January is the beginning of a new year and as such gives us all an opportunity to lay a new way forward in front of us. New Year’s Day is a day where many of us watch football, recover from New Year’s Eve parties, and begin to think about how we want the rest of the year to pan out in front of us. In January we also remember civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. who is recognized for peacefully confronting the issue of race relations in this country. My number one hope for 2022 is that we can bring a peaceful sanity back in this country, get past Covid and come together as brother and sister Americans again.
I have been very involved in presenting WW2 medallions to many veterans and families. Thank you goes out to those chapters and individuals who have also been involved in that process. The look of gratitude in the eyes of these members of the Greatest Generation is priceless. I have been able to locate a lot of these veterans by contacting local senior living facilities and retirement homes. In many of the homes after the presentations, a spontaneous outbreak of singing God Bless America has taken place as that is a song and memory that resonates with that generation. It is moving and something that would make each of you appreciate what you are doing to make the twilight of a veteran’s life a bit more positive. Medallions are available from HQ for a minimum donation of $15.
Plans are under way to bring some fun back into our annual conference as that is something many of you have asked for. We are also looking to bring a professional development component to our conferences so that our active-duty forces have a meaningful reason to attend. These two changes are coming about because your leadership is trying hard to respond to your requests. It will mean some changes to how the conferences have played out over the week, but we believe that some change will bring some excitement back into our annual conferences.
I have hope that many of you will see the positive direction that NCOA is heading in and decide to be part of this rebirth. You can help by giving of your experience with our strategic plan or by recruiting a new member that may have the experience needed to make a difference. I gifted a new member for Christmas, and it is never too late to jump on board. Some chapters are offering reduced membership fees and, in any case, NCOA dues are cheaper than most other organization dues. You can make a difference today. Recruit a regular member or sign up a family member into the auxiliary.
If you have any ideas or suggestions, either contact headquarters or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I can assure you that your leadership will take note.
Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example,
MCPO (SCW) Terry M. Haines
Chairman, International Board of Directors