Southwest Oklahoma Chapter

Address PO Box 2183
City, State, Zip Lawton, OK 73502-2183
Meeting Time bi-monthly
Meeting Place Various Local Locations
Council Website http:\\www.okmoaa.org

President

Name Edward A Petersen III
Rank Lt Col
Service USAF
Component USAF
Retirement Status RET
Phone Number (580) 536-3510
Email Address e.petersen@sbcglobal.net

Webmaster

Name Sammy L Coffman
Rank COL
Service USA
Component USA
Retirement Status RET
Phone Number (580) 492-6406
Email Address samcoffman@tds.net

Membership Chair

Name James F McClary
Rank LTC
Service USA
Component USA
Retirement Status RET
Phone Number (580) 713-3223
Email Address jimmc15@hughes.net

Mission

The mission of the MOAA Chapter is to benefit the members of the uniformed services, their families and survivors and to advocate for a strong national defense, while providing needed support to the community and its members. Our Chapter goals: 100% Exemption for retired military pay from state income tax. Seek to increase scholarships awards. Support National MOAA objectives. Seek to improve services provided for military personnel. Seek speakers to speak on civic and military items. Strive to increase participation by military widows and to get the word out as to what is available. Led by the Auxiliary, staff a Military Welcome Center at the Lawton-Fort Sill Airport.

Information on Joining the Chapter

Membership in the MOAA Chapter is open to anyone who holds or has ever held a commission or warrant in any component of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Public Health Service or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and their surviving spouses. Local Dues are $20 per year. For more information contact MAJ (R) Bill Whisenant at (580) 695-6986 or billwhiz@lawtonnet.net. Our Chapter also has an active Auxiliary. Contact Mrs. Sue Burpo, suddb@aol.com, or 580 357-7585 for more information.

Chapter Activities

In 2008 the Chapter funded a $25,000 MOAA national scholarship. Thanks to the 55 members who contributed, including our very generous anonymous donor, our fourth national endowed scholarship is funded. 2014 National awardees are: Colleen Gaasbeck, Lawton; Sarah Livsey, Cache; Katherine Qualls, Edmond; and Matthew Wilhelm, Greenville, MI. Chapter supported five $1,000 scholarships for graduating high school seniors. 2014 Chapter Scholarships awardees: Brenna Burris, Fletcher HS; Ashley Donovan, Lawton HS; Secilia Ramirez, Lawton HS; Alexander Moore, Elgin HS; Bailey Pelletier, Navajo HS. The chapter supports four JROTC programs, three locally in Lawton, one at Altus, and the ROTC program at Cameron University. The Auxiliary and the Lawton Fort Sill Armed Services YMCA opened a Military Welcome Center at the Lawton-Fort Sill Airport in 2011 with the Grand Opening, 23 April 2012.

Legislative Issues

The MOAA Chapter supports the MOAA national legislative agenda and we annually invite our State Representative and Senators to speak to the chapter. The chapter is also active in supporting the state council in various state veterans' issues. The Chapter initiated the state exemption of military retirement. Initially we achieved a 50% or $10,000 whichever is greater tax exemption. The Chapter then achieved our current tax exemption of 75% or $10,000 whichever is greater is tax exempt.

General Information

Chapter luncheon meetings are held on the second Wednesday every other month except for July (Jan, Mar, May, and Sep). We meet once a year at the VA Center and donate the proceeds. Meetings normally are an hour long with a guest speaker. November's meeting is held in the evening at the Patriot Club. It is to elect Chapter Officers and Board of Directors.

About Our Chapter

The MOAA Chapter was chartered in 2001 and serves the southwest part of the state. We immediately became the largest Chapter in Oklahoma with over 200 members the first year. Chapter luncheon meetings are held on the second Wednesday every other month (Jan, Mar, May, Sep) except for July. The chapter ended 2014 with 156 members made up of currently serving, former and retired officers, their survivors and veterans. Our goal for 2015 is 200 members. The chapter also has an active auxiliary consisting of wives of members and widows. Our 2015 slate of Chapter Officers: 2015 President–LTC(R) Ed Peterson; 1st Vice-President-LTC(R)Tom Bell; 2nd Vice-President–Army Veteran Marilyn Janosko, Secretary–MAJ(R)Leighton Duitsman; Treasurer–Marine LtCol(R) Larry Lane, Directors, COL(R)Sam Coffman, MAJ(R) Bill Whisenant, COL(R) Bill Furtado, CW5 Robert Whigham, Army Veteran Dave Menge, COL(R)Gil Schumpert and Past President–COL(R) Janosko.