On 7 April 2022 at 1500 hrs., we connected with Patricia Clarke, Representative Gonzalez's Legislative Assistant (photo not available). Our videoconference lasted until about 1525 hrs. Representative Gonzalez was not available to talk with us. We had a very good connection discussed the three key issues MOAA is concerned about. While discussing H.R. 1282, Ms. Clarke indicated that Representative Gonzalez was a cosponsor for that bill. and we could see and hear each other clearly. MS Clarke said that Representative Gonzalez was not as familiar with H.R. 4824. She listened to our presentation and asked several clarifying questions. She said she will talk with Representative Gonzalez and pass this information to him. We spent several minutes discussing the Military Pay Raise (Full ECI) and she said she understood the importance of the pay raise. John Anderson, the Legislative Chair for our chapter also participated. We had one technical glitch and we unable to save any screenshots.
We closed the discussion and asked if she had any other questions. We sent her a copy of the PowerPoint presentation that we used plus the MOAA Fact Sheets. She thanked us and said she will discuss these points with Representative Gonzalez and contact us if he has additional questions.
We connected with Representative Bob Gibbs’ office at 1440 on 28 April 2022 and finished our videoconference at 1510. Representative Gibbs was not available, but we talked with Madeline Perrino, his legislative assistant.
She talked with us for about 25 minutes. We covered all three topics, and she said the Representative Gibbs was familiar with HR 1282 (MAJ Richard Star Act) and that it had a lot of cosponsors. We sent her a copy of the PowerPoint presentation that we used plus the MOAA Fact Sheets. She said he was not as familiar with HR 4824 (Stop Copay Overpay Act), but she would discuss that with the Congressman.
She also said she appreciated the importance of the Military Pay Raise and would tell the Representative about our interest in it.
She said she would talk to Representative Gibbs about our discussion, and she rechecked our email addresses for any follow-on questions
We forwarded her a copy of the PowerPoint slides we used in our presentation and thanked her for her time and attention.
This year the Ohio Chapters all participated in the Advocacy in Action campaign. All Congressional Districts and our 2 Senators were divided amongst the Chapters and we were able to cover every District.
The 3 topics for discussion were:
1. Comprehensive Toxic Exposure Reform. Service members, Veterans and families of every generation face lifelong challenges of toxic exposure.
2. Basic Needs Allowance. Young military families facing food insecurity. Provide a basic need allowance of $400 monthly subsidy to service members with household gross income at or below 130% of the poverty line.
3. TRICARE young adult parity. (The Health Care Fairness for Military Families Act, H.R. 475). Ensure military families have the same health care protection for their young adult children as their civilian counterparts.
This year was a great success. All Chapters reported considerable to strong support from Ohio Congressional leaders to support these initiatives. Many are sponsors of bills or are looking to sponsor bills to support these initiatives.
Colonel USA (Ret.) Cary Weatherhead Colonel USA (Ret) Bart Stovicek
Cleveland State University Staffer Brehon Pittman
The Greater Cleveland Chapter of the MOAA led the Advocacy in Action (AiA) engagement with Ohio congressional representatives of the 9th, 11th and 14th districts. During the month of May 2021, chapter members COL (Ret.) Bart Stovicek, COL (Ret.) Cary Weatherhead, and Katherine Reinhardt participated in video conference calls with congressional staffers from Ohio Districts 14, 11, and 9 to discuss MOAA legislative priorities on Toxic Exposure – TEAM Act (Toxic Exposure in the American Military), TRICARE Young Adult (TYA), and Basic Needs Allowance.
We held our initial meeting with Mr. Zach Moses, Senior Legislative Liaison for Representative Dave Joyce, OH D14. Mr. Moses was very knowledgeable of the details for each piece of legislation associated with each priority and acknowledged the need to address the issues. He was particularly interested to know how many active service members, or military families reside in Northeast Ohio. He could not commit to any action but assured our team that he would share our input with the congressman.
Our second call with Mr. Brehon Pittman, the Veterans and Military Affairs point of contact to former congresswoman Marcia Fudge, OH D11, was informational. While no immediate action was expected due to the vacancy resulting from Representative Fudge’s appointment as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Pittman’s response to our appeals was quite positive.
COL (Ret.) Stovicek held the last virtual call with LtCol Cole Hodge; Defense Fellow detailed to the office of Representative Marcy Kaptur, OH D9. This meeting was the most encouraging of the three. Given his military status, LtCol Hodge needed no convincing. He assured us that he would address these “no brainer” issues with congresswoman Kaptur.
Despite the encouraging dialogue we had with each of our representative’s staff there has been little movement by the Ohio delegation toward support to the legislation proposed. Representative Kaptur and Ohio’s newest congresswoman Shontel Brown, OH D11, each co-sponsored HR 475, The Healthcare Fairness for Military Families Act. Congressman Joyce has remained silent on all issues.
Advocacy in Action offered an opportunity to engage with our elected representatives to discuss priorities to our military community. Despite the underwhelming response from the Ohio delegation, we gained valuable experience, and will continue to advocate for those who serve.
