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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 2020

The Ohio Council of Chapters enjoyed a very successful 2019 and 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. Last April we joined with National MOAA to “Storming The Hill.” Visiting each office of Ohio Congressional delegation (two senators and sixteen representatives), wherein we presented MOAA’s position to support the interests of America’s uniformed service members and their families. Of interest and importance was the elimination of the unfair “Widow’s Tax.” Our endeavors paid off when the elimination of the “Widow’s Tax was placed in the Defense Authorization Act pass in late and signed by President Trump 2019. The Council and all six chapters earned MOAA Five-Star Level of Excellence (LOE) awards. Additionally, all chapters and the Council received Five-Star Col Marvin J. Harris Communications Awards for newsletters and websites. Great Accomplishments

We continue to actively support numerous state legislative issues at affecting our military population, particularly allowing military members assigned to Ohio to receive in state tuition while attending state universities and colleges as well as recognizing Military training and duty when applying for states licenses and certifications.

The Council held an outstanding convention in Cincinnati hosted by the Greater Cincinnati Chapter in September 2019. Many interesting speakers presenting topics of great importance to our members. The capstone was presentation of the MOAA Levels of Excellence Awards to all chapters by Lieutenant General Dana Atkins, President and CEO of MOAA and keynote speech by Congressman Brad Wenstrup, USAR Colonel and MOAA member. It was a great time. I believe the Council and its Chapters are active in promoting the mission and focus of MOAA. We continue all do are part to ensure America’s uniform services and their members receive the fair and just treatment worthy of their service. We will "Storm The Hill" again in March addressing those issues that affect Ohio's military community. Finally, I solicit all of our members to make a point to visit and experience the National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus.

We are excited about 2020 and what it brings. I encourage everyone to stay involved at the chapter and council level; welcome new members and volunteer you time and energy to improve America’s uniforms service and our veterans. As the MOAA motto states:

Never Stop Serving
Roderick A. Hosler
Lieutenant Colonel, USAF, Retired
President, Ohio Council of Chapters.


February 2021

Greetings from the Ohio Western Reserve Chapter (OWRC)

As a member of the Ohio Western Reserve Chapter and a surviving spouse, I am deeply honored to having been elected as President of our chapter for the next two years. We are a very active chapter. We are proud MOAA members and wear and carry the banner of Never Stop Serving slogan. Many of our members have been actively involved in the Ohio Council of Chapter (OCC) functions from president (past and present) to secretary/treasurer (past and present). We are maintaining a strong presence in our geographical area in Northeastern Ohio. While we have members living in four and possibly five congressional districts, we only actively support two, that of Congressman Bob Gibbs (District 7) and Congressman Anthony Gonzalez (District 16). We routinely communicate with the staffs of these representatives and extend invitations to our meetings and social events throughout the year. At this time we are commutating with both representatives’ staff to secure one or both Congressmen will be able attend our annual “Steak and Corn Roast” outing in mid-August. This will be one of our first gatherings since the onset of the COVID pandemic struck down all gatherings throughout the state and nation. That situation has not quelled our attempts to keep the chapter together. We have actively conducted and participated in virtual meetings each month of the past year and are continuing to do so through April, 2021. During the past year, we have offered and shared some of our broad spectrum of programs (zoom meeting topics have had a broad range of interest beyond our geographic boundaries) with other chapters near us and a MOAA sister chapter in Michigan, the Capitol Area Chapter (CAC) in Lansing, MI. They have shared programs, meetings and ideas with our chapter OWRC. The friendship has proven the beginning of a strong commitment in supporting each other’s goals and objectives for each chapter.

