Rogue Chapter

Christmas Party Check Presentations

December 2018 Report

I hope that you all had a blessed Thanksgiving and experienced why there is so much to be thankful for in this great country.  In a few short weeks, Christmas will be here.  The vast majority of us will have the opportunity to be with families and loved ones and to experience what Christmas is all about.  I don’t have to remind you that we have many brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers and sons and daughters who will be away from us this eighteenth Christmas season since 9/11.  Please pray that this will be the last time we have troops in harm’s way at Christmas.

I want to thank all of you who have contacted me about sending care packages to some of our troops in Afghanistan.  If you sent something special to another service member as a result of my last column, thank you.  I was deployed to Fallujah, Iraq for Christmas 2005 and I can assure you that being in a combat zone is a humbling experience.  I have a grandson serving in the United States Army right now and his wife, also a soldier, will be spending this Christmas separated from him in Eastern Europe.  Separation is a way of life in the military, so this year, I ask all of you to do what you can to ease that loneliness just a little bit.  You will feel better and I can assure you that our troops will appreciate it.  Some chapters have sent cards and others care packages.  All can pray for their safety.  You can also do something special for the families back home to show them how much we support their service man or woman.

A college professor once stated “There is no such thing as a free lunch!  Someone somewhere is paying for it.”  I have never forgotten that statement and I think that we all need to spend some time reflecting on what it means.  There are some in this country that have been so brainwashed with the entitlement mantra that they think that by being able to breath air, they are entitled to free stuff.  There is a big difference between free and free to you!

My generation and most of the ones that came before me understood that only through hard work and effort were things earned.  The benefits earned by our service in the military are earned by your years of service, but they aren’t free.  Taxpayers cover the cost and yes that means even those who serve are investing in the very benefits that we receive.  That GI-Bill education or that VA disability payment is not free.  The difference between the benefits earned by years of service in the military and many of the things being talked about by politician’s todays is a matter of investment and effort.  Each of us has invested years of our lives, holidays away from our loved ones and numerous other inconveniences because we chose to serve to protect our freedoms.  Be proud of that!

Now I know there are some of you that were drafted into service and that was not a choice that you would have made at the time, but in the end you served rather than run away and hide in Canada.  You earned those benefits because you did serve.  If you wore the uniform of any branch of the military, I salute you.  Do not diminish that service because you were drafted rather than volunteering.  You served and therefore earned every benefit those groups like NCOA and a host of other organizations fought hard to win for you.

As we approach the end of a turbulent year and look forward to a new and hopefully better year, remember this!  Life is a matter of choices.  Each of us can choose to be part of the solution or we can relegate ourselves to be a part of the problem.  NCOA will align itself to be part of the solution.  Will you help?  If you have thoughts, I want to hear them.  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

November 2018 Report

November 10th is the 243rd birthday for the United States Marine Corps, so a very happy and respectful birthday wish goes out to all Marines, past and present and for those who will serve, the bar has been set high.

Many of you served in combat and can truly understand the significance of service over the holidays.  Being away from family and loved ones is hard no matter what day it is, but there is something a bit more emotional when we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas away from home.  There are Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen serving all over the world this upcoming holiday season and when I use the word “man”, I also want to call out that there are a lot of women serving proudly right alongside.

There is a base in Afghanistan that my chapter has been supporting for some time.  There are Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen at Camp Shorab.  NCOA’s mission is to look after the quality of life for our enlisted men and women as well as their families.  This holiday season, I am going to ask a favor of all of you.  This base doesn’t have a PX and many of the outposts do not even have a chow hall.  They are asking for simple hygiene items as well as snacks and canned food to supplement their diet.  I received thank you letters from several enlisted Marines thanking NCOA for our support.  I am asking all of you to consider sending some care packages and or any service man or women Christmas cards to this base to let them know that NCOA truly does support them.  While I have one isolated base to support, you may know of others.  In either case, please support our troops on the front lines in harm’s way.  What a way to plant a seed that NCOA cares for them and will step up and take care of them.  Email me for the address if interested in this specific base or if you have any questions about what to send or how to send it and I will be happy to guide you.

After much thought and research, NCOA will be having our annual conference next year in San Antonio from July 16-18.  We need you to seriously consider attending as many significant changes in our organization will be formulated and voted on and you should all be involved in the decision process.  There is plenty of time until we meet in San Antonio to budget and come.  I hope to see all of you there.

Finally, NCOA has all of the programs that all of the other service organizations have, but we have a leadership team that truly cares about each and every one of you.  I have the privilege of working alongside Vince Patton, our National President.  Our current Board is made up of active duty and retirees from across the military spectrum.  We are working hard behind the scenes to turn NCOA from just another veteran service organization into the premier organization that focuses on “all” of our enlisted forces.  Hop onto the crest of this wave and be a part of this process.  If you have any ideas or suggestions, I want to hear from you.  Email me at chairman@ncoausa.org.  Remember, failure is not an option!

Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example

Terry M. Haines

Chairman, International Board of Directors

October 2018 Report

This month I want to honor all of the five branches of our Armed Forces.  With so much in our society that seems to be tearing us down as a nation, the one thing I have personally experienced is a respect for our warriors.  October 13th will mark the 243rd birthday for the United States Navy.  For every Submariner, surface sailor, Airman, Seabee, Special Operations and a host of other specialties that make up the United States Navy, thank you for your service and Happy Birthday!  Going forward I will celebrate each branch on their birthday month.

I have had the privilege of working with a program called Honor Flight that takes our older veterans back to Washington DC to visit their Memorials.  There are Honor Flight Hubs in over 40 states so most of our membership should be near one of these hubs.  Last year while on a flight, we were approaching the Navy Memorial and there was the almost daily protest going on in Washington.  We were blocked from access but our bus stopped anyway.  When our older veterans started getting off of the bus and getting into their wheelchairs, the protest stopped.  These young men and women that were protesting gathered around our veterans and cheered for them.  They clapped, thanked them for their service and cleared the way for our group to get to the Navy Memorial.  Our veterans received a special feeling of honor that day that was spontaneous and heartfelt.  You see, even in the melting pot of protest, our veterans experienced appreciation for their service.

If you watch TV or listen to talk radio much, it is easy to assume that this country is broken and there is nothing good to feel about it any longer.  I can tell you from personal experience that getting active in your community with projects like Honor Flight or Snowball Express allow you to feel some of the good that still exists in this country.

You all served in the military. No matter what rank you held, you experienced leadership.  If what you are doing isn’t working, why not try something else?  If you are not satisfied with the results that you are getting in your life, try something else.  Mark Twain once said “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”

If you are truly happy with what is going on in your community, keep up what you are doing.  If not, do something about it.  Whether you are involved with an NCOA chapter or are just a member without anyone else around, you were trained by the military to make a difference.  Maybe it is time to reflect and find out why you were born.  There is an old saying, how do you eat an elephant?  The answer is one bite at a time.  Take your first bite today and begin the process of making a difference.  Success feels good!  Just like those angry protesters in Washington, when they saw those veterans, they stopped protesting long enough to honor those vets.

NCOA is changing.  We are going to make a difference in this country one person at a time.  Join the movement for positive change.  If you have any ideas or suggestions, I want to hear from you.  Email me at chairman@ncoausa.org.  Remember, failure is not an option!

Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example

Terry M. Haines

Chairman, International Board of Directors

September 2018 Report

This month I want to try something different.  NCOA in its current form has been doing things a certain way since 1960 when we were first created as a Veteran’s Service Organization.  Our mission calls for us to fight for quality of life for all enlisted personnel and their families from all five branches of the military.

We have received a number of thought provoking ideas about where we are weak as an association and I must agree that we have a lot of room for improvement, but I have said it before and I will reiterate it again, failure is not an option.   It is a foregone conclusion that we need an injection of youth into our organization in order to keep up with the times.  The flow of new recruits into all branches of the military is healthy enough that we still are an all-volunteer military.  Considering that we as a nation have been at war for almost 17 years, it is amazing that our force still maintains its status as the best fighting force in the world.  How can that be?  Many in the older generation think that the younger generation does nothing but play video games and text on their phones.  While that perception may be partially true for some of the younger generation, how can it be absolutely true with all of those who are serving today?  They can’t maintain our fighting force at such an elite level by keeping their nose buried in a cell phone or playing video games 24/7.

Maybe those who are serving have some the same stuff that we had when we joined decades ago.  They must be patriotic or why would they sign up knowing there is a good chance they will be deployed to a combat theater?  They must have some level of discipline.  They must have some sense of loyalty.

I have talked to many younger sailors and soldiers and they have some level of desire to improve their community.  I propose that this younger generation has many of the same qualities that we had, but it just manifests itself differently than we are used to seeing.

We have spent years complaining about what is wrong with everything in our lives.  There isn’t much wrong with this world and NCOA that hasn’t already been identified and analyzed.  I am asking you today to shift gears.  What do we do well?  Come at this exercise as if the glass is half full rather than half empty.  Talk to young people and listen?  Stop assuming that you know what they think or you will never hear what they are saying.  Brainstorm with the younger generation.  What do they want?  How do they want to accomplish it?  How can NCOA help?  What do they need that they can’t get from the military?

It is time we all started looking for solutions rather than dwelling on problems!  If you have any suggestions as to how we should operate as an organization, I want to hear about it.  My email is chairman@ncoausa.org.  I can assure you that your thoughts, ideas and suggestions will not be ignored.  I pass every email that I get onto the entire leadership team.  We want to turn NCOA into a leading veterans service organization that makes a difference for you and your family no matter whether you are in your 20’s or your 60’s.  I say again, “Failure is not an option!”

 

Strength in Unity & Leadership By Example

Terry M. Haines

Chairman, International Board of Directors

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    September 14
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    September 19 - September 22
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Find out more about our national organization by going to their website at www.ncoausa.org.