Rogue Chapter

September 2019 Update

Here is a picture from Afghanistan showing the troops with the care packages that we are sending.

Thank those of you who responded with encouraging remarks to my last as well as all of my previous articles.  Even when we disagree on a point, I appreciate it when you take the time to share your thoughts.  Communication of different points of view ultimately leads to a better end product.

Summer is winding down and soon our youth will be heading back to school, so slow down around those school zones.  I just recently completed a cruise on something other that wasn’t haze grey!  I got a chance to meet up with veterans from Florida, Texas, Georgia, California, Washington and Missouri.  They were all actively involved in veteran groups and we had a very good discussion about service to others.

The Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA) has members of all ages and demographic groups.  This month I want to focus on a topic that either has directly or indirectly impacted many of our members.  September is National Suicide Prevention Month.  Our Grand Knight wrote a very good article that can be located on the NCOA website under leadership messages.  Please read it as there are a lot of startling facts and information that you should know in it.  I only want to focus on a couple of factors that are often overlooked by our culture.  The population percentage of those who have served or are currently serving in the military is approximately 6%.  The suicide rate of that 6% is just about doubled that of the remaining 94% of our population. 

Here is a picture from Afghanistan showing the troops with the care packages that we are sending.

22 veterans of all ages commit suicide every single day and the biggest reason it remains at such an alarming level is that it is a very difficult subject to think about.  It is hard to understand and requires courage to confront.  It is odd that there are traditions within our military about leaving no man behind and that is a phrase or tradition that should resonate with all of you.  With the issue of suicide, there isn’t an enemy shooting at you, but there really is.  The enemy is affecting a family member, friend, co-worker or someone that should be just as important to you as the person next to you on patrol in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam or some other battlefield around the world.  The enemy isn’t shooting AK-47 rounds.  The enemy is the mind of the one contemplating suicide.  The thoughts plaguing this veteran are invisible to you but cause behaviors that are visible to those around them if you know what to look for and truly believe in not leaving someone behind on the battlefield.

This month I am asking all of you who read this article to spend some time researching what to look for and encouraging your chapter or post to take some kind of action that will raise public awareness in your area.  If you are a member at large, you can draft a letter to the editor for your local newspaper or get involved in a local suicide awareness walk.  Do something!  Last month the Air Force took a whole day off to focus on this issue.  Let’s keep the momentum going.  If we want the 94% of the population to care, we need to show them that our 6% cares first.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, either contact headquarters or contact me at chairman@ncoausa.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

August 2019 Update

August for most of us is the traditional last month of summer.  Many are still traveling on vacation and kids are preparing for the inevitable return to school.  Baseball is still going strong and college and NFL football are beginning to stir in preparation for a new season.  Things are kind of routine if you are not still on active duty and deployed somewhere in the world, especially if you are in a war zone.  For them one day seems like the next.  It is just another patrol or perhaps another day at sea if in the Navy or the Coast Guard.  Life for those still serving isn’t the same as those of us who no longer serve.  We need to keep that in mind and do what we can to ease the strains on those still serving.

I just returned from our 2019 annual business meeting.  Our staff did a remarkable job pulling this year’s event off since the venue that we were booked at was sold and closed just a few short weeks prior to us getting together.  The crowd that showed up was treated to an exceptional event.  The senior enlisted panel was reported by many in attendance as the most informative and relevant one in years.  The business meeting, although compressed for time, produced some positive changes for our association that will allow us to grow and remain competitive with our competitors going forward.  The Vanguard awards banquet produced another crop of young heroes that we can all be proud of.  I hope to see all of you in San Antonio, Texas for the 2020 conference!

On my way home from the conference, I had a layover in Denver and as I was standing in line to grab a bite to eat I noticed a clean-cut young man right in front of me.  We spoke and he informed me that he was headed for Marine Corps boot camp. I treated him to dinner and discovered he was the youngest of three brothers and his older brothers were in the Navy.  He was excited about his future.  I gave him my card and asked that he stay in touch after he graduates from boot camp.  Many of us have fallen into the trap of hasty generalization assuming that all young people are not as good as we were based on casual observations.  There are plenty of quality good young men and women in this country who are ready to assume the watch.  It is up to us to mentor the youth coming behind us and encourage them.  That old saying “how do you eat an elephant? The answer is one bite at a time.”  This analogy can be applied to our young people. Mentor one young person at a time and you will have done something to make this country and that young person proud.

I challenge you to each take that one bite and mentor a young man or woman.  I challenge each of you to bring one new member into this great association.  I am encouraged by what I see and there are a lot of good things happening within the NCOA.  Send pictures and a brief report of what you are doing to headquarters.  There are a lot of you who are not attached to a chapter but are still doing things to make our organization and our country better.  Please share them.  That will help others realize that they are not alone.  There is a saying from another group that I belong to that fits NCOA.  “No man fights alone!”   We are just bad about sharing what we do so at times it feels like we are alone.  Together we will overcome fear, complacency and a feeling that nothing we do makes a difference.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, either contact headquarters or contact me at chairman@ncoausa.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

July 2019 Update

July brings upon us the celebration of our Nation’s birth.  Many of us will be involved in patriotic parades either as participants or attendee.  There will be a massive amount of attention to fireworks, parades and patriotic music.