There are a number of areas where our chapter has excelled. The first is generating and producing a top notch monthly newsletter, The Briefing Board. Our publisher, Janet Oglesby (Surviving Spouse) is a professional graphic designer and educator. We cannot thank her enough for her excellent work and dedication in making our newsletter one of the best! Secondly, is our support of the JROTC and ROTC programs in the Akron/Kent communities. Several of our members (Donald Bratton, Tom Luczynski, Thomas Harden, Jack Harig, and Dan O’Connell) are diligently working to keep interest and support for our young JROTC and ROTC cadets and their schools’ programs. The limitations imposed by the pandemic has drastically impacted these programs, but several schools have remained “open” and our OWRC members have been able to visit, frequently, to lend help and support. Thirdly, our membership Chair, Ron Smetana is diligently working with MOAA national in locating potential chapter members in our area and making personal contact with these new members. Fourth, is our legislative affairs officer, John Anderson, who has been working non-stop keeping members abreast of significant issues MOAA has deemed critical for our retired military officers and their families. Fifth, is the chapter leadership in the first and second VP positions of Andy Emanuele and Tom Luczynski. Together they are providing great backup support and advice to my office as President of our chapter. Sixth, is our planning committee for monthly activities. Dick Calta, Jack Harig, Andy Emanuele and Dick Riegler, while filling other valuable roles in our chapter, they routinely participate in arranging and disseminating the virtual zoom link to members, making arrangements/reservations for visitations at facilities, planning and ordering food to set-up and dismantlement of facilities after an event. In this realm, we are planning and ready to begin our face-to-face meetings in May. The chapter’s last celebration is Dan Hahn. He is our champion, advisor, and chapter historian. He is always pushing to make our members strive for excellence, many times in uncharted waters.

Respectfully
Lynda L Farkas
President, OWRC.


March 2021

The Importance of Military Chaplins

This article is titled “The Importance of Military Chaplains”. It is seven years old. In the lead sentences, it references a New York Times article from 2011. The point I wish to make is that no matter how old the article is, it is still as relevant today as it was when it was written. In the article, there is reference to a documentary titled “Chaplains under Fire”. If you have time, watch it. It is very enlightening.

In honor of Military Chaplains Week, we take a look at all that military chaplains do for soldiers—from prayer to counseling and more. By Rick Hamlin Posted in Military Outreach Stories, May 20, 2014

Not long ago there was an article in The New York Times (2011-04-27) about soldiers looking to have atheist military chaplains in the armed forces.

An atheist chaplain? Isn't that a contradiction in terms? And come to think of it, what does a military chaplain do anyway? "It's a tremendous opportunity to portray the generosity of God to others, not the stinginess," says recently retired Army chaplain Col. Ken Sampson. "Just by your very presence and the symbol you wear on your collar, you're making a significant reminder of that which is holy." Those symbols could be a cross, a crescent, a tablet of laws, a wheel for the Buddhist chaplain.

A good chaplain gets to know his troops and makes him or herself available. If a soldier has a personal matter, she can go to the chaplain and blow off steam, complain, ask for counseling, get another point of view and, yes, get spiritual help. But wouldn't a good counselor do just as well?

"Not necessarily," says Lee Lawrence, a writer and filmmaker who with her colleague spent three months in Iraq and Afghanistan to make their award-winning documentary Chaplains Under Fire (https://www.inhisserviceandyours.com). "The relationship with a counselor would have to be a lot more formalized. And it wouldn't have the same confessional protection."

A soldier is more likely to talk to a chaplain, knowing what he says can't be shared. "Of course you're going to point out some options where that person can go to get help," says Chaplain Sampson. "But on the front lines, when a soldier doesn't have the options, you're like a social worker, spiritual advisor and family therapist all wrapped into one."

Chaplains are required to minister to all, no matter what a soldier's faith or non-faith. "If a chaplain is well loved and open to all, people don't feel excluded by any language he uses," says Lawrence. "I've heard chaplains say to a group, "I'm going to conclude this prayer in my tradition, you can conclude it in yours' and no one seemed to be offended or feel excluded."

Because a chaplain is an officer although not in the chain of command, he's in a special position. The commanding officer can go to him to get a sense of what the troops are thinking, but he can also advise the officer. "I remember meeting a Navy chaplain," says Lawrence, "who was the one person onboard ship who could and would tell the captain that he was being too strict."

