(A version of this article originally appeared in the December 2022 issue of Military Officer, a magazine available to all MOAA Premium and Life members. Learn more about the magazine here; learn more about joining MOAA here.)
At some point in your life, someone will ask you, “Do you miss the military?” I’m sure your answer will be much like mine — Yes!
But what I really miss are the remarkable people I had the fortune to serve with throughout my career — subordinates, peers, and commanders.
Now, on the precipice of retirement, when I am asked, “Will I miss MOAA?,” the answer is the same — Yes! — and again, it’s the people I will miss. After seven years at the helm of our association, I will miss our remarkable headquarters staff. Although only 84 strong, they collectively contribute to what has become the hallmark of MOAA — 16 years in a row recognized as a “Top Lobbyist” veterans and military grassroots organization.
I’ll miss the travel to visit our councils and chapters and, more importantly, their members, whose personal and professional commitment to MOAA’s mission “to preserve and protect earned benefits for our uniformed services, veterans, their families, and surviving spouses through advocacy, leadership, education, and service” is second to none.
I’ll miss our advisory councils — Surviving Spouse Advisory Council, Currently Serving Advisory Council, and Currently Serving Spouse Advisory Council. These advisory councils researched and raised concerns of their respective communities, and that work became the foundation of our advocacy efforts over the years. I will remember the energy and endurance of our surviving spouses to repeal the “widows tax” — a nearly four-decade effort to right a terrible wrong. I’ll remember the many family issues raised by our currently serving advisory councils — issues such as unsafe privatized housing, food insecurity, and many, many more that MOAA was able to address with a better understanding of how these issues affected force readiness, recruiting, and retention of an all-volunteer force.
And, I will miss the many board members I had the privilege to serve with over the past seven years. Serving voluntarily, their competency and compassion for our mission were unparalleled and forged the strategic direction from which our association will benefit for years to come.
The stage is set for continued success. There is work still to be done, and MOAA will continue to proudly serve our uniformed services and veterans communities in the years ahead.
While I hang up my hat as MOAA’s president and CEO, perhaps I’ll see some of you at a local chapter meeting or run across you while volunteering. Like any MOAA member, I, too, will never stop serving.
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