By Contributing Editor Blair Drake
At the start of the pandemic, Col. Ron Sarg, USAF (Ret), president of MOAA’s Delaware Council of Chapters, decided to stop going to barbershops to get his hair cut. He was concerned how COVID-19 would affect his immuno-suppressed condition as a cancer survivor.
Rather than endure at-home haircuts, Sarg let his hair grow — and grow — for a good cause. When he finally got it cut in December 2021, he donated his 10-inch-long ponytail to Locks of Love, which uses donated ponytails to provide hair prosthetics free of charge to financially disadvantaged children who are suffering from hair loss.
The 77-year-old, who serves as a member of the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs, admitted he endured occasional good-natured jibes from his fellow commissioners about his ponytail and Ben Franklin resemblance. But he said it was worth it.
"This simple community outreach endeavor was a true privilege and pleasure to safely and painlessly dedicate my hair to fellow cancer survivors who could use it more than me," said Sarg. "It was an easy win-win for everyone."
This is just one of many examples of how Sarg gives back to his community. In addition to his work in the Delaware Council of Chapters and on the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs, he is legislative chair for the Dover Chapter of MOAA. In that role, Sarg has made an impact on numerous initiatives, including helping to secure passage of a bill that allows eligible veterans with a 100% disability rating to receive a tax credit against 100% of non-vocational school district property tax. Delaware Gov. John Carney signed the bill into law in August 2021.
He also is working to secure exemption of military retired pay in Delaware as well as spearheading a project to put a VA dental clinic in the Delaware Veterans Home.
Dover Chapter President Col. Eugenia “Gene” Thornton, USA (Ret), said Sarg’s work on behalf of others, especially veterans, is lengthy: “Even being isolated during a pandemic cannot slow down the philanthropy of [Sarg], who embodies MOAA’s ‘never stop serving’ motto.”
Blair Drake is a contributing editor for MOAA and lives in Souderton, Pa. She previously served on the editorial team of Military Officer magazine for nine years.