Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter. View previous editions of Council and Chapter News here.
Participate in MOAA's Summer Storm Campaign
During August recess, engage your elected officials on a key issue affecting the military community.
Each August, legislators return to their home districts and meet with constituents. This is an ideal time to coordinate efforts and engage legislators on key issues. Council and chapter members can get involved by participating in MOAA’s 2020 Summer Storm campaign to halt military treatment facility restructuring and billet reductions and encourage Congress to oversee any reductions moving forward. Visit MOAA's Summer Storm page to find details.
2nd Quarter 2020 Recruiting Awards
June 30 marked the end of the second quarter of the 2020 Chapter Recruiting Program. During that quarter, MOAA affiliates recruited a total of 247 new monetary-incentive-qualified chapter members. Congratulations to the top recruiting council and independent chapter winner for their efforts — especially during such a challenging time:
- Council winner: Florida, with 52 new members
- Independent chapter winner: MOAA Uniformed Services Nurse Advocates Virtual Chapter, with 26 new members
To help track the progress of your recruiting efforts, we will continue to post a weekly Chapter Recruiting update to our website.
Resources and Tips for Chapter Leaders
These helpful reminders and resources can make your job as a chapter leader a little easier.
National MOAA strives to ensure council and chapter leaders have access to the resources and tools they need to effectively lead their affiliates. Here are some role-specific tips:
Surviving Spouse Liaisons: MOAA.org has several useful publications for helping people prepare for and deal with the loss of their spouse. In addition, the Minnesota Chapter has published a helpful guide, The Day-After Calls, that outlines the steps to take following the death of a spouse.
Webmasters: Exercise common sense and ethical responsibility when including links on your affiliate’s website. Ensure all content and links reflect appropriately on the chapter and national MOAA and are in keeping with the chapter’s mission. If linking to a group’s website, are you prepared (and do you have the bandwidth) to link to every other group offering a similar service/product? If not, you’ll be seen as playing favorites, which could become problematic.
Newsletter Editors: Are you looking for information to include in your chapter newsletter? The latest updates from The MOAA Newsletter are accessible here under “Council and Chapter News.” The White Label Newsletter Template also 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.
In addition, the national MOAA Council and Chapter Affairs team would like to receive your electronic chapter newsletters. If you’re not already doing so, email your chapter newsletter to Chapters@moaa.org.
Committee Module (CM) Administrators: When you add a new officer to the CM roster in the new role or title position, this new officer must also be listed as a “Member” unless the person is a “spouse.” In addition, by using your chapter’s CM, you easily can email some or all of your chapter members. Select the names of the people you want to send emails to, then use the “actions button” dropdown tool, select “send email,” and then select GO. Each of the selected members will be placed into a blind-copy email window so you can craft your message and/or attach your chapter’s newsletter.
Membership Chairs: Is your chapter holding virtual meetings right now? Don’t forget, national MOAA’s Council and Chapter Affairs team can send up to two recruitment emails a year. To send your request, answer a few questions using the online support message tool.
Members Seek to Create a USPHS Virtual Chapter
A purpose of the group is to bring together MOAA members from the commissioned corps of the U.S. Public Health Service to advocate for the health and safety of the nation.
By Col. Pete Kloeber, USAF (Ret), president, Arizona Council of Chapters
The commissioned corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) is a national asset, a fact especially noticed during these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise, USPHS officers bring considerable value to MOAA and its chapters, but only some 300 (7%) of the some 4,548 USPHS officers in MOAA belong to a chapter. One reason is they often are assigned in very rural areas, typically a considerable distance from a MOAA chapter.
As examples: 4 of the 10 USPHS members of the Grand Canyon Chapter live an average of 208 miles away from its meeting location; the three USPHS members of the Northern Arizona Chapter live 201 miles away. MOAA chapters value their membership and will continue to share programs and activities and communicate via email and newsletters — and hope to see them at meetings. Chapters also will continue to actively recruit USPHS members.
At the same time, however, I wanted to see whether there is some way to offer these officers additional opportunity for affiliation/camaraderie with other MOAA members — not just within a state but across the country — especially those who also are USPHS officers. I believe the way to do this is a MOAA USPHS Commissioned Corps Virtual Chapter.
