Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter. View previous editions of Council and Chapter News here.
Updated Military State Report Card and Tax Guide
MOAA’s Military State Report Card and Tax Guidecan be a valuable tool for chapters in their state advocacy efforts. The online color-coded maps assess each state on the taxability of military retired pay and survivor benefits and whether or not states have enacted legislation addressing servicemember and military family issues tracked by the Defense State Liaison Office. MOAA Transition Services recently updated the information to reflect changes in state policies over the past few months. View the maps at www.moaa.org/statereportcard.
Maryland Council Hosts Congressional Delegation
The Maryland Council of Chapters held its eighth annual congressional luncheon Sept. 26 on Capitol Hill.
Eight of 10 members of Maryland’s congressional delegation attended the Maryland Council of Chapters’ Congressional Appreciation Luncheon Wednesday, Sept. 26 in Washington, D.C. Their remarks testified to the effectiveness of local chapter advocacy efforts and revealed their legislative priorities for the military community.
“It’s a great privilege to hear the stories of veterans and think about the things I can do as a legislator to help [you],” Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) told the assembled group of Maryland chapter members. “Most of the legislation I’ve done related to veterans came from stories I heard from them. We need to know the things that matter to you and the people you represent.”
Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) implored chapter members to continue advocating for servicemembers and veterans. “[Advocacy] is more important now than it’s ever been because there are more fiscal constraints,” Sarbanes said. “Policy these days tends to get made on the fly; things can drop in and out of the bill during the process. That’s why the advocacy you bring is so important.”
Read more about the event, including additional comments from legislators in attendance.
Chapters Leading Locally
MOAA chapters serve as ambassadors in their communities, supporting and leading local impactful programs. Check out the special 19-page section in the October issue of Military Officer highlighting the outstanding efforts of your fellow MOAA chapter members.
Tell Us About Your Veterans Day Activities
Is your chapter participating in a Veterans Day ceremony or event in your community? If so, national MOAA wants to hear about it. Send an email by Nov. 7 to Contributing Editor Blair Drake at firstname.lastname@example.org explaining what your chapter has planned to honor the nation’s veterans.
Surviving Spouse Corner: Experiences From An Overseas Assignment
A member of the Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee shares memories from her favorite military assignment.
By Sharon A. DeVaney, Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee
An overseas assignment can be a wonderful experience. One of our favorite locations was a small base in England. My husband’s role was installation commander and commander of an engineering unit that could deploy and establish a site complete with landing strip. This took place from 1986-89.
I was not planning to work during this assignment. However, the principal of the school system at our new base learned I had the certification and teaching experience that was needed, and I was offered a job. For the next three years, I taught six classes every day with one planning period.
Because the base had more enlisted personnel than officers, we had a consolidated spouses’ club, which held monthly meetings with a variety of guest speakers. The wife of one of the mayors of a neighboring city owned a women’s clothing store, so with her support, the spouses’ club presented three fashion shows that were open to the public.
The Anglo American club was another highlight. A retired British business man (with a military background) and my spouse cochaired the club. The chairman and his wife invited base residents to a Sunday afternoon garden party at their home. Another special event was the George Washington Ball held annually in February. The first year, we encouraged our first sergeant and his wife to rent costumes and attend as George and Martha Washington. Our British and American guests loved it.
Our chaplain arranged for bus trips to events in London. My husband’s favorite was a Roger Whittaker concert. A very memorable occasion for me was “finding” the locations of John Constable paintings.
When the spouses’ club honored me with a farewell tea, we met at the Tea Cottage in our neighboring village. The staff served freshly baked scones, strawberry preserves with clotted cream, and tea. Our three years passed quickly and it was difficult to say good-bye to our friends on base and in the community.
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From the Field
MOAA chapters give back to their communities through fundraising efforts, community-service projects, scholarship programs, and other initiatives. Here are some recent activities.
- Six officers and board members of the Mid-Missouri Chapterprepared and served dinner to 30 veterans at Welcome Home in Columbia, Mo., Sept. 7. Welcome Home is the only veterans’ shelter in Missouri. Though the chapter annually makes a monetary donation to the shelter, this was the first time members volunteered there. The chapter plans to continue serving meals at Welcome Home; opportunities to volunteer will be offered to the full chapter membership at the chapter’s next quarterly meeting.
- TheNortheastern Wisconsin Chapter hosted its fifth annual Veterans Benefit Golf Outing July 9. Near 140 golfers participated in the tournament, which raised about $80,000 to assist veterans. The event also included a dinner, donor appreciation gifts, a silent auction and a raffle. The chapter distributed proceeds from the golf tournament and its Veterans Benefit Fund Sept. 13 to six veterans’ support organizations.
- On Sept. 11, the Charlotte-Metrolina (N.C.) Chapter participated in a military hiring event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. In addition to the chapter being an event sponsor, members volunteered on the welcoming committee, serving as greeters and identifying potential mentees from the transitioning veterans attending the event.