The Ohio Council of Chapters enjoyed a very successful 2018 and although we lost a chapter in Toledo, we look forward to even greater opportunities and successes this year. Remembering that our focus is to support our nation’s uniformed services: active duty, reserve components, veterans, family members,and communities, each chapter and the council stayed active. For example, in April we joined with National MOAA in Storming The Hill. We visited each office of Ohio’s two senators and sixteen representatives, wherein we presented MOAA’s position on Sequestration and the “Widow’s Tax.” In nation-wide MOAA Level of Excellence (LOE) competition, we earned seven Five-Star Levels of Excellence awards. Ohio was the only state and Council where each chapter earned a Five-Star LOE. Additionally, 6 Five-Star Col Marvin J. Harris Communications Awards were earned – nothing but the best of the best! We were active in numerous state legislative matters affecting our military population, and endorsed the formation of the National Veterans Memorial & Museum in Columbus. The biennial statewide convention will be hosted by the Greater Cincinnati Chapter in Blue Ash (a suburb of Cincinnati) and will sure to be an outstanding event. We were honored that both LtGen Dana Atkins, President and CEO of MOAA and COL Terri Coles, Senior Director of MOAA Council and Chapter Affairs will be attending and participating with us.
As we look forward to 2019, we have a few new names on our council roster. Col Dick Calta, USAF (Ret.) has stepped down from his duties as President; LCDR Bryan Beamer, USPHS has assumed duties as our Legislative Liaison; CWO3 Eddie Reed, USA is our representative to the Ohio Department of Veterans Services. We are delighted that Col Pete Wilkinson, USAF (Ret.) retains his seat as a 3-year member on the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame board; a first for the Ohio Council of Chapters. We will "Storm The Hill" in earnest again in April addressing those issues that affect Ohio's military community. In addition to all the other programs and activities we have, we are endeavoring to start a new chapter in the Greater Toledo area to better represent the military personnel in that area.
We are excited about 2019 and what it brings. We encourage everyone to stay involved at the chapter and council level; we welcome volunteers! I agree completely with the MOAA motto:
Lieutenant Colonel, USAF, Retired
President, Ohio Council of Chapters.
Greetings from the Ohio Western Reserve Chapter (OWRC)
The Chapter leadership is taking this opportunity to analyze the Chapter and set the direction for the future. We have been blessed by strong leadership and a chapter that has been strengthened by that leadership. As we analyze out chapter, we look to get members involved in the MOAA purpose or mission. The OWRC has focused on leader succession and getting new members involved continues that objective.
We also look for the areas that need to be strengthened. In 2018, the Chapter membership changed the by-laws allowing a Surviving Spouse to hold an elected office. The membership also elected a Surviving Spouse as Second Vice President. Our purpose is to make the surviving spouse welcome and to be an advocate for military surviving spouses.
Another area we want to strengthen is Personal Affairs. We just appointed a Personal Affairs Officer to help develop that position and meet the needs of our membership.
Like so many chapters we have an aging membership, so how do we attract the younger officer? We will have as speaker at our March 2019 Chapter meeting, a young National Guard officer who has a family, a job and who has been deployed. We are having him speak to our membership to better understand his challenges and needs. We also want to learn how to contact and attract the younger officer.
The OWRC is looking how we can continue the service to the military family, and we are assembling a team that will prepare us for the future.
Community Clergy Training Program
In my last article, in part I talked about the proclivity of veterans and military personnel seeking the services of a chaplain for spiritual and mental health services. Recently I came across the following information on the Veteran’s Administration website. I was not aware of it and thought I’d share it, bravo if you’re already informed.
The Community Clergy Training Program (CCTP) takes the VA’s National Chaplain Center curriculum to rural communities across the country. While Chaplains recognize that country living can have many benefits, rural Veterans have a higher risk of suicide than their urban counterparts. Some Veterans serving in combat may deal with one or more mental health issues. Re-adjusting to civilian life may cause stress, depression, and anxiety which can intensify underlying mental health concerns such as posttraumatic stress disorder. Psychologists are fewer amongst rural residents; there are fewer resources to support these Veterans with mental health issues.
