Turkey Day is behind us now, and many of the members I talked to got to enjoy some family time for a few days. And families have been able to visit their loved ones in assisted living and nursing homes, some for the first time in a year and a half. Now, just a few days before Christmas and New Year’s, I am crossing my fingers that we will be able to continue our family celebrations while keeping safe from the new Omicron virus threat.
Let’s also remember our members and their loved ones who are unable to celebrate because of being lonely; grieving for the passing of a loved one; or having health issues of their own or others. To the readers of this President’s Corner, I ask that you reach out to ones who need a friend at this (what should be) celebration of love in our midst. And to those who need a friend or something else, please reach out to our chapter members or ones you have ties to.
The Chapter Annual Business Meeting is held during the January luncheon on Friday, 14 January 2022 at Berwick Manor. All members in attendance will vote on the 2022 slate of nominees presented to serve for the year. To our new members: a member of the board will be contacting you to ask if you would be willing to serve as an at-large board member for 2022.
To kick off our 2022 season the meeting/luncheon is free to members in good standing (except board members). LCDR Nancy Rey, VP Membership, has sent out renewal notices for 2022 membership dues; regular membership is $19, and supporting membership is $11, or $30 for a member and supporting member (usually a spouse or significant other). She requests that you renew your membership promptly. To get an accurate count of those attending, please use our on-line reservation form (click HERE) and or send paper reservation (with check if appropriate) to Craig Harris, 889 Mission Hills Lane, Columbus, OH 43235-1265. For more details see LCDR Rey’s Membership Log below.
STATUS OF ZOOM MEETINGS: We will not be putting the 5 January board meeting, nor the January 14, 2022 luncheon on Zoom. Our Zoom tech, Pryor Timmons, will be out of town on 5 January; and issues covered by the by-laws for the Annual Business Meeting resulted in our inability to Zoom the Meeting. The board on 5 January will review the procedures for bad weather; if there are any issues you will be informed.
CENTRAL OHIO CHAPTER OF MOAA CONVENTION: For those new members who haven’t heard yet, your Chapter is hosting the biannual MOAA Convention. Our conventions are for the benefit of all the Ohio MOAA chapters and the Ohio Council of Chapters. We can use your expertise and interests in bringing our convention together. (The convention host rotates between Ohio chapters every other year)
Dates: 13-14 May 2022 (you can remember this because this is Friday the 13th).
Agenda and Registration: The agenda and registration form are on our website: moaa-ohiochapter.org/convention. You should be at the registration form; if you got to our home page, look for the 2022 Convention in the drop down menu at the top of the page. Click on that subject and you will be taken directly to the Convention information and the registration form. The hotel registration link is at the top of the page; the cost is $109 + tax per night. We have a block of rooms for both Friday and Saturday nights. You will need to register for the event with your guest and select the meals and activities you wish to attend. The form has the schedule of fees there is a schedule of fees and description for each on the form.
We just added a tour of the National Veterans Memorial Museum at 1400 hours on Saturday the 14th. There is a $20 cost per person for the bus ride; veterans get in for free and non-veterans pay for a ticket at the entrance (the cost is very reasonable).
The agenda has been modified to fit the afternoon tour into the schedule. There will be two speakers each before and after lunch. They will each have a half hour for speaking and Q&A both. The speakers’ names and titles are on the website with the registration form.
I encourage each of you to attend, at least for the Convention. If possible, bring your spouse or a friend with you. (Spouses and guests do not have to pay the convention fee unless they are attending themselves) Friday evening we host the Meet and Greet at the hotel. Everyone is invited to this at no charge (there will be a cash bar). We will be welcoming Lt. General Dana Atkins, CEO of MOAA National, and MG Dan Hahn, president of the Ohio Council, with their spouses. We are inviting the speakers (see below) with their spouses as well. We need as many of our chapter members with spouses/friends to come to socialize with people from out of town. Those of you who would enjoy a weekend away, The Fairfield Inn is very comfortable and the price is reasonable. You can enjoy the Meet and Greet and join a small group of new friends to go out to dinner!
Hotel and Convention Center: The convention center is Quest Convention Center – Polaris.
Speakers: Jeff Collins and other board members have invited several key military officers and one civilian knowledgeable about present and future military affairs affecting the United States to invite. The dignitaries selected are:
Lt. General Dana Atkins, President and CEO of MOAA National;
Lt General Michael Ferriter, President and CEO, National Veterans Memorial and Museum;
MG Deborah Ashenhurst, Director of the Ohio Department of Veterans’ Services;
MG John Harris, Adjutant General of the Ohio National Guard;
CAPT Erin Stone, Director of MOAA National’s Department of Councils and Chapters; and
Dr. Chris Jelpe, PhD, former director of OSU’s Intelligence and Securities Studies (I & S) to discuss with attendees the current events regarding I & S activities.
The Banquet: Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, head of MOAA national, will be the keynote speaker). Beer and wine is available at the Happy Hour and the banquet for a nominal fee.
LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: MOAA National has announced its legislative priorities for 2021. Director of National Legislative Affairs Jennifer Travers’ report listing all of the legislative proposals MOAA supports is found in her article later in this newsletter. Mike Mentas reports that the state legislature is bogged down with pandemic-related issues, so until they move forward we are at a standstill.
Chapter members are requested to send letters to our state representatives and senators to encourage them to move forward on needs of the military and other MOAA-recommended pieces of legislation. Those who are interested in participating in legislative actions should contact the chapter Legislative Affairs officer Michael Mentas (Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org 703-338-0137).
I call your attention to one of MOAA’s highest priorities for federal legislation in the 2021-2022 year: changing the lower enlisted service members’ subsistence allowance from being counted as income to not counted towards determining their eligibility for SNAP and other food programs. Very few enlisted families can qualify for these federal programs when this allowance is included in determining eligibility. TOO MANY OF THESE FAMILIES ARE FOOD-INSECURE and have to rely on on-base food banks for enough food to keep the families fed. The subsistence benefits for non-military families are not counted towards determining eligibility. Changing the law will make thousands of lower ranking military families eligible for SNAP, thus increasing food security for those family members.
(Note: when my wife read this, she commented that this food insecurity was there in 1970, when we reported for active duty.)
HONOR FLIGHT: LTC Joe Machado reports on the statistics for the 2021 Honor Flights, as well as details for the 2022 scheduled flights. His article is below.
LUNCHEONS: The Annual Meeting for the Chapter will be 14 January 2022, 1100 to 1400 hours at the Berwick Manor (see my Opening Comments notes above). This will be the first formal luncheon since March 2020, which will include an invocation, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and toasts (speakers will be invited but not every month). All members and Supporting Members are invited to attend in person to share a meal and good conversation, and especially to vote for your 2022 nominated board officers. Lunch is pay as you go: $15.00 for a hot meal served buffet style. We will follow Berwick’s policy for masking and social distancing.
Board of Directors: 5 January 2022, noon to 1400 hours, in person at the Hilliard Public library.
January Luncheon: 14 January 2022, 1130 hours for socializing, 1130 hours to 1245 hours for lunch, and the Annual Business Meeting. RSVP CW4 Craig Harris, on the link in my Opening Comments, or send a check to him at 889 Mission Hills Lane, Columbus, OH 43235. We need you to RSVP for the numbers of people eating to give to the restaurant the day before the Luncheon.
What’s on Your Mind: I would like to know what is on your mind. Please get in touch with me if you have concerns about our chapter or suggestions to improve what we do, or that you wish to volunteer. I will make certain we consider your suggestions and try to correct any problems. Call me at 614-306-7548 (voice mail), or email me at email@example.com