Chapter luncheon meetings are held the second Friday of the month with social "hour" at 11:30 am and lunch at ~12:00 noon.

 

The meetings are held in the Garden Room of the Madonna Inn Resort and Spa

 

     100 Madonna Rd

     San Luis Obispo, CA

     (click here for the map)

 

Cost is $25 (which includes salad, lunch, dessert, coffee/tea and a good "program") and reservations are requested by the Monday preceding the Friday Meeting.  A firm commitment is made at this time to the Madonna on the number of meals to prepare..and for which the chapter will be billed.  Your support in making timely reservations is appreciated.  Reservations may be requested by mail and sent to:

 

    MOAA
    PO Box 5002
    San Luis Obispo, CA 93403-5002

 

You may call Richard Ennes at 805.227.7138 or Ken at 805.489.8214 or fill in the following which will be sent to Richard via email:

 

 

 

Date of Meeting:
Name:
Number for Lunch:
Number of Vegetarian Meals:
Names of Guests:
Comments:

 

Reservation
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Please make all checks payable to:   CCCC MOAA

Business/business casual attire is suggested and the wearing of your Military Uniform is encouraged.


Meeting Schedule:

Tuesday

Oct 31

MOAA Excom...breakfast meeting at the Madonna, 9:00 am

Friday

Nov 10

Luncheon meeting at the Madonna, 11:30 am

 

 

Next Meeting: Friday Nov 10, 2017

Program TBA

 

 

 

Highlights of some prior Meetings:

October 13, 2017

This was our Joint Meeting with MOWW for a tribute to and Celebration of Col Jack Jones' Life.

 

Photos courtesy of LTC Richard Ennes, USAF (ret)
 

A slide show of photos showing Jack in many of his activities was presented by Erick Wand, a very long time friend of Jack.

 

A number of people expressed how pleased, touched, and impressed they were with Erick's slides.

Commander LTC Lou Stout, Erick Wand, and MAJ Jim Murphy.

 

Lou and Jim were the MC's for the meeting. Our thanks to not only Jim, Lou and Erick, but also to Capt David Brandmeyer and Lt Ron Janney for their collective efforts in organizing this fine tribute to Jack.

Craig Jones, Jack's son, presented an overview of his dad and his close family ties as well as the outstanding career of Jack and his many community involvements.

 

Sheriff Ian Parkinson highlighting Jack's
law enforcement career
Councilwoman Debbie Arnold represented the SLO County Board of Supervisors and local congressmen. Debbie is presenting a certificate from our congress representatives. During her talk, Debbie hit on almost all the activities Jack was involved with.
COL Loren Weeks, USA (ret) and Lt Col Angel Ortiz (the new commander of Camp San Luis Obispo) presented a bronze plaque of a soldier in battle dress to Craig.

 

September 8, 2017

 

Captain Robert Christenson, USN (Ret), gave an interesting presentation on "The Evacuation of Saigon”. As the Executive Officer of the USS Blue Ridge, a command ship off the coast of Vietnam in April 1975, he was there. He shared his experiences and perspective on the actual evacuation.

 

There was not universal agreement on the part of American politicians on the pre-planning of an evacuation...some resisted even planning with the "concern" that if you plan it...it will happen. But of course some did the planning and had several options, the last of which was to use helicopters. With the North Vietnamese bombing the airstrips and the access to the sea (use of airplanes and boats were not practicable) it forced the last option.

 

The Topic

Capt Bob presenting

 

(These photos were from the USS Blue Ridge)

 

 

 

 

 

American helicopters as well as South Vietnamese copters were used to carry the people from the embassy to ships. The ships were not aircraft carriers so there was not a lot of deck space. Also notice the copters in the photo have skids vs wheels so moving them around deck to make room for more coming...was "a challenge".

 

 

 

 

 

The "space" problem was solved by shoving the helicopters overboard!! Capt Bob pointed out that there is a lot of our military hardware at the bottom of the South China Sea.

 

 

 

 

Lt(jg) Joe Brocato, USN (fmr) reminded the members of his efforts to have the montages of our local veterans on file at the Veterans Museum in SLO for future viewing by the public.

 

Joe also offered to create montages for any of our veterans that were not covered previously.

