August 2018 Council and Chapter News

Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter. View previous editions of Council and Chapter News here.

August 2018


Levels of Excellence Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to the 2018 Levels of Excellence (LOE) Award winners! These awards signify the very best council and chapter affiliates in our organization. We received 167 submissions, with 139 receiving five-star honors and 26 receiving four-star honors. Visit MOAA's website to learn more about the award and to view the list of award-winning councils and chapters. We will post the LOE best practices in the coming weeks.



Visit Your Legislators During August Recess

Each August, legislators return to their home districts and meet with constituents. Council and chapter leaders are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to meet with their elected officials. Go to get information about contacting your elected officials, review fact sheets, and find talking points on key issues.



Help Register Voters in Your State

National Voter Registration Day — Tuesday, Sept. 25 — is a great community outreach project for MOAA councils and chapters.


National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) is a national holiday celebrating our democracy. It first was observed in 2012 and has been growing in popularity. In 2016, NVRD partners engaged almost 10,000 volunteers, including many celebrities, who registered more than 750,000 voters. On Tuesday, Sept. 25, volunteers and organizations from across the U.S. will “hit the streets” once again in a single day of coordinated field, technology, and media efforts.


Every year, millions of Americans find themselves unable to vote because they miss a registration deadline, don’t update their registration, or aren’t sure how to register. As a top national advocate for military and veteran families, MOAA believes you, through your vote, are your most powerful advocate. MOAA is a proud NVRD Premier Partner and the only military service organization on the NVRD National Steering Committee.


NVRD offers MOAA councils and chapters a wonderful opportunity to participate in this highly visible community outreach effort. It costs nothing, can be set up with just a few clicks online, and can be accomplished on the day of the event with a handful of volunteers sitting at a table at your local supermarket or coffee shop. The NVRD staff even will send you a free marketing kit with signage and instructions about how to register voters in your state. Post your photos on your chapter Facebook page, and use #MOAAServes in your Facebook post to automatically share your post on national MOAA’s social media channels.


To sign up as a MOAA council or chapter NVRD partner, visit click on the “Become a National Voter Registration Day MOAA Partner” button. Contact Col. Mike Turner, USAF (Ret), at or (703) 838-8115 for more information.



First-Period Recruiting Winners

June 30 marked the end of the first period of the 2018 Chapter Recruiting Program competition.


Congratulations to our 2018 chapter recruiting program first-period (closing out June 30) award winners! During this period, we have recruited 897 new monetary-incentive-qualified chapter members.


A $250 incentive is awarded to each council whose chapters recruit 40 or more new monetary-incentive chapter members, and independent chapters that recruit at least 10 new chapter members earn a $100 incentive to help recognize their recruiting efforts.


First-period 2018 chapter recruiting program council winners:


California — 79


Florida — 144


North Carolina — 44


South Carolina — 45


Texas — 53


Virginia — 61


First-period independent chapter winners:


Minnesota Chapter — 25


Southern Nevada Chapter —12


MOAA Uniformed Services Nurse Advocates Virtual Chapter — 27


As a reminder, the next competition for councils and independent chapters already is underway as of July 1 and will close Sept. 30. To help you track the progress of your recruiting efforts, we will continue to post a weekly 2018 chapter recruiting update to our website. View chapter-recruiting resources, sign up new chapter members, and check out your results via the chapter-recruiting tracker at



Opportunities to Participate With TAPS

MOAA’s Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter recently connected with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). Here’s how your chapter can get involved, too.


The Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter recently made a valuable headquarters-level connection with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). TAPS is a national nonprofit organization that provides care and support to families and friends grieving the loss of a member of the armed forces through no-cost 24/7 peer support, grief programming, and other resources. The TAPS program will be highlighted during the next Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter meeting, Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. Eastern. Surviving spouse liaisons are encouraged to attend and spread the word to other surviving spouses. Contact for more information.


TAPS hosts regional seminars and camps for families across the U.S. throughout the year, each with a number of associated volunteer openings. Their national volunteer coordinator already has been in touch with MOAA chapters in areas that will be accommodating TAPS events in 2018. In addition to being terrific community service opportunities for chapter members, participation also is an occasion to meet surviving spouses in those geographic areas who might be unaware of MOAA and/or their ability to join as a member.


One of the principal intended effects of virtual chapters is to grow national and geographic chapter membership through increased awareness of MOAA in previously untapped networks, such as professional nurses’ associations and the surviving spouse community. We encourage you to consider participating in these events as offered and look for and share other ways to collaborate with both the Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter and Uniformed Services Nurse Advocates Virtual Chapter to grow membership at all levels.



Surviving Spouse Corner: Preparing to Move

Moving can be stressful, no matter how many times you’ve done it. Here are some tips to help you plan.


By Micki Costello, Surviving Spouse Advisory Committee


You would think after a lifetime in the military and moving from place to place every year or two, preparing to move would be a piece of cake. Think again!


Perhaps downsizing has been an impetus in your decision to move. While in the active military, downsizing never was really a problem, as you tended to get rid of most the extra stuff you were not using. Fast-forward to life after retirement and living in one place for a number of years, and you realize just how much you’ve accumulated. At this point, creating a checklist is helpful.


1. Clear out unwanted items. Donate or sell old newspapers, magazines, and books. In your new place, you probably won’t be having dinner parties for 20 or more people. “Replacements” in North Carolina is a great place to contact to see if they can use all that crystal and dinnerware you bought in Germany. They check it over and pay cash on the spot. Of course, there are always thrift and consignment shops to consider for those items and for clothes, linens, and excess furniture that won’t fit into your new place and all the knickknacks your children and relatives don’t want passed on to them.


2. Use up food.A month or so out, consider what to do with the food stored in your pantry or freezer. Here, creativity in meal planning is key. If you can’t use it or give it away, it will probably end up in the landfill, unless you’re planning to move it with you. Movers generally will not move wine or spirits, so perhaps one last big party is in order.


3. Update your address. Remember to change or cut off utilities, notify people of a new address, and get new address labels for your correspondence.


Finally, don’t forget about your pets. They are a part of the family, and you’ll need to plan for them as well.



Recognize 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 and email it to 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.



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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.


Over the past four years, seven Northwest Arkansas Chapter members, lead by Capt. Cliff Mosier, USA (Ret), have taught more than 10,000 students at 39 local area elementary schools about the U.S. flag. The flag education program was initiated by the Arkansas Department of Education and is supported by the Arkansas Department of Veterans Administration, which provides instructional materials to the chapter and other volunteer groups.


Operating Helping Hand, a project of the Tampa (Fla.) Chapter, recently was featured on an installment of Today’s Veteran. Lt. Col. Jim Griffin, USA (Ret), chair of Operation Helping Hand, spoke about the organization, which assists the families of wounded and injured servicemembers during their stay in Tampa Bay. Watch the interview online.


Members of the Four State (Mo.) Chapter heard from Justin Cozart, the first graduate from the Jasper County Veterans Court, during the chapter’s June meeting. Veterans treatment courts offer substance abuse or mental health treatment as an alternative to incarceration, with the goal of keeping nonviolent veterans with these issues out of the traditional justice system. One key to the success of the program is having fellow veterans serve as mentors to provide further support to participants. Chapter President Lt. Cmdr. Wynne Krell, USCG (Ret), served as Cozart’s mentor.