November 2021 Council and Chapter News

November 2021 Council and Chapter News

Recent news from The MOAA Newsletter. View previous editions of Council and Chapter News here. Send updates about your affiliate’s activities to for possible inclusion in future editions.


MOAA Hosts Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner

Learn more about what was discussed during the meeting, and find photos and helpful resources from the event.


MOAA members from across the country gathered in-person and virtually with leaders and staff Oct. 15 for the association’s annual meeting. The event provided the opportunity for attendees to learn about MOAA programs and initiatives and ask questions.


During his remarks, Gen. Walter “Skip” Sharp, USA (Ret), chairman of MOAA’s board of directors, saluted the volunteer leaders of our council and chapter system for their dedication to the association.


“The most important thing is they gave up their personal time and energy,” Sharp said. “And they don't do that just to come here once a year. They do it all year long.”


Read more about the event and find links to photos, videos, and resources.


Surviving Spouse Corner: State-Level Military Benefits

Don’t overlook these benefits available to eligible surviving spouses.


By Dr. Vivianne Cisneros Wersel, Surviving Spouse Advisory Council member

Many MOAA surviving spouses receive survivor benefits from DoD and the VA. Besides these benefits, state-level benefits are available to those who meet the criteria. State benefits are state-driven, unlike federal or VA benefits or entitlements.


Surviving spouses might not be aware of these state-level benefits because there is not a one-stop-shop website for military survivors.


Some states are more “military friendly” than others. The amount of benefits can vary from state to state; some offer as many as 60 and as few as 22 benefits to retired veterans, according to the Center for a New America Security (CNAS). The challenge is determining what benefits are passed on to the survivor after the veteran or servicemember dies. CNAS says military survivors receive less than 50% of what states offers to veterans. 


[RELATED: MOAA's Military State Report Card and Tax Guide]


To determine what state benefits are available to survivors, begin by looking at the individual state benefits for veterans using the CNAS benefit finder. Next, locate the state you are targeting and then search for the “Beneficiary” category. It is important to verify eligibility, as many of the webpages might be outdated.


Some state benefits include (but, again, vary from state to state)

  • Academic scholarships
  • Property tax exemption or reduction of property tax (For example: Military surviving spouses who receive Dependency and Indemnity Compensation from the VA are eligible for up to a $45,000 deduction in the assessed value of their home for property tax purposes.)
  • Survivor Benefit Plan tax exemption for state tax
  • Free admission to national parks
  • Free fishing and hunting license

Being aware of state-level benefits can also help surviving spouses determine whether they want to stay or relocate to optimize their benefits. Many independent variables need to be considered, such as cost of living and proximity to family support. Knowing the state-level benefits is a helpful tool in this decision-making process.


Read past Surviving Spouse Corners.


Did You Know? Helpful Communication Resources for Chapters

National MOAA offers numerous resources and materials to help councils and chapters communicate with their members and the local community. Find advertisements to place in your local paper, logos and brand guidelines, a helpful public relations handbook and more on


Updating Email Alert Preferences

MOAA Council and Chapter Affairs uses email to provide important updates and planning information to council and chapter leaders. We use this email communication to announce a chapter roundtable, leader’s workshop, or other important updates such as recruiting initiatives and best practices. It’s easy to update your email alert preferences. Visit, and type your email address in the provided box. You’ll be able to add and/or remove email alert preferences on this page.


2022 Community Outreach Grant Cycle Begins Dec. 1

Next month, The MOAA Foundation will be accepting applications for its 2022 Community Outreach Grants. Grants of up to $5,000 are offered to MOAA councils or chapters providing services to local military and veteran families — either directly or through partnerships with other community organizations — in one of 10 areas of critical military and veteran family need: housing, food assistance, employment, health (including behavioral health), family strength, community reintegration, financial assistance, legal assistance, transportation, and emergency relief. The application website and grant criteria can be found here


Support MOAA Charities

Councils and chapters can use newsletter inserts available on to encourage their members to consider MOAA Charities for their philanthropy. Download a full-page, full-color PDF file for your newsletter.


You can also support MOAA Charities On Giving Tuesday by making a donation Nov. 30 to the MOAA Scholarship Fund and The MOAA Foundation. Visit or call (800) 232-MOAA (6622).


Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars for these MOAA events.

Monthly Chapter Leader Virtual Roundtable: Join is at 7 p.m. Eastern on Nov. 18 for a discussion about Community Outreach Grants and sponsorships from a member of MOAA’s Development team. Click here to join at the time of the meeting.


