MOAA Transitions Video Series

Apr 02 2014

Published by under Transition

shutterstock_51877474MOAA is dedicated to helping servicemembers and their families during their transition from military to civilian life.

The new MOAA Transitions video series looks at five different servicemembers, all dealing with their transition in very different ways.

August 1, 2013 marked the retirement date of Lt. Cmdr. Ohene Gyapong, USN (Ret). Ohene talks about the looming deadline, the stresses of transitioning, and what it means to leave the Navy:

Learn from peers going through the process of transitioning to the civilian world, or from those who have already done so in the MOAA Transitions video series.

MOAA also provides additional resources to help aid in career transition, including:

Visit to see what else MOAA has to offer!

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MOAA Chapters Supporting New Veterans Cemetery

Apr 01 2014

Published by under Volunteering & Charities

Another reason to love our MOAA chapters – they work to honor other veterans who have gone before them:

shutterstock_19736908When Fort Ord closed two decades ago the community promised to build a veterans cemetery to provide veterans and their families with a final resting place that honors their achievements and sacrifices on behalf of our nation.

In order to provide veterans and their families with a final resting place that acknowledges and honors their achievements and sacrifices on behalf of our nation, the Central Coast State Veterans Cemetery capital campaign mission is to honor those who have served the cause of freedom by raising local funds to deliver the promise of a Central Coast State Veterans Cemetery at the former Fort Ord Army Base.

MOAA Santa Cruz chapter president LTjg Robert Burns, USNR, presented a check for over $5,300 to a member of the Veterans Cemetery fund at Ft Ord, California. The gift was a culmination of donations made by chapter members, family and friends – often in memory of a fallen comrade – to support the Monterey Bay cemetery project over the last ten years!

Recently, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it will award the state of California $6.7 million to build the California Coast State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Ord.  The funds will cover all construction costs associated with building Phase 1: Columbarium of the cemetery.

The Santa Cruz MOAA Chapter members are pleased that their donations over the past ten years will finally be used for their intended purpose, and MOAA national is proud of the efforts by this group in their local community.

To learn more about the Central Coast State Veterans Cemetery capital campaign, visit their website.

Find and join a local chapter of MOAA near you and start working to support veterans in your community!


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Walk of Heroes Veterans War Memorial

Mar 31 2014

Published by under Volunteering & Charities

The Walk of Heroes Veterans War Memorial in Georgia is developed around a ‘visual and interactive’ concept to cultivate a public understanding of the sacrifices made by veterans on the battlefields during and since the 20th century and by their families whose sacrifices helped to protect and maintain the freedom enjoyed by Americans today.

According to the Walk of Heroes site:

In a park setting, the memorial provides through a self-paced and self-guided tour, the opportunity for the public to reflect on the rights and freedoms enjoyed by today’s citizens in the United States of America, which have been preserved by unselfish acts of all veterans.

Revised_WOH_Rendering_08_22_12The park will display a series of quotes, wall carvings, statues, and specific enclaves, dedicated to the five wars and other conflicts of the twentieth century. Also, there will be sculptures to further express the bravery of every veteran who offered his or her all to protect the rights of every citizen.

Learn more about the memorial, and how you can donate, at the Walk of Heroes website. And to view the full size rendering of the new memorial, click on the image above.



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Friday Fun: Virtual Vet Dogs 5K Run and Dog Walk to Support Disabled Vets

Mar 28 2014

therapydogsBecause puppies:

America’s VetDogs is excited to host the Fourth Annual Annapolis 5K Run & Dog Walk to benefit America’s VetDogs, a non-profit organization that provides guide and service dogs, free of charge, to disabled veterans of all eras at no cost to them. Although the event takes place at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Maryland on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 8 a.m., those interested in supporting the organization and not in the Maryland area can “virtually” participate.

Virtual participation allows supporters to register for $25, fundraise in their own community and take on a 5K run or walk in their hometown. An event t-shirt will be provided. The Virtual Participation option is available within the registration area of

“America’s VetDogs recognizes the dedication and personal sacrifices made by our military personnel and others that serve our county,” says Wells Jones, CEO of America’s VetDogs. “As the demand for service dogs has increased, many disabled veterans are eager to receive a dog of their own for their chance to be self-reliant once again. This race only furthers our cause to meet this demand.”

Retired Army Staff Sergeant Brian Pearce, a Purple Heart recipient, and his America’s VetDogs guide dog Gunner will be the guest of honor at this year’s event. Brian suffered a traumatic brain injury and substantial vision loss while he was deployed in Iraq in 2006. He spent two months in a coma after shrapnel from a roadside bomb shot through his head. In the years that followed, he has also dealt with short-term memory loss and post-traumatic stress disorder, among other problems. Brian received his guide dog, a black Labrador, from the VetDogs organization in 2013.

Pearce’s dog Gunner has been trained to do both guide dog work and some service dog tasks. As a guide, the dog will enable him to follow a clear path, maneuver around obstacles, and stop at curbs. The dog has also been trained to perform nightmare interruption. Brian says Gunner “has made a huge difference for me. My posture is better, my attitude is better and I’m able to deal with things much better than a year ago. It’s absolutely phenomenal.”

To register online please visit If posting on Twitter or Facebook, please use #VetDogs5K.

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Nominees for 2014 SecDef Employer Support Freedom Award

Mar 28 2014

Published by under Transition

Our friends at the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense office, received 2,864 nominations from Guardsmen and Reservists for the 2014 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award!

The Freedom Award is the Department of Defense’s highest recognition honoring employers that support employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve. Up to 15 award recipients will be announced this summer and honored at the Pentagon in September at the 19th annual Freedom Award ceremony.

Even with troop drawdowns, service members are frequently called to duty to protect our Nation’s security and support humanitarian relief missions. Service members rely on the support of civilian employers, who provide reassurance and stability for these Citizen Warriors and their loved ones. The Freedom Award honors those employers who not only safeguard the positions of their military employees while they perform military duty or are deployed, but establish exceptional and generous initiatives that accommodate and care for employees and their families.

Last year, recipients met with President Barack Obama, who praised them for the exceptional support provided to their Guard and Reserve employees. Recipients also met with senior Defense Department leaders as part of the award recognition.

This year’s nominees represent employers large and small from nearly every industry, including airlines, grocery store chains, national retail brands and IT companies, as well as small businesses, and state and local governments. ESGR received nominations from Guard and Reserve members in all 50 states, Guam-CNMI, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. Semifinalists will be announced later this spring. To see the complete list of nominees, please visit


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