KILLEEN — The Central Texas chapter of the Military Officers Association of America voted in their new officers Friday during their November meeting at the Shilo Inn Suites Hotel.
The new officers will be sworn in during the January meeting. There will not be a meeting during December.
Aaron Zook will continue as the chapter president. Dewitt Mayfield will serve as first vice president and Reggie Bass will serve as second vice. Tom Brautigan will serve as the new secretary and webmaster, Tony Kosta will serve as treasurer with the assistance of Daman Pfaltzgraff and Dick Archer remains the past president.
Dick Chapin and Pat Christ will serve as directors for a three year term starting in 2017. Ed Bandas and Leona Mae DeGraw will continue as directors until 2018 and Jeff Davison and Len Gulig will complete their final years as directors in 2017.
“I’m looking forward to it. It’s been pretty interesting so far, to be honest,” said Brautigan. “They put a lot of faith in me — I know just enough to be dangerous when it comes to websites, enough to make changes through somebody else, but I think it’s going to help ease the navigation for people coming on board.”
The new secretary/webmaster said he encourages not only former officers of all branches of service, but those currently serving to become members of MOAA.
“They do a lot more than just raise funds for scholarshoops for ROTC cadets,” he said. “They have a pretty big voice when it comes to benefits and health care issues the affect both active duty and retirees. The more I uncover, the more I realize (MOAA) does have a voice in the veteran community.”
Brautigan said the chapter plans to “storm the hill” in Austin in 2017, meeting state legislators and bringing veteran and military issues to them. The purpose is to ensure programs such as the Hazelwood Act, which gives additional college tuition to Texas veterans, and state veteran homes and cemeteries continue to receive funding.
“Somebody has to be out there fighting the fight, and these guys do it,” he said. “But youth is not on their side, so I don’t mind coming in to pick up the torch.”
In other chapter news, enough money was raised in 2016 to provide two scholarships for students attending a college ROTC, said Dewitt. In prior years, only students in a high school Junior ROTC program were considered, but upcoming scholarships will open to any student signed up for college ROTC, with the first place scholarship receiving $1,500 and second place $1,000.
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