COL Jane Lengel and CAPT Michael Mentas met with the Representative Balderson Staff on Thursday May 13th using the Video conference.
The Staff were extremely interested and determined to brief Congressman Balderson about the 4 HR's and affirm his commitment to support. They requested that we send them the articles describing the 3 AIA concerns and we sent that info the same day.
Terry Cooney (past DAC President and currently our Legislative Representative) and Tom Robisch comprised the team that contacted staffers from the 4th, 5th, and 10th Congressional Districts. All such meetings were conducted via virtual platforms (set up by Terry), and MOAA’s fact sheets for the targeted legislative proposals were provided to the staffers ahead of time. My characterizations of the meetings are as follows:
4th District, Congressman Jim Jordan. We met with Marshall Macheledt, Legislative Assistant to Rep. Jordan, on 3 May at 1:30 PM. Mr. Macheledt was knowledgeable with respect to the proposed legislation, and we had a cordial and productive discussion of those issues. Terry and I were able to convey all the points outlined by MOAA, and Marshall appeared to understand the problems these bills seek to address as well as MOAA’s positions. While the meeting was friendly, it appeared to me that Mr. Macheledt tried very hard to be noncommittal; he did not express any support or disapproval. We do not have any pictures from this meeting.
5th District, Congressman Bob Latta. We met with Mike Davin, Senior Legislative Assistant to Rep. Latta on 6 May at 11:00 AM. The meeting was quite friendly. Mr. Davin was familiar with the proposed legislation, and we discussed how these bills would address the existing problems. He appeared to be supportive of all of them. He said he thought Rep. Latta would become a cosponsor of the Veterans Burn Pits Exposure Recognition Act (HR 2436), but I note that he has not yet done so as of the afternoon of 15 June (or for any of the other bills). We do not have pictures of this meeting.
10th District, Congressman Mike Turner. We met with Capt Dylan Klossner, an active-duty USMC Judge Advocate officer, who is serving as a military fellow in Rep. Turner’s office. This meeting was also very friendly. Capt Klossner was knowledgeable concerning the proposed legislation and appeared to be quite supportive of all of them. Since our meeting, Rep. Turner has signed on as a cosponsor for the Toxic Exposure in the American Military (TEAM) Act (HR 2127) and the Health Care for Fairness for Military Families Act (HR 475).
COVID-19 has kept many of the council and chapter representative from physically meeting the Ohio Congressional legislators. As the President of the Mahoning-Shenango Valleys Chapter, LTC Hosler was responsible to coordinate and speak with Congressman Bill Johnson (OH-06 District) and Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13 District). Both Representatives were unavailable, and he met virtually with their staffers.
On Tuesday, 11 May, LTC Hosler met virtually with Ms. Laura Wilson a staff representative for Congressman Bill Johnson and Mr. Jeremy Christopher and Mr. Ryan Keating staff representatives for Congressman Tim Ryan. Unlike a face-to-face visit that normally lasts ten minutes, this virtual visit lasted almost twenty minutes each.
These were two good sessions and we discussed the three MOAA legislative issues. LTC Hosler had previously provided them with the MOAA Fact Sheets for each issue and addresses each issue separately. All representative staffers had read the fact sheets and were aware of them as they served as a focal point of the meeting.
All staffers indicates that their Congressmen were supportive of the MOAA legislative issues and will express the importance of co-sponsorship of these bills. Jeremy Christopher indicated there were several other toxic exposure bills before Congress and indicated they might be rolled into one all-encompassing bill.
Rep Gonzalez participated in the video conference, as did several members of his staff. Rep Gonzalez was very supportive of all the bills we talked about, particularly HR 475 TRICARE Young Adult. He said he did not know too much about HR2339 (Basic Need Allowance) but was interested and would look up more information about it. I would recommend someone from MOAA follow up with his office. During the month of August, Rep Gonzalez signed on as a cosponsor for HR2339.
Rep Gibbs was unable to attend the scheduled video conference because of a last-minute call to a vote. His office manager Madeline Perrino took the call with us. She took notes while we talked and referenced the documents on each bill that we sent her. Her responses were very supportive, and she stated will pass all this information to Rep Gibbs and recommend he support all the MOAA recommended bills. She was very supportive of all four bills we discussed. We had some minor technical problems but none of those has any significant impact on the conference with Rep Gibbs’ office.
On May 19, 2021, MG(R) Dan Hahn and Col Dick Calta discussed 3 critical MOAA legislative issues with Senator Portman's Office in support of Ohio's MOAA Council and Chapters Advocacy in Action, 2021.
Shown in this screen shot with Dan and Dick are Robin Janofsky and Michael Dustman of Senator Portman's office.
The legislative actions discussed were Comprehensive Toxic Exposure Reform, TRICARE for Young Adult, and Provide Basic Need Allowance for families facing food insecurity.
Senator Portman is supportive of all 3 measures and is a cosponsor of the Burn Pit Exposure Act and looks to cosponsor the more comprehensive Toxic Exposure Bill.