Before Lawrence made the documentary, she wasn't sure that we should have any religious personnel in the armed forces. She is far more convinced of the chaplains' value now. "One chaplain told me, 'I don't think any war is just, but as long as we're sending young people out there then I want them to have spiritual support.' That's closer to how I feel now."

"If a soldier wants to pray with me, I make it clear that yes, I'm a Protestant and I approach life from the perspective of a triune God, but I will pray with them no matter what their tradition," says Sampson. "Once or twice in my 28 years have I ever had someone refuse. It's sacred, that trust placed in you."

The Guideposts Foundation supports our military chaplains. I am hardly unbiased. It's a dreadful thing to have to send anyone off to war, but as long as soldiers are in combat, I want them to have all the spiritual support they can.

Submitted by John Anderson
OCC Secretary


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


July 2018

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.

Miami University NROTC. L to R: MIDN Engel, MIDN Haynes, CAPT Drefahl, MIDN Taylor

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.


Some of the guests at the 2017 Dining Out, Center Rear is our Guest of Honor Congressman (OH-2) COL Brad Wenstrup, DPM, USAR, Iraqi War Veteran

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
CAPT, USN, Retired        and        CAPT, USPHS, Active


August 2019

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”.

/R
Bart Stovicek
COL, USA, Retired
Greater Cleveland Chapter, MOAA
216-857-0444

September 2018

This article is specific to military retirees. If you are active duty and looking for more information on FEDVIP, please read this article.

You've probably heard TRICARE's Retiree Dental Program (TRDP) will cease coverage Dec. 31. You might have heard you will not be automatically enrolled in a new dental plan. However, if you were covered under TRDP, you are eligible to enroll in dental coverage through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).

If you have TRDP and wish to maintain dental coverage in 2019, you must take action between Nov. 12 and Dec. 10. That four-week window from November to December, known as Open Season, gives you the opportunity to enroll in the dental plan that will meet your needs in 2019. Are you ready for Open Season? Here's one place to start.

Additionally, retirees and their families who are currently covered by a TRICARE health plan are eligible to enroll in vision coverage through FEDVIP.

Visit the BENEFEDSwebsite to explore your options for selecting dental and vision plans. MOAA recommends you start researching the numerous options for dental and vision plans you can enroll in during Open Season. Don't miss this opportunity to start deciding what will benefit you in 2019!

The BENEFEDS website is easy to navigate and provides a plethora of information on each plan. Below the welcome message, there are three links to help you decide where to go next. I'd recommend starting with Retirees. Click the Learn More option then the blue View Full Article option. On this subpage you can find information on the dental changes, a new vision option, preparation tips, and enrollment information.

By clicking this link “Compare current 2018 plans and rates” (link also available on the BENEFEDS site under the How to prepare section), you'll have access to the FEDVIP Plan Comparison Tool.

You'll open FEDVIP Plan Comparison Tool, which is a blue box under the subheading of the same name, and select which program type you want to compare (dental or vision), enter your zip code (yes, just like TRDP - where you live determines premium structure), and how frequently you intend to make payments.

Test Comparisons

In my test, I found that a retiree, with a spouse, in Alexandria, Va., has a choice of 13 plans ranging from a low of $36.14 a month up to $107.92 per month. That's quite a disparity in premiums! Well, you're not done. Each plan has a “View Details” link that will provide you with some of that plan's finer points, plus there is a link to a .pdf file with the actual plan brochure from the provider - the “small print.”

As a comparison, the cheaper plan (Dominion Dental, HMO) has $0 deductible per person, covers 100 percent for Class A (basic) services with a $10 per patient co-pay, 56 percent for Class B (Intermediate) services plus a $10 per patient co-pay, and 40-percent co-pay for Class C (Major) services plus a $10 per patient co-pay. There is no annual maximum benefit under this plan. Finally, you can only use this plan “In Network.”

