by Juan Chavez
The spotlight shined brightly on our chapter during the month of May, and several of our chapter members were caught in the limelight. Two events of significance were the subject of favorable newspaper coverage and community goodwill.
On the 18th of May we awarded seven college scholarships to some outstanding junior ROTC cadets from area high schools at our annual JROTC Scholarship Awards Luncheon. NC State Representative John Szoka, a chapter member, was the featured speaker and assisted in the presentation of scholarships. There was an excellent article in the Fayetteville Observer of 19 May courtesy of Drew Brooks, Military Editor of the newspaper and one of our honorary chapter members.
The second event was the dedication of the new Global War on Terrorism Memorial Monument held at Freedom Memorial Park in Fayetteville on Memorial Day the 28th of May. This was the culmination of a two-year community effort in which the Cape Fear Chapter played a major part by donating the $25,000 needed to purchase the monument. This was also a historic milestone for the chapter being the first tangible contribution to our local community. Bill Kirby reported the story in his column of the Fayetteville Observer on 26 May.
Several chapter members participated in the dedication ceremony. Our gratitude is extended to: General Dan McNeill who was the keynote speaker and assisted in unveiling the dedication plaque; Tim Atkinson, our chapter chaplain who delivered the invocation; Jim Wanovich and Jon Pendell who assisted me in laying our memorial wreath on the new monument; Art Rodriguez and Don Gersh who captured the ceremony on film. Steve DeVane, a staff writer for the Fayetteville Observer covered the dedication ceremony and his report appeared in the front page of the Fayetteville Observer on 29 May.
On a quieter note, but of equal importance to our chapter was the awarding of 23 ROTC MOAA leadership awards to outstanding junior ROTC cadets at various military balls, dining outs, and/or awards ceremonies across our 6-county catchment area. Special thanks to chapter members who help present these awards on behalf of MOAA: Tim Atkinson, George Blanc, Bruce Brown, Juan Chavez, Stan Dodson, Don Gersh, Tom Glockzin, John Hazlett, Ralph Hinrichs, LeShawn Langford, Art Macaltao, Harold Thacker, Bob White, and Marty Williams.
In summary, we managed to navigate another very busy, but productive and rewarding month of May. The wealth of positive publicity these events generated will hopefully pay great dividends in terms of attracting new members.
In closing, the US Army will observe its 243st birthday on June 14, 2018. Happy birthday to all our Army brethren and happy Fathers’ Day to all the dads out there.
Don’t forget the Members Appreciation Picnic on 21 July at Smith Lake! Have a great and safe summer everyone!