Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter. View previous editions of Council and Chapter News here.
Nominate Your Surviving Spouse Liaison!
Nominations for the 2018 Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award are due by Aug. 15.
The deadline for council and chapter leaders to nominate their affiliate’s surviving spouse liaison for MOAA’s Surviving Spouse Liaison Excellence Award is Aug. 15. The award is given to a surviving spouse liaison who is a MOAA member and who has made outstanding contributions in one or more of the following Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee (SSAC) goals: educate, encourage, and engage.
To nominate your affiliate’s outstanding surviving spouse liaison, complete the criteria and nomination form (available for download at www.moaa.org/survivors) and email it to email@example.com. Please note a former SSAC member must wait three years after leaving the committee before he or she can be nominated for the award.
Members of MOAA's SSAC will review the nominations and select an awardee.
Final Call for Legislative Chair Award Nominations
Councils and chapters have until July 31 to nominate their legislative chair/liaison for the 2018 award.
The Colonel Steve Strobridge Legislative Chair/Liaison Award recognizes one MOAA council or chapter legislative chair/liaison who has demonstrated superior service in support of the national and/or state legislative agenda. Download the full award criteria and nomination form. Send questions and submit the completed nomination form and recommendation letter by July 31 to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will be recognized during MOAA’s annual meeting in Phoenix this fall.
Surviving Spouse Corner: 10 Tips for Taking a Road Trip Alone
If you’re planning a solo road trip, these tips can help make it successful and rewarding.
By Gail Joyce, Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee member
Traveling alone is not something military spouses usually experience. But when we find ourselves living alone and the desire to travel is still there, what do you do?
Of course, you can join a tour group or find a family member or close friend to travel with you. But that doesn’t always work out.
The following tips can give you confidence and provide for a successful and rewarding trip when traveling solo:
- Research and plan. Choose a destination. Look at a paper map. Plan a tentative route — which always is subject to change as your trip evolves. GPS can be helpful, but it does not always know best, and it really helps to get the big picture — instead of the little chunks you get on your GPS. Check out driving time/driving distance to places along your chosen route. I use Travelmath and have found times/distances usually are accurate.
- Get your car checked and serviced prior to leaving. Make sure tires are good, fluids are full, and the AC is working!
- Know your strengths and weaknesses. For example, I really enjoy driving and I have a good sense of direction. But I get sleepy in mid- to late -afternoon. Plus, I do not like to drive after dark. Therefore, I plan my drive time for about five-hour days, and I prefer to leave early in the day. I also like to take recorded books along to help pass the time. They are available at any Cracker Barrel along the way.
- Make hotel reservations. If you leave that to last-minute decisions, you might find yourself on the road late at night without a place to stay. Staying at a bed-and-breakfast is always a good choice as it might give you an opportunity to meet some fellow travelers.
- Use mealtime to relax and meet other travelers. Talk to strangers and smile. Coffee shops and restaurants with communal tables and/or a bar are environments that often encourage conversation. Put away your phone. Take a book with you; it’s always good for a conversation starter. Ask for suggestions from locals on what to do and where to go or ask directions. They usually are very helpful and friendly.
- Do something you normally would not do. Try a zip-line, a river-rafting trip, a cooking class, or a local art/craft class. Tours are wonderful ways to be with other people. You have one thing in common — the reason you are on the tour!
- Take a lot of pictures. Use social media as a diary for your trip. This is great for staying in touch with everyone. They will see how well you are doing and that you are safe and having a good time.
- Leave a copy of your itinerary with friends and family.
- Make a list of your emergency contact information.
- Be curious about where you are, who you meet, and things you see along the way.
Tell Us About Your Recent Chapter Activities!
The October issue of Military Officer will include expanded coverage of MOAA council and chapter activities. Email high-resolution photos with caption information and short articles about your affiliate’s activities — community-service projects, advocacy efforts, fundraisers, award ceremonies, etcetera — so we can showcase your hard work. Send submissions by July 20 to Contributing Editor Blair Drake at email@example.com.
Get Newsletter Content From National MOAA
Need some content to supplement your chapter’s newsletter? The White Label Template includes information, articles, and helpful tips from national MOAA that already are formatted for inclusion in your newsletter. The content is updated every month to ensure you are receiving timely, relevant information.
From the Field
The Pittsburgh Chapter celebrated the 100th birthday of Maj. Scipio White, USA (Ret), at its June chapter meeting. White was drafted in July 1941 and served in the South Pacific in 1944. He retired in August 1978 with 37 years of service. White received a certificate acknowledging his 100th birthday signed by MOAA President and CEO Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins USAF (Ret). In addition, the Pittsburgh Chapter made a $100 contribution to the MOAA Scholarship Fund in White’s honor.
The Green Valley (Ariz.) Chapter’s auxiliary group, the Knit Wits, recently donated handmade baby blankets and full-size afghans to five local homeless veterans who were expecting babies. Throughout the year, the group gets together to knit lap and large blankets for hospitalized veterans and other veterans’ groups. To make it extra special and allow the new moms to pamper themselves, the Knit Wits added body lotions and some other grooming items. Other members provided diapers, wipes, baby shampoo, clothing, and laundry baskets.
The Coastal Carolina (N.C.) Chapter held its annual scholarship dinner May 24 at the Flame Restaurant. The chapter awarded $1,000 scholarships to five local students: Matthew Bonacci, Evelyn Ferry, Brandon Hunter, David Lynch, and Audriana Puente. Member donations as well as a raffle program fund the scholarships.
The Dover (Del.) Chapter recently awarded $8,500 in college scholarships to five graduating Junior ROTC (JROTC) cadets in Kent County. Award criteria was based on academic performance, JROTC accomplishments, community service, and financial need. The recipients are Marine Corps JROTC Cadet Destiny Marshall from the First State Military Academy ($1,500); Air Force JROTC Cadet Paige Raymond from Caesar Rodney High School ($2,500 Col. George Findlay Scholarship); and Air Force JROTC Cadets Jose Colon-Silva, Soohan Kim, and Michael Desmond-Klim all from Dover High School ($1,500 each)
The Northeastern Wisconsin Chapter recently celebrated its 60th anniversary. CW5 Randy Hansen, USA, (Ret), who served on national MOAA’s board of directors from 2002-08 presented a MOAA 60th anniversary certificate to the chapter. In addition to remarks from Hansen, the event included a cake-cutting. Maj. Gen. Dan Ammerman, USAR, director of U.S. Army Reserve Affairs and commander, Joint Transportation Reserve Affairs, was the guest of honor.