Most rural communities have clergy-led faith groups, and research shows that up to one-in-four individuals who seek help for mental health problems do so from clergy. Yet, clergy are often unfamiliar about:
• Reintegration and transition challenges
• Common post-service, mental health-related issues
• Differences between PTSD and traumatic brain injury
• Military culture and mental health stigma
• How to build community partnerships to support Veterans and their families
CCTP is a VA Chaplain led, live training program that trains rural clergy in skills to:
• Recognize the holistic healthcare needs of Veterans
• Smoothing reintegration into family and community, and
• Increasing clergy referrals to VA or community healthcare resources
VA Chaplain Facilitators bring CCTP training events along with materials to your rural community. The VA Chaplain leads and facilitates the training and provides training materials at no cost to the community clergy partner. They work with clergy on simple planning to coordinate space, set-up, participant recruitment, and training implementation. Community clergy partners help find training space at churches, community colleges or schools and recruit attendees.
The goals of CCTP are:
• To promote health and well-being in the rural Veteran population
• To generate and diffuse knowledge about rural Veteran health
• To strengthen community healthcare infrastructure where rural Veterans reside
• To promote Promising Practices in rural health care delivery and the provision of benefits and services to rural Veterans
To read more about the CCTP and Partnership Opportunities, go to https://www.patientcare.va.gov/chaplain/clergytraining/docs/CCTP_Overview_Detailed.PDF
** Information for this article was taken in part or entirely from www.va.gov
Maj, USAF, Retired
The Mahoning and Shenango Valley Chapter
The Mahoning and Shenango Valleys Chapter that encompasses three counties in northeast Ohio (Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana) and two counties in western Pennsylvania (Mercer and Lawrence) continues to thrive. Meeting at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna, the chapter continues to showcase this vital military installation. Our chapter members are active in volunteering in local programs that aid the Veterans community and military by their service with the Youngstown Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic (Rod Hosler, LTC, USA, Ret. and Dennis McMahan, former 1st Lt, USMC); the USO facility at the Air Reserve Station during deployment and redeployment activities; and providing mentors (Jack Russell, Maj., USAF, Ret.) the Youngstown Municipal Veterans Drug Treatment Court and Mahoning County Veterans Felony Court. Chapter member Judge Robert Milich (Lt. Col., USAF, Ret.) was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame for his tenure as the Youngstown Municipal Court Judge overseeing the Veterans Drug Treatment Court.
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 (Mrs. Janet Oglesby, Surviving Spouse) and website (Bruce Bille, former LT, USN). Chapter members Col. Dick Calta (USAF, Ret.) and LTC Rod Hosler (USA, Ret.) serve as President and First Vice President respectively of the Ohio Council of Chapters. They participated in the MOAA program of “Storming the Hill” visiting all eighteen Senators and Representatives of the Ohio Congressional delegation discussing those legislative issues of critical importance to Ohio’s military (active, reserve component, retired and surviving spouses) community.
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 program at the Trumbull County Technical Center in Warren, by providing MOAA Medals and scholarships. Highlighting officership, the Chapter provided newly commissioned Second Lieutenants from the YSU Army ROTC program with Bold Bars, Shoulder Straps in appropriate branch colors and an Officer’s Guides.
Chapter members actively engage in speaking at 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.”
Florence M. Hosler
It has been an eventful and productive first year as the Ohio Council of Chapters Legislative Director. I will do my best to keep things short and sweet by looking back at that was accomplished last year and what we are looking forward to in 2019.
On a state level we advocated for many bills that would benefit active duty and veteran uniformed services members including: granting temporary licenses and certificates to military and their spouses, granting residency status to all members of the military and their dependents for ‘in-state’ tuition status to name a few.
Significantly, however HB 158 was passed and became law last year – a circumstance that MOAA had been advocating for many years. HB 158, sponsored by Representatives Rick Perales and Hearcel Craig allows for unemployment compensation for trailing military spouses if they depart the state due to transfer orders, as is the case in 46 other states. The passing of HB 158 was a big win for us and all active duty servicemembers.
We continue to track and advocate for several issues in this year’s Ohio legislative calendar. Here are highlights:
• Concurrent bills have been introduced to grant temporary licenses and certificates to military and their spouses (Senate Bill 7, House Bill 133).
• Concurrent bills were introduced to expand the tax deduction for 529 education savings plans (Senate Bill 125 and House Bill 193).
• Representative Perales of the Dayton area has introduced House Bill 16 which would grant state college residency status to all military and dependents.
As these Ohio bills make it to their committees we will submit testimony in favor and will be keeping you posted as we make progress.
