From the President's Desk: June 2019
Greetings Olympia Area MOAA Chapter Members, I hope everyone is enjoying the great spring weather and had a peaceful Memorial Day weekend. I had the privilege to attend the special dedication and grand opening for"Project Welcome Home", a memorial at the Museum of Flight in Tukwila to honor all Vietnam Veterans. The former Secretary of Defense and retired General James Mattis was the keynote speaker and I had the opportunity to chat with my former boss. I worked for him when he was the Commander of US Central Command. I took a moment to tell him about this great chapter of ours and he seemed pleased.
Bill Moseley and I were at the Shelton High School JROTC award ceremony on 29 May and we had the great honor of presenting awards to two terrific high school students (thanks also to Carrie Nielson,Sam and Barb Cagle for attending). Since we provide substantial financial support to this JROTC program, I want to take a moment to highlight the accomplishments of these students.
We started the evening by awarding Cadet Ensign Emma Gordham with the Military Officers Association JROTC Medal. Emma is going into her senior year next year and has a reputation of not letting any obstacle stand in her way. She has consistently demonstrated exceptional potential for military leadership and continues to go the extra mile for the cadets, the school and the community. Her instructor told me that she will be an integral part of the NJROTC program next year as the recruiting officer.
Next, we presented the chapter’s first ever $1,000 scholarship to Cadet LCDR Benjamin Pierce. Benjamin is the former Commanding Officer of the high school JROTC unit; he has served as the face of the company at all events around the county and has shown the younger cadets how to become leaders themselves. Benjamin has elected to attend Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington. Both of these cadets are the finest examples of how influential these JROTC programs are in producing future leaders for our communities and our nation.There were many other awards presented by other organizations to these students and it was so fun and refreshing to see these cadets cheer each other on as each one received an award; they had so much positive energy!
There was an amazing amount of talent in this group of kids, from academic achievement to athleticism. I have to also recognize the instructors for enabling these kids to do such an outstanding job: LCDR Darrell Hood and Sgt.Major Daniel Hernandez. Additionally, LCDR Hood said he will join our chapter! I am so glad we, as a chapter,support this tremendous program. It was a great pleasure to present the JROTC Booster Club with $500 to continue this support. These JROTC students will be future leaders in their community and our nation.
COL (Ret) Howard Lim