The Dayton Area Chapter (DAC) president was surprised when the certificate above showed up in his home mailbox. Did you know that the DAC was 60 years old? The DAC President for one sure did not know that. Further, when he mentioned the certificate at the latest meeting of MOAA Ohio Council of Chapters in July the members present were also surprised. He was told that the DAC just may be the oldest MOAA Chapter in the state. The certificate was accompanied by a short note from Lt Gen Adkins USAF (ret). His note was not generic. The General congratulated the DAC membership on some of the DAC activities. It is a guess that the National MOAA staff member that prepared the note’s content had read of DAC activities in their monthly newsletter, or the latest Level of Excellence submission, a copy of both which was/is sent to National MOAA. So, the DAC has some history. For the DAC President, when the certificate arrived he had the same feeling he got when doing genealogy and finds a long lost relative.
MOAA-OCC Officers Storming the Hill 2017.
Ohio's 2015 Level of Excellence winners. Pictured above is Front Row: CAPT John McDonald, USN, Toledo Chapter, 4 Star; COL Richard Schroeder, USA, Ohio Council of Chapters, 4 Star.
Back Row: LTC Larry Ashbaugh, USA, Ohio Western Reserve Chapter, 5 Star; LTC Gary Williams, USA, Mahoning and Shenango Valleys Chapter, 4 Star; CAPT Bill Tate, USN, Central Ohio Chapter, 5 Star, and LTC Al Brauer, USA, Greater Cincinnati Chapter, 5 Star
MOAA Regional workshop in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Pictured above is COL Rich Schroeder, USA and wife Claudia, and Captain George Williams USN (Ret) and wife Dorothy. Others who attended were Gary Williams from Mahoning and Shenango Chapter, COL Pete Wilkinson, USAF from Central Ohio Chapter, MAJ Frank DiMarco, USMC from Greater Cleveland Chapter, Ohio Council of Chapters President CAPT Terry Cooney and wife, and Past President CAPT John McDonald and wife.
MOAA Ohio members meet with State Representative Stautberg to express their appreciation to him for his continued efforts to provide relief from Ohio State Income Tax to retired commissioned officers of the Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or their survivors as is provided to the other five uniformed services. Ohio Governor Kasich signed the legislation 30 June 2013. Pictured above is Captain Larry Reed PHS (Ret), Captain George Williams USN (Ret), Ohio Representative Peter Stautberg, Rear Admiral John Bossler NOAA (Ret), and Colonel John McCoy USAF (Ret).
Colonel Walter Duzzny (left), President of the Mahoning and Shenango Valleys Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MSVC – MOAA) is shown receiving its Charter from Retired Vice Admiral Norbert R. Ryan, President and CEO of MOAA, headquartered in Alexandria, VA. Over 50 members are listed as Charter members.
2010 Ohio Council President John McCoy, left, passes the gavel to the Ohio Council new President CAPT George Williams. Also pictured are CAPT Terry Cooney, 1st VP and CWO3 Kym Mader, 2nd VP.
2010 Oho Council President John McCoy, right, presents a Certificate of Appreciation to Lieutenant Colonel Harry Weiss, President of the Toledo Chapter as the most successful Ohio Chapter for recruiting during 2010.
Members of the Ohio Western Reserve Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (OWRC-MOAA) have elected and installed their officers for 2011. Those installed are MAJ David Sears (USA, ret), president; LTC Tony Cookro (USAR, ret), first vice-president; MGEN Dan Hahn (USA, ret), second vice-president; and LTC Dave Riegler (USA, ret), treasurer. Trustees for 2011 are COL Bob Thompson (USA, ret), three-year; Col Dick Calta (USAF, ret), two-year; and LTC Wayne King (USA, ret), one-year. The installing officer was Col Dick Calta, the out-going chapter president.
Commander Walter Rey, USN-Ret, (R) Central Ohio Chapter, receiving the five-star Level of Excellence Award, for 2009, from Gen. Butch Neal, USMC-Ret., MOAA’s Chairman of the Board (L), during the annual meeting of MOAA.
Lt Col Martin Stires (R) of the Central Ohio Chapter presents a check in the amount of $1,500. to Richard Isbell (L), Veterans Affairs Coordinator for the Mayor of Columbus, Ohio, for support of the Homeless Veterans Stand Down held in Central Ohio October 2010. Several members of the chapter also volunteered to asssist the day of the event.
2009 MOAA President's Symposium
Ohio MOAA members invited to the signing of H. B. 372 by Governor Strickland. Sponsoring legislatures were in attendance also. This legislation exempted military retirement pay from Ohio State Income Tax and Ohio School District Income Tax.
Ohio Western Reserve Chapter President retired Colonel Dick Calta presents the 2009 MOAA award to Kent State University Army Cadet Joseph B. Gray at a ceremony on April 22. U.S. Army LTC Ricardo J. Mitchell, Kent State University Professor of Military Science assists with the presentation.
Letter to Greater Cincinnati Chapter from Gary Sinise
Last Updated: June 19th, 2022