On the national level, MOAA continues to advocate for important issues. Chief among current goals for National MOAA include: ensuring that any TRICARE reform sustains access to top-quality care; sustained military pay comparability with the private sector; and ending financial penalties for military survivors. For more details about these goals and others, visit: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2018-news-articles/advocacy/2019Goals/
On a final note, I’d just like to remind you all that National MOAA makes is extremely easy to advocate for US legislation that benefits us all. Please take a few minutes to regularly visit the MOAA ‘Take Action’ Site (http://takeaction.moaa.org/?0) to make your voice heard with your legislators.
If there is ever any further information or help I can provide, please feel free to contact me at my private email: email@example.com
LT Bryan Beamer, USPHS
"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.
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.
Greetings from Cincinnati, Queen City of the West. We can’t believe a year has passed since we provided our last article for this website. For the fourth year in a row our chapter received the highest award for chapter excellence, the 5 Star Level of Excellence Award for 2017. Chapter member CWO3 Kym Mader received the 5 Star Colonel Marvin J. Harris Communications Award for her work on the Council’s website.
The Greater Cincinnati Chapter continues to be an active partner in the DoD’s Vietnam War Commemoration Program (established in 2008 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act). At events throughout our area, we continue to recognize, thank and honor our veterans who served on active duty during the Vietnam War Period November 1, 1955 - May 15, 1975 regardless of location.
At our March luncheon, we hosted midshipmen from Miami University Navy ROTC, and cadets from Western Brown High School Army JROTC and Little Miami High School Air Force JROTC. The Chapter supports eight local JROTC units and five ROTC programs. We present medal and certificate sets to all of them.
Our June luncheon speaker was Major Rusty Mardis, USA (Ret) of the Tristate Veterans Community Alliance. Rusty spoke about his military service and the work of TVCA to improve the lives of veterans in our community. The TVCA was established in 2014, has over 150 partners (businesses, non-profits, government organizations) and has become the go to organization for veterans in the Greater Cincinnati Area.
Greater Cincinnati Chapter’s September dinner will feature MG John Harris, Jr. Assistant Adjutant General, Ohio National Guard and Commander, Army Ohio National Guard. Local National Guard unit officers will be invited to attend.
We will continue our tradition of joining in camaraderie by holding a Dining Out on November 10, 2018. MOAA members and their guest(s) from other chapters are invited. So please consider attending.
Did you know that Cincinnati was among the New York Times’ 52 places to go in 2018? It will be even better in 2019! We look forward to seeing you all on September 20-22, 2019 at the State Convention at the Quality Inn Cincinnati, 5901 Pfeiffer Road, Blue Ash, Ohio 45242.
Steve Drefahl Alan Echt
Greetings from the Greater Cleveland Chapter
This past year has been quite eventful for the MOAA here in Greater Cleveland. We made a deliberate decision last year to focus our efforts on strengthening the network of military officers throughout our region and expanding our emphasis on support to the GCC MOAA Scholarship fund.
This year, we’ve continued with many of the traditional social events including the Christmas party, Cleveland Women’s Orchestra annual concert, and summer baseball outing, we were also honored to host COL Robert Certain, one of the MOAA board members at our January business meeting. COL Certain proved to be a draw from national members of MOAA to our business meeting, providing an informative overview of MOAA national activities for calendar year 2019. In order to continue building our military network GCC MOAA sponsored several events with other local organizations. We performed our annual flag laying detail this past Memorial Day with the Beachwood Girl Scout Troop at a local cemetery; honoring the service of veterans dating back to our own revolutionary war. Of note is our ongoing work with the Joint Veterans Council of Cuyahoga County. Our own MAJ (Ret) Tom Jenks is the President of the JVCOCC, as well as a board member of the GCC Chapter, and a VP of the MOAA Ohio Council. We support his efforts to reach out to the entire veteran community in Northeastern Ohio, through the JVCOCC, and we are actively searching for other innovative ways to strengthen the military network in our region.
