MOAA President's Message: Our Veterans, Young and Old, Make a Positive Difference in Our World

MOAA President's Message: Our Veterans, Young and Old, Make a Positive Difference in Our World
Airmen assigned to the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, present flags flown aboard Thunderbird F-16 aircraft to World War II veterans in a Sept. 7 ceremony at Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana. (U.S Air Force Photo by Maj. Ray Geoffroy)

As we approach Veterans Day, I’d like to take a moment to thank every one of our members – and everyone in our broader support network – for your commitment to our motto, Never Stop Serving.


We honor service in many ways at the Military Officers Association of America. In Military Officer magazine this month, we highlight 10 servicemembers you should know. From an amputee who returned to combat, to a trailblazing female Marine and a cyber sailor-turned-officer, they offer a diverse view of today’s uniformed services. You can read their stories and more in our special November report.


And we also share stories of our many veterans, who continue to make a difference and raise up our next generation. These veterans include 87-year-old Lt. Col. Wallace Ward, retired Army, who is still trudging up and down hills at West Point (with cadets nearly 70 years his junior).


Retired Lt. Col. Wallace Ward, U.S. Military Academy Class of 1958, marches back with the Class of 2023 at the conclusion of Cadet Basic Training on Aug. 12. (Photo by Brandon O'Connor/Army)


And MOAA members like you are banding together to support military and veteran advocacy on the state level. Featured in a recent MOAA newsletter, were the efforts of Col. Tom Robillard and Lt. Col. Don Wolfinger, leaders of MOAA’s new State Legislative Consortium.


This Veterans Day, we salute all of these men and women, these unsung heroes making a true difference for the military community.


As you celebrate this holiday, we encourage everyone to attend a local event and find ways to thank veterans for their service.


We are honored to have our Vice President of Government Relations Col. Dan Merry, USAF (Ret), lead participation for MOAA in the National Veterans Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery, where chapter members will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Your organization is a founding member of the national committee coordinating these events, and it’s a special way to participate in the national moment.


And as we approach the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, consider the near 450,000 WWII veterans still with us from the 16 million who served during the war. Some of these members of the Greatest Generation made pilgrimages to the shores of Normandy this year.


This Veterans Day, appreciate and include them in community celebrations and events. Their dedication to their country is not forgotten.

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About the Author

Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret)
Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret)

Atkins served as the ninth president of MOAA, leaving office in January 2023.