At the high end (Delta Dental, PPO), there's a $50 deductible per person, but 100-percent/90-percent coverage (In/Out Network) for Class A services, 70 percent/60 percent for Class B services, and 50 percent/40 percent for Class C services. The annual maximum benefit per person is $30,000/$3000 (In/Out).

This family also would have to choose from eight vision plans ranging from $12.76 to $28.90 per month.

By comparison, a retiree in Jacksonville, Fla., would have to choose from 11 dental plans ranging from $42.79 to $92.80 per month.

Keep in mind, these comparisons are for the 2018 plan year, which ends Dec. 31. Plan information will be updated in October, according to BENEFEDS. Sign up for your BENEFEDS account today and use their comparison tool to start researching the best plan(s) for you and your family.

Intimidated by the abundance of choices being offered? Join MOAA's financial and benefits experts, Lt. Col. Shane Ostrom, USAF (Ret), CFP®, and Capt. Paul Frost, USN (Ret), AFC®, for a detailed FEDVIP webinar on Oct. 9, 2018. Shane and Paul will demonstrate “How to Shop for a Plan” - going through the details of how to compare the different options that each plan provides. Are you more comfortable with a higher premium with lower co-pays or vice versa? Is orthodonture coverage important for your family? This webinar's registration will be available in mid-September, but you can track all MOAA Career and Education events here MOAA Events. Also, stay tuned for our Facebook Live town hall, hosted by MOAA's Health Affairs advocate Capt. Kathy Beasley, USN (Ret), FACHE, with a guest speaker from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the human resources management office. A date for the Facebook Live town hall will be announced after the 2019 plan rates are available in October.

Walter Rey
CDR, USN


October 2020

Greetings from the Central Ohio Chapter (COC) - MOAA

“The Central Ohio Chapter of MOAA recently put in place our Foundation which is supporting our programs through tax deductible contributions. The ROTC liason program communicates with ROTC detachment commanders to improve communication and evaluate assistance to future leaders in need. The Foundation funds several scholarships to selected cadets and midshipmen.

“The program director for Adopt a Service Member has continued our monthly program of sending care packages to those deployed overseas in Kuwait, Afghanistan, and other locations. The Personal Affairs director provided many booklets from MOAA and sent out get-well and sympathy cards to our members. She is also mentoring the new Surviving Spouse director who is providing advice and assistance to surviving spouses who are navigating their difficult transitions.

“In 2020, due to the COVID-19 crisis, our financial support for Veteran’s Court, Honor Flight, and the Franklin County/Licking County Veteran Stand-Downs was not required. The funds are held pending the start back up of these programs.”

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


November 2018

MOAA Ohio Council of Chapters Convention
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!!



December 2020

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. Although we have met at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna, we have been forced to move to another location because of the China COVID-19 Virus restrictions. The chapter has moved to a series of venues to safety meet. Our current meeting location is A La Cart Catering in Canfield, Ohio. The chapter has safely met since June with a series of informative speakers to include: Captain Amy Soileau, a member of the Commander’s Action Group, U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM), via a video connection and provided an overview of USSPACECOM, mission, history, and organization; Mr. Carl Schneider, Director of the Youngstown VA Clinic, mission and organization. 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 (LTC Michael Wisnewski, USA, Ret.) and website (Bruce Bille, former LT, USN). Chapter members LTC Rod Hosler (USA, Ret.) serve as President, LT Al Lind as the Secretary/Treasurer and LT Florence Hosler the Surviving Spouse Liaison of the Ohio Council of Chapters.

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 Gold Bars, branch colors, an Officer’s Guides and membership in the chapter.

Although some restrictions have been put in place for participating in local activities, Chapter members actively engage in speaking at Memorial Day and Veterans Day program. Placing flags on local Veterans’ and supporting abbreviated local Memorial Day programs. The Mahoning and Shenango Valleys Chapter continues to amplifies the MOAA motto, “Never Stop Serving.”

Florence M. Hosler
LT, USN, (Former)
President, MSVC-MOAA





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Last Updated: April 18th, 2021