An integral component to this effort is, of course, our advocacy for veterans and the military. The national MOAA organization does a commendable job of keeping us informed of legislative priorities and developments, but we strongly believe it is up to each of our local chapters to mobilize the “grass roots” support to enable the success of legislative advocacy at the national level. As you have read above, our own Tom Jenks (again!) participated in the annual “Storming the Hill” event with LTC (Ret) Hosler. We have taken that effort to heart and continued to try and bring focus to one of the priorities, that of ending the SBC-DIC offset, or “Widows Tax.” Our goal has been to ensure that all Northeast Ohio representatives and both Ohio Senators demonstrate unequivocal support to the issue by co-sponsoring bills in their respective legislative bodies. I wish I could say we have been successful, but to date we have yet to convince Senator Rob Portman and Representative Bob Gibbs and Jim Jordan to sign on to this important issue. What is even more disconcerting is the fact that two other Ohio Congressmen, Brad Wenstrup and Warren Davidson, both military men, are also among the few in Ohio that are neglecting to address this issue. We have written letters ourselves; appealed to our chapter membership via email and our bi-monthly newsletter, and I must say, the response from our own members has been quite encouraging, but obviously there is still much to do. Despite significant support to this issue on both the House and the Senate, the prognosis is not good. That is a pity, as we had hoped that Ohio would stand out as a state that overwhelmingly supports our veterans and their families. There is still time, however, and if you are reading this, please consider sending a letter to Senator Portman and your representative in congress. [TAKE ACTION: End the Widows Tax and Read the Issue Paper].
Like the other chapters in Ohio, a key element of our activity is our support of ROTC. JROTC in Greater Cleveland has a substantial presence, with 13 programs. As in years past we provided grants to local JROTC programs to support their own local “drill” events. These competitive events are a required element of JROTC training, and we are confident that our support helps to ensure their success. We proudly awarded MOAA medals to superior cadets in each of our local program to include a medal to an outstanding Senior ROTC cadet from the John Carroll University program. We were honored as well to award brand new 2LT bars to newly minted U.S. Army Officers this past spring, as part of the commissioning ceremonies.
Most important, however, was the award of our annual scholarship. Each year, we hold a board to consider outstanding JROTC cadets in their final year of high school, for award of a modest $1,000 grant toward their 1st year of post-secondary education. We were so thrilled with the candidates this year that we awarded two grants, $1,000 and $500. While this may seem like a drop in the bucket for college expenses, we all know that every little bit helps, and our recipients this year were most appreciative. We have made a concerted effort to replenish the scholarship fund, through raffles at our regular meetings. We also sent an appeal to national members in our area, informing them of the fund; explaining the cause with the help of a testimonial from a former recipient, and asking for their support. We rate the initiative successful. We not only added several hundred dollars to our fund, as a result, but were also thrilled to have 3 couples join us at our annual summer picnic.
All told, we rate this as a successful year. We continue to look for innovative ways to connect with our fellow officers, expand our network, and continue the important support to our young men and women in ROTC. I am certain I speak for all members of the Greater Cleveland Chapter when I say that it is truly an honor to “Never Stop Serving”.
Greetings from the Central Ohio Chapter (COC) - MOAA
This is my first submission to the State Council Website as the COC President. In asking the Council President if he had any suggestions for article subjects, he told me Chapter Presidents and Council Officers usually write about subjects not normally part of either Quarterly Reports to the Council nor subjects posted to Chapter web pages. I chose to combine two subjects which are always worth highlighting: great organizations and great people.
The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame falls into the category of being a great organization. The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame was formed in 1992. It recognizes the efforts of Ohio’s distinguished men and women who have worn the uniform of our nation’s armed forces and then continued to contribute to their communities, state, and nation through exceptional acts of volunteerism, advocacy, professional distinction, public service and philanthropy. The Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame includes captains of industry, professional educators, political champions and civic supporters. Honorees include some of Ohio’s most recognized citizens including astronaut Neil Armstrong, actor Paul Newman, business entrepreneur and philanthropist R. David Thomas, and surgeon and inventor Dr. Henry Heimlich. The program is not intended to focus on what Ohio military members accomplished while in uniform but rather what has occurred in their lives outside of and beyond their military service.
Now that I’ve talked a little about a great organization, I’ll talk about some really great people. A committee of veterans serves as advisor for the Hall of Fame and selects up to twenty inductees annually from nominations solicited from all citizens of Ohio throughout the year. Men and women chosen for this honor come from all eras, all branches of service, and all walks of life. The 2018 class of inductees includes another superb member of the COC. Army Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Joseph A. Machado was one of twenty selected in the 2018 class. The induction ceremony will be held on 8 November 2018. Additional information about the ceremony may be obtained from the Hall of Fame website at: www.ovhoff.com.
