This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
chaptersinaction “The key is lots of hard work,”


Rosenberg says. “It’s not easy. It’s not what one person does. It’s what everyone does collectively. We try to get the chapter membership engaged. [Rhode Island is small], so if a legisla- tor gets five or 10 calls it’s a big deal.” Chapter members, led by Legisla-


tive Chair Capt. Emil Cipolla, USAF (Ret), conducted a study on the im- pact of ending the taxation of veter- ans’ pensions. They also testified at the Rhode Island House and Senate Finance committees on the bills that were introduced and attended rallies at the Rhode Island State House to celebrate legislation that was passed making 2016 the “Year of the Veteran.” Rosenberg characterizes advoca-


cy as “a process. ... It’s not going to happen overnight. We think we have a good chance of getting something done this year. If it doesn’t happen this year, all the work we did lays the groundwork for next year.” Though it can be challenging,


Rosenberg says members of his chapter — including chapter Presi- dent Lt. Cmdr. Vincent Messina, USN (Ret), who has been a cham- pion of the chapter’s efforts — agree it’s important to advocate for issues that affect veterans’ lives every day. “The veteran population is shrink- ing. We’re a very, very small group, and we have to get our issues out there,” he says. “We want to help those who served the country. We want to educate and make real and meaningful changes.” Russell agrees. “It’s hard work.


But here’s ... my driving force and my motto: ‘If it is to be, it is up to me.’ If chapters take that to heart, it’s easy to fulfill MOAA’s motto of ‘never stop serving.’ ”


42 MILITARY OFFICER AUGUST 2016


Summer Recess


From mid-July to the end of August, the “dog days” of summer, people tend to slow down due to the stifling heat and humidity. But if you stay alert and engaged, perhaps with the help of air conditioning, this time of year is rife with invaluable opportunities to influence your elected officials. They have a recess in August, and during this time many of them return home to squeeze in a last summer vacation and meet with their constituents before returning to Capitol Hill in September. Many of you have heard me speak about the effectiveness of your


personal engagement and the results of your efforts with your elected representatives. This year, we once again ask for your help and support to reach out to your legislators and schedule office visits while they are back in their home districts. Many also might be holding town hall meetings to reconnect with their constituents. Less than 20 percent of our elected officials have served in the mili-


tary. The August recess is a great opportunity to bridge the civilian-mil- itary gap by working with them to discuss issues as well as explaining the challenges and hardships facing today’s currently serving all-volun- teer force, military family members, and retired and other veterans. Our nation faces some serious challenges, and Congress will need to


make some tough, informed decisions in the upcoming months — to say nothing about the pending election. In order to make sound, well- thought-out decisions, they need to hear from you. Led by their legislative chairs and liaisons, many MOAA chapters and


councils will launch a coordinated effort to visit all their legislators and staffs while they are back in their districts. MOAA’s Government Rela- tions team, led by Col. Steve Strobridge, USAF (Ret), in conjunction with the chapters and councils staff at MOAA headquarters, recently reached out to council and chapter systems with fact sheets on the key issues to discuss. This information will be available at www.moaa.org/augustrecess.


These fact sheets can be used by all MOAA members — not just chapter members — to reach out and engage legislators this month. So as you navigate the dog days of summer, don’t let the heat and


humidity distract you from the task at hand. Support MOAA chapters and councils by scheduling and setting aside time to call or drop by your local legislators’ office for a visit. If you are a national member who doesn’t belong to a chapter, reach out to your local chapter and see how you can help. Your participation, at all levels, continues to make a positive difference. — Col. Barry Wright, USA (Ret), director, Council and Chapter Affairs


PHOTO: SEAN SHANAHAN


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92