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Summer’s A’ Comin’

Col Bob Schlegel, US Army (Ret.), President, 2018, Kingdom of the Sun Chapter, MOAA




Our March KOS luncheon featured Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods who spoke about the various changes he has made since becoming Sheriff - including the realignment of supervisory positions to create more patrol deputies. In April, we gathered with the Citrus Chapter at Stumpknockers on the Withlacoochee River for a very brief appeal by Citrus County Chapter President Mark Bodenheim, to keep the letters coming to our members of Congress (when our MOAA national asks) as well as fun and fellowship. This was our seventh joint meeting. Our may meeting was our annual scholarship meeting. Scholarships were awarded to deserving JROTC students from area local high schools as well as home-schooled students. 


On April 18th MOAA Florida Council of Chapters (FCC) representatives participated in "Storming the Hill" along with MOAA members from all over the country. The largest and most visible grassroots advocacy event is to remind our elected representatives of the need for a strong national defense and the need to keep the promises made to our veterans. MOAA is a very significant voice within DC circles! Arlo, Mary Rose, Sheena and I will be attending the Florida FCOC convention in early June at the Sanibel Harbor Resort and Spa - all members are welcome to attend - visit moaafl.org for details.

We have attended several meetings of the Marion County Veterans Council at the new Veterans’ Resource Center on Silver Springs Boulevard and will continue to represent you on that body as well as share information. Please visit Marion County Veterans Services, using your search engine, to see the many services available.


This year we will again be supporting Stuff the Bus - so be ready to collect school supplies for the many needy children here in Marion County. Soon it'll be summer, and our July and August break will be upon us. I look forward to each one of our events and I hope you do too. If you meet a retired/former officer/spouse, ask if they are a MOAA member - if not, then ask why not?

"NEVER STOP SERVING"


 I look forward to seeing each of you at our upcoming events.

COL Bob Schlegel, President, KOS/MOAA


 




(Excerpts from MOAA’s email updates, Copyright © Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) or from other sources as cited. See more at http://www.moaa.org/Content/Take-Action/Top-Issues ).


WHAT’S HAPPENING ON PAY, MANPOWER, TRICARE, AND SBP?


Congressional leaders have decided to kick the can to next year on most major funding issues.


Instead of passing a year-end omnibus appropriations bill to fully fund government operations

for FY17, the new plan is to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to carry the funding only through

sometime in March.


That would give the new Administration and Congress a stronger hand in funding negotiations.


But it poses three problems.


First, an extended CR means funding is limited to the FY16 levels and programs. No new

contracts could be let, for example, which is a nightmare for those involved in procurement,

among others.


Second, it means the new Congress will have to do double duty. That is, they will have to

finalize funding for the current year (FY17) at the same time their first priority is supposed to be

building the normal appropriations bills for FY18. Tough duty for appropriations committees and leadership.


Third, and potentially the most significant for members of the military community, it raises at

least some risk the FY 2017 Defense Authorization Bill process may be curtailed in some way.


House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders have been working for months to resolve

the differences between their respective versions of the defense bill, and are nearly ready to

complete action on what has been considered a “must-pass” bill. As this goes to press, the House

of Representatives and the Senate have reached a compromise and the President is expected to

sign a 4 month continuing resolution.


What would that mean for the military pay raise, TRICARE reform, TRICARE fees, force

levels, and survivor benefits?



ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY: CLOSURE IS

PREFERABLE TO RESTRICTING RETIREES


After the completion of two current expansion projects, Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) will reach maximum capacity around 2050.


And what’s being done to address this?


Over the last several months, the Advisory Committee on Arlington National Cemetery (ACANC), an independent federal advisory committee, has been meeting to discuss ways to extend the active life of the cemetery. The committee developed a letter for Congress discussing several options moving forward.


Over 6,800 people took MOAA’s survey.




December 7th has been designated as REMEMBRANCE DAY. Teach

your children and grandchildren the meaning of this day. So, it will

NEVER be forgotten.





MOAA’s board of directors recently approved the formation of a second MOAA Surviving Spouses Virtual Chapter. The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Members will be provided with access numbers by the first of June. Please contact Betty Hayes at: dhayes68@cfl.rr.com for a membership application. Betty is the KOS Liaison for Surviving Spouses.
 
They were 41 people at the February 1, 2018, Luncheon honoring the Surviving Spouses. We were glad to welcome all the Surviving Spouses that attended the event. It was good to visit with some of the wives that we have not seen in a while – – Bonnie Morris, Francis Knoizen, Carol Pfeiffer, and Jane Melisarri. We hope they will come to future luncheons.
 
Sharon Murry acted as MC for the wives’ story telling time. She even brought a visual aid for her tribute to the wives. The stories the wives told were both poignant and very funny. President Bob Schlegal and First VP Carol Walker presented a valentine box to each surviving spouse. Among some yummy candy, there was an embroidered heart centered by a white star. I plan on making a pan of mine. Thanks to Second VP Gorham Black III and wife Astor for putting together the boxes.
 