Southwest Leaders’ Regional Workshop: Council and chapter leaders from the southwest region will join together Nov. 19-20 in San Diego to learn best practices for chapter management, receive updates about national MOAA, and share tips and ideas.


Get Newsletter Content From National MOAA 

Need some content to supplement your chapter’s newsletter? The White Label Newsletter 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

MOAA chapters give back to their communities through fundraising efforts, community-service projects, scholarship programs, and other initiatives. Here are some recent activities.


The Northwest Arkansas Chapter received a certificate of appreciation from the Fayetteville American Legion Post 27 for the chapter’s support to Arkansas Girls State. The chapter provided financial support for a student’s participation at the annual event at the state capital, which was mostly virtual due to pandemic constraints. Arkansas Girls State is designed to introduce young women who have completed their junior year of high school to the political process in Arkansas. The program has existed since 1942 and is intended to foster interest in government at every level.


The Southern Nevada Chapter held its annual luau in September, and during the event, took the opportunity to support toxic exposure legislation. The chapter collected 80 individual letters to send to the Nevada congressional delegation asking for support of comprehensive toxic exposure reform.


The Gen. William O. Darby (Ark.) Chapter recently presented its flag etiquette program to fifth-grade students in Sebastian and Crawford counties. The hourlong program provided a proper understanding of the respect, care, and treatment of the U.S. flag. Students were also given a copy of the booklet Long May It Wave.


National MOAA Travel Schedule

Here are the councils and chapters MOAA leaders will be visiting over the next few months.


Please note: We are aware of the uncertainty surrounding the resurgence of the COVID-19 virus. We are still planning to execute scheduled chapter visits and continue to schedule visits as requests come in. Our rule of thumb at this point (subject to change) is to make the visit only if all required/appropriate safety measures are in place AND the traveler is fully vaccinated and comfortable with the trip. Chapters with scheduled visits are requested to inform Council and Chapter Affairs of the local conditions and safety requirements one week prior to the visit.


Contact the associated chapter if you would like to attend any of the following scheduled visits: 

  • Nov. 5 Albuquerque Chapter, Albuquerque, Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, Council and Chapter Affairs (CCA)
  • Nov. 6, Oklahoma Council of Chapters, Norman, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, Council and Chapter Affairs (CCA)
  • Nov. 6, South Carolina Council of Chapters, Aiken, Col. Shane Ostrom, USAF (Ret), program director, Council/Chapter and Member Support
  • Nov. 9, Green Country (Okla.) Chapter, Tulsa, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
  • Nov. 10, Cumberland Valley (Pa.) Chapter, Carlisle, Capt. Frank Michael, USN (Ret), program director, CCA
  • Nov. 10, Southwest Oklahoma Chapter, Lawton, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
  • Nov. 11, Southeast Florida Chapter, Lt. Col. Marc J. Oliveri, USA (Ret), MOAA board of directors (BoD)
  • Nov. 12, North Carolina Council of Chapters, Raleigh, Capt. Jim Carman, USN (Ret), vice president, Council/Chapter and Member Support
  • Nov. 18, Palm Springs Chapter, Palm Springs, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
  • Nov. 19-20, Southwest Leaders’ Regional Workshop, San Diego, various staff
  • Nov 30, Historic Mayport (Fla.) Chapter, Mayport, Capt. Frank Michael, USN (Ret), program director, CCA
  • Dec. 2, Catawba Valley (N.C.) Chapter, Hickory, Capt. Frank Michael, USN (Ret), program director, CCA
  • Dec. 2, Citrus County (Fla.) Chapter, Citrus Hills, Col. Theodore J. Janosko, USA (Ret), BoD
  • Dec. 4, Southern Tier (N.Y.) Chapter, Appalachian, speaker TBD
  • Dec. 6, East Iowa Chapter, Waterloo, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
  • Dec. 8, Central Ohio Chapter, Columbus, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
  • Dec. 10, Tampa (Fla.) Chapter, Col. Bradley S. Jewitt, USMCR, BoD
  • Dec. 12, Hawaii Aloha Chapter, Hickman Field, Capt. Frank Michael, USN (Ret), program director, CCA
  • Dec. 12, Lower Hudson Valley (N.Y.) Chapter, Hartsdale, Capt. Erin E. Stone JAGC, USN (Ret), senior director, CCA
  • Dec. 12, Western Connecticut Chapter, Redding, speaker TBD
  • Dec. 13, Charlotte Harbor (Fla.) Chapter, Punta Gorda, Gail Joyce, BoD
  • Dec. 16, Southwest Virginia Chapter, Roanoke, Lt. Col. Walt Smiley, USA (Ret), BoD   

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