As men and women who served our country to support and defend the constitution, July 4th has a special place in our hearts.  Most if not all of those who signed the constitution gave up everything throughout the remainder of their lives as a result of signing that sacred document.  We should spend some time and reflect on the true cost of the freedom we all take for granted.  We should share with our children and grandchildren what that cost really means.  Service in the military is not easy and it surely isn’t convenient.

To see so many in this country right now trying to tear down our constitution is disturbing.  Perhaps we are suffering through this disassembly of our constitution because we have gotten soft or just assumed that our schools would teach the truth about the formation of our country.  My friends and fellow patriots, it is time for us to stand for the very thing that we were willing to potentially give our lives for.  However, since we survived, we may feel that we have given enough.  My question to each of you right now is do you acknowledge that while not perfect, this country is the best option in the world?

This 4th of July, were you proud of your service and what this country was formed around?  Do you feel that you have grown complacent about the reason the 4th of July is so important?  To those who have never served in the military, the 4th of July has evolved into a day off work with fireworks and parades.  The birthdate of our country used to represent thoughts about the sacrifice of our founding fathers.  Far too little is taught in our schools about the ideas of what freedom truly represents.  The core thoughts represented by the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution have faded with time.  I fear that the 4th of July for many has become just another day off of work and a reason to blow up fireworks.

I and a bunch of honored veterans just returned from an Honor Flight where our first visit was to the National Archives where we visited and got to see the actual Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  The next day we visited Arlington National Cemetery to see the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  Driving through hundreds of acres of graves of lost Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard as well as historical leaders of our country, places an appropriate reference on the cost of freedom that came about as a result of the efforts of our founding fathers.

When is the last time that you read the Declaration of Independence and/or the Constitution?  As veterans who have served and sacrificed to defend this nation, I pray that you place more importance on the 4th of July than just another holiday with fireworks.  It represents the core values that every noncommissioned officer or petty officer swore to uphold when they/you put on that uniform.  Teach that to your children and maybe we can begin to turn things around in this country!

If you have any ideas or suggestions, either contact headquarters or contact me at chairman@ncoausa.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

June 2019 Update

Rogue Chapter members on a recent Honor Flight.

As we approach the 75th anniversary of D-Day, another milestone in modern military history will be remembered.  Thousands and thousands of terrified young men stormed numerous beaches in France in what ultimately proved to be a turning point in the war in Europe.  It was the beginning of the end of the Nazi threat that had swallowed Europe, encompassed a plot to destroy an entire race of people and changed the course of history as we know it.

Some of you may have faced your own D-Day type of experience in Korea, Vietnam, Somalia or the Middle East.  While they may not have been on the same scale as D-Day 75 years ago, they still played a significant role in impacting your life going forward.  Some of you served during peace time and were not faced with the horror of battle and that is ok.  The point is that you served.  Last month we remembered those who did not survive and this month I want to remember you, the survivors!  You served, you sacrificed and you survived.  Thank you for your service.

Many of you joined the Non Commissioned Officers Association (NCOA) because it seemed like a good thing to do at the time.  For others, someone pestered you or twisted your arm until it was just easier to join rather than put up with being harangued.   Some of you joined because you believed in what we do and it made sense to you.  Some of you joined long enough to take advantage of a discount in your education.  Let me ask you a question.  Have you gotten anything out of your membership in NCOA?  If you have, I would bet it was because you put some skin in the game.  The generations that stormed the beaches of Normandy, Guadalcanal, Okinawa, the Cho son Reservoir in Korea, and numerous battles in Vietnam put some skin in the game.  They made a choice, nothing ventured, and nothing gained.  Perhaps if you haven’t gotten any value out of your membership is because you haven’t put any skin in the game yet.

Something that you can do even if you are not near a chapter that will reward you in spades is help with projects like Honor Flight that takes our older vets back to Washington DC to visit their Memorials and along the way experience what a grateful nation feels like.  Experience watching an elderly veteran transition to a proud man or woman who stands or sits a little taller because of this project.  I have heard of veterans who experienced closure to a lifetime of wondering after an Honor Flight.  I firmly believe that if any veteran or retiree experiences the results of this type of program, it will deeply affect how they perceive their fellow veterans but also a nation that they live in.

My job as a leader within NCOA is to lead, motivate, educate our membership in order to make us into an organization that we are proud of, but also an organization that we want our friends and neighbors to belong to.  NCOA is not just an organization stuck in neutral; we strive to be forward leaning and to make a difference within our communities and our nation.  We are not the largest but one day we could be.  It is a challenge to not stay stuck in the past and so fixated on tradition that we lose sight of how to survive in an ever changing world.  Your leadership is committed to look forward, but to never forget and learn from our history and tradition.

If you have any ideas or suggestions, either contact headquarters or contact me at chairman@ncoausa.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

2018 Western Region Large Chapter of the Year

This letter notifies us that the Rogue Chapter has been selected as the 2018 Western Region Large Chapter of the Year for NCOA. 

[pdf-embedder url=”https://ncoarogue.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/pdfshare.pdf”]

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