Arizona Chapter

In April 2020, the Arizona Chapter MOAA received a grant of $3750 from the MOAA Foundation that is designed for chapter member volunteer participation in a project involving four non-profit organizations. Due to the pandemic this project was split into three smaller projects to minimize numbers of participants. On July 29 the first of those projects took place between Youth for Troops, Veterans First Limited, and our MOAA Arizona Chapter. With the assistance of students from Youth for Troops who set up the materials, five members from the Arizona MOAA Chapter filled 40 backpacks that are focused on two groups: 2nd & 3rd grades and 4th, 5th, & 6th grades. These backpacks were then delivered to the Veterans First Ltd office where they will be given to children of single women veterans in crisis.

On August 19, PROJECT #2 took place between Youth for Troops, U.S. Vets Phoenix, the James Walton Home and the MOAA Arizona Chapter. U.S. Vets Phoenix provides for a successful transition of military veterans and their families through the provision of housing, counseling, career development and comprehensive support. We delivered 8 baskets and 8 laundry bags full of cleaning supplies, condiments, personal hygiene items, and toweling to their offices. Lisa Lozano, Coordinator for Supportive Services for Veterans Families at U.S. Vets is limited in the items they can provide for veterans moving into an apartment and said that what we provided will fill that gap. She is extremely appreciative of the partnership with MOAA and is looking forward to working with us in the future.

On September 16th, the last project took place at the Youth for Troops headquarters in Anthem, AZ. Approximately 25 participants from Youth for Troops, Project Veterans Pride-James Walton Home program, and members of the Arizona Chapter of MOAA took part in this project. Groups worked to fill hygiene boxes (25) and food boxes (50) and made them ready for delivery to the post office to be sent to FPO and APO addresses of deployed troops. Other groups worked on writing notes of appreciation to our troops, while additional groups worked to decorate boxes for future use. Participants also worked with cutting strips from plastic bags that will be further woven together as plastic mats to be utilized by homeless vets for many uses.

Grand Canyon

Lt. Col.(R) Joyce Kloeber, one of our chapter Grant Administrators, was contacted by a social worker at the VA Supportive Housing (VASH) office asking if we could provide financial assistance to a combat veteran. Specifically, the veteran has located housing but many of his personal and household goods were in storage and he was unable to retrieve his property because his U-Haul storage rental fees were delinquent in the amount of $464.39 and he was unable to pay. The veteran was unemployed and was having difficulty finding employment due to COVID-19 and other factors. The veteran is a 9-year Army veteran who served in the Iraqi War. We contacted Ms. Kathleen Battali, General Manager of the Flagstaff U-Haul office, and explained the circumstances to her. Upon being told that we were going to assist a combat veteran by paying his bill so that he could retrieve his personal goods, Ms. Battali waived the late fees and charged only $203.76, which was paid by our chapter using the MOAA COVID-19 Grant.

The greatest news about this situation is that after Ms. Battali met the veteran, he was offered and accepted a job at the U-Haul facility. The photograph below shows LTC(R) Steve Jarvis, Chapter President, presenting an MOAA chapter certificate of appreciation to Ms. Battali for going above and beyond to support a veteran. She said that she was going to share this gesture with her regional manager and thanked us for our support.

Veterans Day Parade

Green Valley

Green Valley Chapter recent luncheon:
Chapter President Joe Longo presents a check for $1000 to COL Sandra Wilson, Vice Commander, 162nd Fighter Wing, AZ Air National Guard, for the Wing’s Food Locker while Mikie Hoeye, Airman & Family Readiness Program Manager looks on. P.S. Masks were removed for the photo!
Turkeys for Troops

Luke Chapter

Turkeys for Troops
The Chapter members donated almost 1,000 individual cans, boxes, etc. to this program – a record.  Last year had set a record too when we had 672 items.

Those pictured from L to R: COL Ted Stults and his wife Marilyn; COL Mike Kramer; MAJ (Chaplain) Fannalou Guggisberg; LTC Dennis DeFrain and Carol Mungas; COL Jerry and Pam Wojtas.

Airmen sitting around the table near the Luke Control Tower.  It was taken in May 2020 when we provided meals to all the troops working on the flight line – during the time when many restaurants, etc. were closed.

