As we are ready to close out the year 2016, there are many things to be thankful for. This will be year number 1 of my retirement from the work force and I can tell you that I have been as busy as if I were still working, but I am doing the things I enjoy now, so don’t dread retirement, look forward to it.
I have travelled to Washington DC to act as a guardian on Honor Flight for a World War 2 veteran so that he could visit his WW2 memorial. Our chapter hosted some Gold Star families for an exciting outing which included a Hells Gate dinner cruise, a visit to Wild Life Images and finally a visit to Oregon Caves. For the first time in many years, we participated in the local Veterans Day parade and celebration. I attended the celebration recently where the largest US flag in Oregon was raised over in Grants Pass. It is 40’ by 60’ and the celebration was attended by over 1000 people. Due to the generosity of our local communities, our chapter has been able to ship between 12-20 care packages to our troops overseas to lift their morale. This really came to fruition after my grandson who is an NCOA member and a soldier stationed in South Korea brought up how much some care packages from Indiana meant to he and his fellow soldiers.
We just completed a successful recruiting drive where we brought in about 20 new members and through my efforts working on our membership database another 20 current members that were not affiliated with a chapter agreed to join our chapter. I have been encouraged by many of the members that I have met via email and telephone that want to be kept up to speed on what NCOA is doing. Just today I was informed that NCOA got some face time with the President Elect Trump to voice our concerns over needed changes in the VA and other matters affecting our membership. With the incoming administration we have indications that things that have been on the back burner for the last 8 years may be getting a fresh look. I am optimistic about our future and I hope that you are too!
I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year.
Strength in Unity and Leadership By Example
SKCM (SCW) Terry M. Haines, USNR Retired
Much has happened since my last article. I have retired from the work force and now find myself dedicating a good portion of my time to groups and causes that resonate in my heart. Working with veterans is one of those things that I now enjoy doing. I belong to many different veteran groups, some because I have checked off all of the requirements to belong over my career and some because a group has wormed its way into my heart. NCOA is definitely a huge part of who I am just as having served 30 years in the Navy makes the Navy a vital part of who I am.
Are you at or nearing a point in your life where you have time to invest? Do you stand tall and either salute or place your hand over your heart when the National Anthem plays? Love of my country that I grew up in and a desire to keep it healthy are major factors that drive me. How about you? What drives you? My grandson joined the Army a little over a year ago and is now stationed in South Korea. He just sent a Facebook post indicating his feelings when he received a care package from people he didn’t even know. His remarks touched me. “Y’know, it’s not often I really look for a thank you, or ever go out of my way to get recognized, but it’s the little things like this that completely make my day and remind me why I do what I do… Thank you so much to Kaydence and everyone else at the New Salem Children’s Center in Illinois for sending things like this out to the rest of my brothers and sisters in arms, it’s the boys and girls, men and women like this that really make the difference for us and keep us wanting to push and do what we do!” My grandson is 19 years old and alone a long way from home and he taught me something today. Unconditional and unsolicited care for people we don’t even know can make someone’s day and perhaps even turn into one of those teaching moments that happen all too infrequently in our world today.
Our chapter has a lot of people who have served a long way from home. You should remember when mail call happened and how it was often the highlight of your day. Much like my grandson, when we got things from people we did not know, they were kind of special. Rogue Chapter has a program to send care packages overseas to our troops. If you can put together a care package, our chapter will mail it overseas for you and perhaps you can contribute to another young soldier having a special day. Pay it forward today and share your patriotism and love for our troops with a small token of your appreciation.
If you have questions or need to make arrangements to drop of things for a care package, you can call me at my cell phone listed below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example
Terry M. Haines