Virtual chapters are organized exactly like traditional MOAA chapters, but members are associated through subject-matter interest rather than geographic area. Virtual chapters meet “virtually,” often through conference calls or web-based meeting programs. They allow members who share a similar interest/background to remain affiliated with other MOAA members, regardless of where they live. They offer camaraderie, as well as the opportunity to stay engaged in topics of interest when members can’t attend a physical chapter’s events or are geographically separated.
We already have been working with national MOAA on this initiative and have developed the following purpose statement for a MOAA USPHS Commissioned Corps Virtual Chapter:
The purposes of this chapter shall be to promote the purposes and objectives of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA); to foster fraternal relations among retired, active duty, and former officers of the uniformed services and their reserve components; protect the rights and interests of active duty, retired, and reserve component personnel of the uniformed services for members and, dependents and survivors; and to serve the community and the nation. Due to the specific health care professional background of its members, a major focus of this chapter will be to advocate for the protection, promotion, and advancement of the health and safety of the nation.
A couple of items of which you might already be thinking:
- Dues: No. There would not be any dues for a USPHS virtual chapter.
- MOAA membership: Yes. Membership in national MOAA would be required.
- Chapter membership: Membership with the nearest geographic MOAA chapter would be strongly encouraged.
One of the USPHS members of the Grand Canyon Chapter in Arizona, Capt. Judith “Judie” Maeda, USPHS (Ret), has offered to establish a MOAA virtual chapter for USPHS officers, and two other MOAA members have volunteered to help champion the effort.
We solicit your comments. Please reach out to Judie (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let her know your ideas and if you would be interested in joining.
National MOAA seeks to build more virtual chapters. If you are a member of an affinity group and would be interested in championing an effort to get a new virtual chapter off the ground, email email@example.com. Some potential ideas are currently serving officers, women veterans, chaplains, and overseas members/expats. The list is limited only by your ideas and our very diverse membership. Learn more.
Surviving Spouse Corner: The Value of Sleep
Sleep deprivation can have a significant effect on your physical and mental health.
By Capt. Kathy Thorp, USN (Ret), Surviving Spouse Advisory Council member
All of us need sleep to function, as sleep is one of the most important secrets in maintaining our everyday health. Sleep clears the mind by removing daily toxins at night, which is vital for our mood, disposition, decision-making ability. Studies have shown quality sleep prevents the diseases of tomorrow. Did you know sleep deprivation is a society-wide safety and health issue of our time?
Do you have trouble sleeping at night? Do you fall asleep only to wake up in the middle of the night tossing and turning? Think about what you do during the day and keep a sleep journal, as various activities can encourage or discourage a good night sleep. From exercise and diet to a stressful work environment, all of these have a huge impact on your qualitative sleep.
Insomnia also might be caused by exposure to artificial light such as smartphones or televisions. Anxiety, in general, can aggravate our sleep routine. The key here is to try to break the cycle, by practicing a repeatable nighttime routine, going to bed at the same time each night, avoiding artificial light, and finding the “thing” that relaxes you at night.
Experts say sleep is one of the best natural medicines for our bodies. It is our superpower to cope with the daily responsibilities and challenges that we endure each day. Take the time now and invest in your health by learning all you can about sleep.
America’s Warrior Partnership 7th Annual Symposium
America’s Warrior Partnership Symposium is an industry-leading event that empowers those who serve veterans by fostering collaboration and enhancing service to veterans and their families in communities across the U.S. Hundreds of veteran-serving professionals gather to share best practices, hear from inspiring and influential speakers, and learn about resources available from exhibitors and attendees in order to empower the veterans and their families in their care.
This year’s free virtual event will be held Aug. 25-27. Find more details and registration information.
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.
The Western Colorado Chapter presented awards to two outstanding Junior ROTC cadets, from Glenwood Springs High School and Montrose High School, during private ceremonies in May.
The Central Ohio Chapter sent needed supplies, including hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, and wipes, to U.S. servicemembers in Korea before the coronavirus began affecting the U.S. The chapter recently received a certificate of appreciation from the 25th Transportation Battalion for its support of soldiers and family members during COVID-19 pandemic.
The Cape Cod (Mass.) Chapter awarded a total of $12,000 in scholarships to three local high school seniors. The award ceremony, which was held outdoors at Heroes Circle Monument, was delayed from its usual May date by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cmdr. Tom Keating, USN (Ret), chapter scholarship committee chair, and Col. Don Lynde, USA (Ret), chapter president, presented the certificates and checks to the students.