We were able to get the Fifth Wheel (photo) for the veteran in Globe.  Luke Chapter funds covered about 1/3 the cost; 1/3 was covered by Honorary Member Bonita Popejoy and 1/3 by her sister Angie Elliott who lives in Florida but is married to a retired Air Force officer.  The Gila house, a 501c3 also provided the last $500 of the $8,000 total that was needed to get the vehicle and move it.

All this was coordinated through the Gila County Community Services Office.  This is a photo of the RV.  The title will be made out to The Gila House and the veteran will lease it at a modest rate of about $20 per year for as long as he needs it.  He is not in the greatest health and we felt this is the best way to handle it – and then another veteran will get it when he is unable to live there.

Northern Arizona Chapter

Granite Gate Senior Living Card Project

I asked our members to join me in sending cards and letters to let the residents know that we were thinking about them. One of our members even created homemade cards. The staff put the cards on the food trays to be delivered to the residents rooms. Here’s what Granite Gate Senior Living had to say about our effort. The following was posted on their facebook page:

Heartfelt cards from The Northern Arizona Chapter of the Military Officers to our Residents. This proud group of men and women let our Residents know that we are all in this together and ” this to shall pass”.The cards brought smiles and some tears. We consider the Military Officers part of our Granite Gate Family and thank them for their service to our Country. This thoughtful gesture during this very stressful time was greatly appreciated.

Memorial Day Parade at Granite Gate

Our fearless leader, Sharon Douglas

Our fearless leader, Sharon Douglas

Our Intrepid Members

The second activity we were involved in was a drive through mini parade on Memorial Day. Granite Gate has many veterans who reside there. The staff always has activities planned to celebrate Memorial Day and their residents. With such strict limitations, the staff reached out to NACMOAA and asked if there was anything we could do. We came up with the idea of a parade through the parking lot of the center. We had 13 members, including 7 of our board members, and 8 vehicles participate. We put patriotic decorations on the cars and trucks, and had patriotic music playing from a CD made especially for this occasion. by one of our members.

The residents were told what time to be out on their balconies. We made 3 passes by the residents’ windows and balconies. They were out waving, some with flags and clapping. It was so heartwarming to see them so excited to be able to celebrate the holiday while staying safe.

On May 25th, ten intrepid members of our Chapter gathered at Granite Gate Senior Living Community, decorated our eight cars and drove around the apartment building honking horns and playing patriotic music provided by Dick Jonas.    Pictures taken by Mary Jonas. 

From the Field

MOAA chapters give back to their communities through fundraising efforts, community-service projects, scholarship programs, and other initiatives. Here are some recent activities.

The Northern Arizona Chapter recently presented two ROTC and one Junior ROTC scholarships to local students. Recipients were an Army and an Air Force cadet from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) as well as a high school junior from Bradshaw Mountain High School. In addition, the chapter cosponsored the ERAU AROTC Lumberjack Battalion entry in the 2021 Bataan Memorial Death March. All 11 of the cadets finished the 26.2-mile march with 35-pound ruck sacks.

Mohave Satellite

February: Kimberly Christensen, nursing student at Mohave Community College (MCC), was awarded a $1,000.00 scholarship at the February meeting in recognition of her outstanding work to accomplish her goals. Pres. Jerry Hietpas along with Lake Havasu City Vice-Mayor David Lane presented Kimberly with a scholarship certificate. She is a 6-year member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves at Nellis AFB, she works as a unit coordinator in a medical-surgical unit at the Bullhead City Hospital, is a teller at a bank and has a 3-year-old daughter.

Mohave Satellite MOAA Table: photo taken on Oct. 17th at the Veterans Stand Down in Lake Havasu City (l to r) Joan McDermott, VP for programs, Jerry Hietpas, Pres. NACMOAA-Mohave Satellite, and his wife Dody Lee-Hietpas.

Mohave High School: 5 Oct: Maj. Bob Roberts presents the award certificate, MOAA medal for outstanding cadet and the Mohave Satellite’s check for $500.00 on 5 October 2020 to AFJROTC Cadet Major Jaime Lozoya

Tucson Chapter

Cienega H.S. JROTC cadet Alex Ciampa

MOAA Medal to Gisell Lopez Desert View H.S.

Let Freedom Sing Concert

Catalina Mountain Satellite Chapter

17 OCT 2020 COL Nagy presents Certificate of Appreciation and Challenge Coin to COL Lenzini.