guard and other active duty officers in Ohio., along with their spouses/guests and surviving spouses. Several VIP speakers from around the country have been invited. The Convention website will have the registration form with general information, and the website is scheduled to be active before Veterans' Day. Anyone reading this, officers and spouses and surviving spouses, are encouraged to attend.”

William W. Radcliffe III
LTC, USAR (retired)
President, Central Ohio Chapter of MOAA


November 2021

Hello from the Greater Cleveland Chapter (GCCMOAA). The apparent waning of COVID infection rates in late summer offered hope of a return to our normal practice of in-person board and membership meetings. In keeping with the motto “Never Stop Serving” Greater Cleveland Chapter activities during third and fourth quarter offered members opportunities to engage as a chapter and within the community. Most encouraging during this period was the involvement of our members who have, themselves, offered us opportunities to serve. We believe that service is foundational to a strong organization like MOAA.

November’s GCCMOAA highlight was support to The United States Committee for Refugees and Immigration (USCRI) Thanksgiving meal delivery initiative. The principal coordinator of this effort was Mr. Ken Harbaugh, a former Naval Aviator, who along with his daughter Katie, actively support various veteran related initiatives. Ken and Katie coordinated Thanksgiving meal preparation and pick-up from three separate kitchens in the Cleveland area for delivery to about eighty refugee families that had recently arrived in country. The greatest challenge for the effort was finding volunteers to deliver the meals, and they made an appeal to the Greater Cleveland Chapter for assistance. GCCMOAA responded with eight volunteers, indeed, the overall response to this appeal was tremendous, and the total commitment for most volunteers was simply the pick-up and delivery of a meal pack for just one refugee family. Halal meals were prepared at local restaurants in family meal packs that provided for ten meals. Volunteers picked up the meal packs and delivered them to their assigned family on Thanksgiving Day. One can imagine the appreciation these families felt for this simple act. After this event, the USCRI made additional appeals for volunteers, to support the arrival of additional Afghan families. GCCMOAA continues to forward these appeals to members, along with any other that may be of interest to our military community. These efforts demonstrate the value of our MOAA network and more importantly, the values of our membership.

The activity in November ends the year on a high note for our chapter, but I would be remiss if I did not mention other highlights for 2021. The chapter continued its strong support to JROTC, awarding a $2,000 scholarship grant to a college bound JROTC cadet from Elyria High School. To date, the GCCMOAA scholarship fund has provided more than $17,000 in grants to young leaders. On Memorial Day weekend the chapter also conducted its fifth annual flag detail at Cleveland’s Warrensville East Cemetery. Chapter members supported the Beachwood Historical Society honoring veterans from as far back as the revolutionary war. GCCMOAA’s legislative activities included participation in the MOAA Advocacy in Action campaign through direct outreach to Northeast Ohio’s congressional representatives. Advocacy in Action offered several of our members experience in direct engagement with our elected representatives. Given advocacy as the primary purpose of MOAA national this experience will, I am sure, serve us well.

Bart Stovicek
COL, USA, Retired
President


December 2021

The Dayton Area Chapter

Like other chapters, the Dayton Area Chapter (DAC) saw its membership drop during the past several years. A few members passed away and others moved from our area, but it is likely some chose not to renew their memberships after living through the COVID lockdown period in which our events were cancelled or moved online. In other words, they may have realized that our previous chapter activities were not that important to them.

With respect to trying to attract new members, we utilize the monthly MOAA report and personally contact all the national members who relocate to our area or are living in our area when they join the national organization. Additionally, we engage in word-of-mouth recruiting and have also decided to participate, when possible, in outreach activities where we hope to encounter individuals eligible for membership. Such events include the upcoming Moraine Airpark (Dayton) airshow, Wright Patterson AFB retiree events, the annual Air Force marathon, and other events which might attract military attendees. Following the practice of MOAA National, we offer an initial free one-year electronic membership to new members.

The retention of existing chapter colleagues is also crucial in maintaining our membership base. Traditionally, we have conducted one event per month (i.e., luncheon speakers or outings to places of interest) which are intended to appeal to as many members as possible. We also have a summer golf league. In the past few months, however, we have held some additional activities and have begun planning for more, all of which are intended to make the DAC more attractive for members to join or remain.

In the last quarter of 2021, we hosted two luncheons to which members who joined our chapter in 2020 and 2021 were invited. Due to COVID restrictions, these members had not experienced “normal” times in the DAC, and the purpose of the luncheons was to become better acquainted with these members, discuss our future plans, and solicit their ideas. While not all new members participated, each luncheon was successful for these purposes, and one new member agreed to join our board.

As do other chapters, the DAC has Surviving Spouse members. In the past, however, none of our activities were designed with these individuals specifically in mind. Starting last September, we began hosting bi-monthly luncheons for these members. Each Surviving Spouse receives an individual invitation in an email from me, and other chapter members are notified via our monthly newsletter that they are also welcome. We have had three such luncheons so far, and the number of attendees has grown. Sources and Guides to Assist Surviving Spouses, a pamphlet prepared by the DAC Surviving Spouse Liaison that contains information and contact data for federal, DOD, state, and local agencies that could be of assistance to the spouses, was disseminated. The spouses appear to greatly enjoy these occasions and have offered suggestions for future activities. (One suggestion was to have the luncheons at restaurants where adult beverages are available.) They have requested a Surviving Spouse roster to facilitate future interactions. As soon as all, or as many as possible, consent to the dissemination of their contact data, the roster will be released. It may be a simple coincidence, but our Surviving Spouse number has increased in the past quarter.

Finally, our most ambitious extra activity initiative is still a work in progress; time will tell whether it will be successful. In contrast to our monthly events, which as mentioned above are designed to appeal to as many members as possible, our extra activity idea is intended to appeal to subgroups of our members, as is the case with our golf league. Our goal is to construct a process through which members with specialized interests would be able to meet with like-minded members and engage in things they enjoy. These events could take place at convenient times and places as determined by the participants, and possible activities include dining outs at area restaurants, movie nights or matinees, service projects, book clubs, card or board game playing, travel discussions, etc. The only limit is one’s imagination. Nothing concrete has yet developed from this initiative, however, because shortly after it was publicized in our newsletter, the Delta and Omicron variants appeared, which we believe had an inhibiting effect on our members’ willingness to go out and meet with others. Also, it will be necessary for some to volunteer and become involved in organizing their preferred activities if this initiative will be successful. We will revisit this proposal in future newsletters.

In conclusion, the DAC understands that we need to attract new members and retain existing ones to ensure that our chapter remains healthy for the indefinite future. The above endeavors are our present attempts to increase or maintain our membership, but I anticipate that we may try other things if we think of anything. Please contact me at trobisch63@gmail.com or 757-327-1388 if you have any comments or wish to discuss.

Tom Robisch
LTC, USA,(Ret)
DAC President





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Last Updated: March 20th, 2022