The afternoon ended on a musical note with Naida Rasbury leading the whole assembly in the singing of God Bless America. Naida closed the singing with a solo – – really hitting a high note! President Bob, First VP Carol, and Second VP Gorham gave every lady at the luncheon a long stemmed red carnation as they departed. It was a nice ending to a very enjoyable day.
 
SPECIAL NOTE
 
Your board has been hesitant to make changes to the “traditional” December Snowflake Ball. The last Ball was attended by 12 couples. LTC Frank Raspberry wrote a letter to the KOS Board addressing this situation. He read it at the February luncheon. President Schlegal asked for ideas from the group. A few people expressed their ideas. Questionnaires were also available for anyone that preferred to write down their suggestion. We received three back. If you wish to offer a suggestion, you may send an email to Second VP Gorham Black at: GLBLACKiii@aol.com. What would you like to have that you would attend?
 
Have you read through the last two issues of your MOAA magazine? The new format is reader friendly and easy on the eyes. We liked the several informative articles about women. Seeing and reading articles featuring military women, wives, and surviving spouses recognizes that women are very active in supporting MOAA and its chapters in many fields. Our own KOS Board contains a military woman, a wife, and three surviving spouses. We look forward to more such articles in our MOAA magazine.
 
Have you sent out your white postcards attached to your April MOAA magazine? They concerned the “Pay Gap.” As a national MOAA member, you are asked to support MOAA in this effort. It doesn't require much time, money or even effort. It will make a big difference to those concerned. We are told that a short personal word or two makes a big difference. It could be as simple as “Please support" and “Help support" or “Thanks for considering."
To all KOS members who will be traveling the highways and skyways this summer, we sing,… “HAPPY TRAILS TO YOU UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN….”in September.

 


MEMORY The Kingdom of the Sun Chapter, MOAA (KOS) was chartered as a corporation on 13 April 1976 by the State of Florida. In our charter, we agreed to promote the aims of MOAA, as described below, and in addition included a charge to perform services considered by our Board of Directors to be beneficial to the local community. This means we also agreed to be an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization. Thus, our status as a tax-exempt veterans organization precludes us from intervening directly or indirectly in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office. While we may advocate issues, we may not advocate the election or defeat of particular candidates or political parties.

Our members may not use KOS e-mail, mailing lists, or its gatherings to advocate political or religious positions. In addition, your board has established standards over time so that KOS chaplains follow established military standards, requiring that chapter prayers or newsletter articles avoid promoting a specific religion. We have also established publication standards to ensure a non-biased and legal content in our Sunbeams publication.

In terms of our promise to be beneficial to our local community (which I will define as Marion County), KOS does very well. We can be proud of our scholarship, ROTC, Operation Stuff the Bus, Kiwanis Camp, Veterans Park, and many other efforts. We should certainly continue in this vein. But I think of our chapter as mainly an “officer’s club.” I see us as a social and professional group that also carries out community service projects, not the reverse.

While we may tease each other about the relative merits of our particular branch of service (like during our Army/Navy game event), we must treat all branches of service equally. While we may have earned a specific rank or status during our military careers, KOS Members are equal in status, with equal voices in determining how the chapter should be run.

We have been trained in the military to recognize and respect our differences, and to be gentlemen and ladies, if only by “act of Congress”. We can joke about that phrase, but, if we do it right, KOS can be one of the few safe havens from the strife and seriousness of the “outside world” that we have.

MOAA was founded as The Retired Officers Association (TROA) in 1929 to provide assistance and advice to military officers in general. At the beginning of WWII, TROA’s leaders reorganized and expanded the organization, moving to Washington, D.C., in 1944 with a membership of 2,600.

On January, 2003, the organization changed its name to the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA). Now headquartered in Alexandria, VA, its membership is open to active duty, National Guard, Reserve, retired, and former commissioned and warrant officers of the following uniformed services: Army (USA), Marine Corps (USMC), Navy (USN), Air Force (USAF), Coast Guard (USCG), Public Health Service (PHS), and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admininistration (NOAA). The Board of Directors may also offer Honorary Membership to officers of allied, uniformed military services.

MOAA’s purpose has grown to include career transition assistance, member products, military benefits counseling, educational assistance to children of military families, and strong involvement in military professionalism activities. It is currently the nation’s largest and most influential association of military officers. MOAA is the leading voice on compensation and benefit matters for all members of the military community. We should all be proud of the respect gained by MOAA in our nation’s capital as a voice for military personnel in general.

MOAA is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization. With about 370,000 members from every branch of service, it is a powerful force speaking for a strong national defense, and represents the interests of military officers at every stage of their career. While MOAA does advocate a strong national defense, it does not, as an association, become involved in matters pertaining to military strategy or weapons systems of the various services. While permitted by law to lobby, its status as a tax-exempt veterans organization precludes it from participating in political activities.