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NNMOAA Leaders Attend National Symposium
by LtCol Paul W. Lassanske,USAF, Retired, President

LtCol Paul W. Lassanske, President of the Military Officers Association of America-Northern Neck Chapter and COL Dave Gutowski, NNMOAA Membership Chair, recently attended the MOAA Chapter Leaders’ Symposium in Hershey, Pennsylvania. In attendance were 170 Chapter and Council leaders representing 10 state councils and 72 chapters. “This was an opportunity to meet fellow chapter leaders to share our successes and discuss challenges while working to achieve MOAA’s common goals” said Lassanske.

l. to r. LtCol Paul W. Lassanske, President, NNMOAA; COL Barry Wright,  MOAA Director of Council and Chapter Affairs

MOAA President, VADM Norb Ryan, USN, Retired reminded us of MOAA ‘s core mission,

“… advocacy on behalf of military service members and their families at the state and national level.”  According to Lassanske,  “MOAA’s Virginia Council of Chapters continues to support veterans’ goals through its participation as one of the 32 members of Virginia’s Joint Leadership Council of Veterans Service Organizations (JLC). A few of the many worthwhile objectives that come to mind are increased funding for the Wounded Warrior Program, permitting the electronic return of absentee ballots by overseas uniformed military voters and moving the Homeless Veterans Program forward.”

MOAA Director of Council and Chapter Affairs, COL Barry Wright, USA, Retired, offered an agenda of intensive workshops and discussion groups that dealt with chapter management and addressed the membership challenge confronting many chapters — recruitment and retention. Both Admiral Ryan and COL Wright voiced an old axiom, “there is power in numbers.”  Without   a strong membership, MOAA’s voice will be less strong and less likely to be heard in the future.

l. to r. : LtCol Paul W. Lassanske, President, NNMOAA; VADM Norb Ryan, President, MOAA; COL Dave Gutowski, NNMOAA Membership Chair; COL Don Kaiserman, President, Virginia Council Of Chapters

Admiral Ryan also challenged chapter leaders to continue shouldering their responsibility to meet community needs. Locally, the Northern Neck Chapter of MOAA annually supports two, one-year college scholarships for Lancaster and Northumberland High Schools, one of several projects that energize our members. “In fact,” reports Col Lassanske, “Brig Gen Frank Martin and his wife, Lucy, just pledged a $500 matching grant to raise contributions to our Scholarship Fund.” Another community service for the Chapter is organizing and presenting the annual Memorial Day Observance at Historic Christ Church.

NNMOAA bi-monthly meetings are open to officers from the seven uniformed services. For information and the monthly meeting schedule, contact LtCol Paul W. Lassanske at (804) 453-5357.

Activities of the 2012 Dining Out
LtCol Paul W. Lassanske, USAFR, President

Northern Neck MOAA Presents 2012 MOAA Leadership Award

BGen Raymond W. Edwards, USMC, Retired received the national MOAA Leadership Award during the 2012 Dining-Out held by the Northern Neck Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (NNMOAA) on Saturday, November 3
at Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club.  This annual event celebrates individual and Chapter achievement. 

General Edwards was recognized for his 27 years of exceptional service to the Northern Neck Chapter as Legislative Chair and Representative to the Virginia Council of Chapters.

Of special note, General Edwards served on the committee of service organizations working with Senator John Warner’s office in the development of the national TRICARE-For-Life program.

He was elected President of the VCOC in 2004 and in 2005, was appointed by Governor Mark Warner to the Joint Leadership Council (JLC), an organization of 28 nationally-recognized service organizations

that support legislative initiatives to benefit veterans and military service members. He has served as a member of the JLC through 2012.

General Edwards also served as President of the Lancaster/Nortumberland Counties’ Interfaith Service Council and is a vestry member and Senior Warden of Trinity Episcopal Church located in Lancaster, Virginia.

The full text of the citation may be viewed by clicking HERE.

 Installation of 2012-2013 Chapter Officers

Following the presentation of the 2012 MOAA Leadership Award, the recently elected, 2013-2014 Chapter Officers, Col David Gutowski, USA – Director, and Maj Edgar Doleman, USA – Secretary, were installed. 
Also recognized were the 2012 Officers, 1st VP-Col Wes Werling, 2nd VP-Col Mike Kenna, 3rd VP- BGen Wes Edwards, Secretary-COL Kent McCraney, Treasurer-Col Ed Hind, Dir-CDR Steve Proctor, Dir-Col Mike Hall, Dir- CDR John Henley, Past Pres-COL Jack Reavill.

Featured Guest Speaker- Robin Beres, Commentary Editor,
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Our Guest Speaker for the evening was Mrs. Robin Beres, a retired US Navy Yeoman Chief Petty Officer and commentary writer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  Prior to joining the newspaper, she spent 23 years on active duty in the US Navy at duty stations including  the Navy’s Blue Angels, Allied Forces Southern Europe,Naples, Naval Training Command Great Lakes, Ill., and the Navy ROTC Unit at Marquette University. Her personal awards include the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal

(3 awards), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (4 awards).

Having been with the newspaper since 2004, she presently writes a bi-weekly column  dealing  with current events, military life, culture, family and faith.  She is also member of the Times-Dispatch Editorial Board and the office manager of the Editorial pages. 

In response to Chapter President Lassanske’s request to share information about the function of the Editorial Board, Mrs. Beres said: “The Editorial Department has a creed. Every single day we do our utmost to follow the philosophy spelled out in that creed. We believe in truth, facts, and objectivity. We believe in right reason.” 

She proceeded to offer an extensive, detailed insight to the Creed which resonated with our members, long accustomed to operating within the established Armed Forces Code of Conduct.  Mrs. Beres also related entertaining stories of her family’s long history of military service and expressed her appreciation for the efforts of MOAA to protect the benefits and privileges of service members and veterans.

For a full transcript of Mrs. Beres’ presentation, click here.

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