Joe is our most recent inductee; but prior to Joe, inductees from the COC include: John C. McCoy, Colonel, USAF (Retired); Ronald Pusatari, Colonel, USAF (Retired); and Pete Wilkinson, Colonel, USAF (Retired). We also have two Chapter members who were inducted prior to their joining our Chapter. These are Nora K. Noble, Colonel, USAF (Retired) and Cyril Sedlacko, USA & Ohio Army National Guard (Retired). In addition to these superb Veterans being recognized for their continued work after having distinguished military careers, we have two Chapter members who serve on the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Board. These two members are Pete Wilkinson, Colonel, USAF (Retired) and Victor Wilson, Lieutenant Colonel, Ohio Air National Guard.
Each person I’ve mentioned above has not only provided great service to the country while in uniform, but they live the credo of “Never Stop Serving.” They continually provide exceptional service to the COC as well as service to the numerous other organizations with which they are affiliated (and there are many).
Tommy H. Roberson
COL, USA (ret)
President, Central Ohio Chapter.
20 - 22 September 2019
Heads up to all MOAA Ohio Council of Chapters members within Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, the 2019 MOAA Ohio Council of Chapters State Convention is coming. Mark your calendars. This great event will take place 20 - 22 September 2019 at the Quality Inn Hotel Conference Center Cincinnati Blue Ash, 5901 Pfeiffer Road, Cincinnati. (just off I-71, one exit south of I-275.) I know the Greater Cincinnati Chapter is pleased to host this year’s convention and they are working hard to make it a success.
We are very fortunate to have Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, USAF, Retired, President and CEO of MOAA as the keynote speaker at the convention dinner. COL Terri Coles, USA, Retired, Director of the MOAA Chapter will also be attending and present a program at the OCC meeting. It’ll be a great time for all and we hope you will be there to enjoy the convention with us.
The complete agenda, times and other convention information will be forth coming, so look for it at your chapters, and at the OCC website. We are about ten months out, so make your plans now. Our participation is essential for the success of the 2019 OCC Convention. The hard work of the Greater Cincinnati Chapter deserves our universal support. The success of any convention depends on the attendance of the members of that organization. Show that you care about MOAA and the Ohio Council.
See you at the 2019 MOAA Ohio Council of Chapters State Convention in Cincinnati!!
At the last Ohio Council meeting there was much discussion and varied opinions as to how a Surviving Spouse becomes a MOAA member. Basically, the answer starts with which category of MOAA membership the deceased member (spouse) held.
Starting with the Surviving Spouse of a deceased MOAA LIFE MEMBER:
When a MOAA Life Member passes away, all of the benefits of Life Membership are passed to the Surviving Spouse! The Surviving Spouse is automatically eligible to be a Surviving Spouse Life Member of MOAA. There is NO additional cost to the Surviving Spouse Life Member. He/She has all the benefits available to all Life Members of MOAA.
NOTE: The Surviving Spouse of a Life Member has the option to become a Surviving Spouse Life Member. MOAA HQ must be notified of the Surviving Spouses desire to become a member of MOAA.
HQ MOAA suggests that the Surviving Spouses decision to join or not join be made when MOAA is notified of the member’s passing. Obviously it would make sense for the local chapter to inquire, discreetly of the Surviving Spouses intentions and report them to HQ MOAA when making the report of the members passing.
When a MOAA Premium Member passes away, the Surviving Spouse has the option to join MOAA as a Premium member by applying at the MOAA website (www.moaa.org) or calling the MOAA contact numbers ((800) 234-6622 or (703) 549-231). The Surviving Spouse Premium Member has the option of buying a one, two or three year membership, at a discounted rate.
The Surviving Spouse of a Premium Member may also join as a Life Member by paying the Life Member fee, depending on their age. They will then enjoy all the Life Membership benefits offered by MOAA.
When a MOAA Basic Member passes away, the Surviving Spouse has the option to Join MOAA as a Premium member by applying for Premium Membership and paying the Premium Membership fee (same as above). The Surviving Spouse also has the option to join as a life member by paying the applicable Life Membership fee (same as above).
Please Note: There is NO membership category known as “SURVIVING SPOUSE BASIC MEMBERSHIP”!
A major issue with the Surviving Spouse program is that most Surviving Spouses have NO idea or clue of the MOAA membership and benefits available to them as a Surviving Spouse!! MOAA members, it’s your responsibility to make sure your spouse is aware of their MOAA membership opportunities…… Don’t assume someone or something will tell them what’s available to them after you pass on!
If you should have any questions please contact me at ….firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bill Keller, CAPT, USN
Ohio Council of Chapters
Last Updated: September 16th, 2019