 

 



Note: The annual picnic on June 17 was cancelled to enable our members to attend the funeral service for our special
Col Jack Jones, USA (ret)

May 12, 2017

Our main speaker was Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham elected in November 2016 to represent the 35th Assembly District covering all of San Luis Obispo county and parts of Santa Barbara county.  Mr. Cunningham was a graduate of Atascadero High School, attended Point Loma Nazarene University, and obtained a law degree from UC Berkeley. He previously served as a Deputy District Attorney for SLO county.

 

He feels the main focus of government in Sacramento should be Education, Infrastructure, and Public Safety followed by everything else.  He is a strong supporter of technical education post high school to train our future plumbers, welders, electricians, and the other trades groups.  His statistic was that 70% of high school graduates do not graduate from college…they need to have more tech/ed training available to them.

 

His take is the recently passed gas tax and vehicle registration fee increases to “fix the roads” was absolutely unnecessary…cancel the bullet train to nowhere and those funds would do the job. He is not a supporter of an inefficient Caltrans, et al. 


A major focus is also to get the ever increasing bureaucracy to do their job!  He has an uphill battle as a member of the minor party in Sacramento.


We look forward to future visits from the Assemblyman and he looks to be a good replacement for Katcho.

 

Following the question and answer session, President David presented a Certificate of Appreciation to the Assemblyman

 

Lt Col Lou Stout, USA (ret) presented cash awards to a couple of Cal Poly ROTC Cadets for their excellent work as Cadets.  $500 was presented to Spencer Reagan and $1,000 to Katherine Holst.

 

Spencer expressing his appreciation Katherine showing her appreciation

 

The MOWW under the leadership of Lt(jg) Joe Brocato, USN (fmr) held 3 luncheon tributes to: 1. WWII era Vets, 2. Korean War era Vets, and 3. Vietnam era Vets.  Joe highlighted that a permanent tribute will be made for display at the Veterans Museum in San Luis Obispo under the coordination of Joe and COL Jack Jones, USA (ret) who heads up the museum. 

 

Joe is showing a representation of the plaques that will be prepared and displayed on the walls with the names of local veterans listed by their period of service:


WWII Era
Korea Era
Vietnam Era
Post-Vietnam Era


All of the service collages previously prepared for each vet attending a Tribute will also be archived and made available for public viewing.  In this regard, Joe has slightly reformatted the collages to provide a space for a personal signature and intends that each and every collage be signed.

 

 

Michael Knight representing the We Honor Vets group talked about his group along with Vietnam Veterans of America having a similar luncheon tribute for Post-Vietnam era veterans at the Madonna on November 11, 2017.  Each vet will receive a very nice drawing made by a local artist. Joe Brocato is acting as an advisor for this endeavor.


Michael Knight can be contacted at 805.481.0359 for details.

 

Michael presenting

The Artwork: very well done, note the representation of the American Flag made by the clouds

 

 

The Central California Coast of MOAA has established a scholarship fund with which we support graduating ROTC (see above) and Grizzly Academy Cadets. Specifically, under this program, we award one deserving Grizzly Cadet in each graduating class a $500 Scholarship in the name of BG John Gong, a former commander at Camp San Luis Obispo.


A check for $500 was sent to LTC Timothy Vincent, US Army to be awarded in the name of the BG John Gong MOAA Scholarship Fund, through the Grizzly Youth Academy Community Foundation, to a graduating cadet who has demonstrated leadership as they determined appropriate.

 

April 14, 2017: Paws for a Cause is now: Pawsability for Veterans

 

Dale Mellinger brought us up to date on the local Paws for a Cause program, which was set up primarily as a fund raising organization for New Life k9’s.  New Life trains and places service dogs with military veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at no cost to the veteran.  Both groups were with us about a year ago, fully explained their objectives, and are doing a great job.

 

As Dale and his group were in the process of obtaining a 501C3 non-profit designation (which was an exercise in trying one’s patience with the Feds and the State) a non related group in Michigan with the name Paws With a Cause filed suit as an infringement on their name.  The Michigan group provides dogs to disabled individuals independent of military service. 

 

After incurring legal expenses to counter this suit and with the prospect of it going on…it was decided a new name was the least expensive way to go.
The new name is: Pawsability for Veterans

 

Gil Iglehart followed Dale with some added insights into Pawsability for Veterans. He and Dale stated that last year the Paws group raised over $41K and after $6K of expenses (mostly legal) gave the balance to help support New Life and the Woods Humane Society.

Jack Gould heads up the New Life group and brought Hercules with him to the meeting.  Jack mentioned it does take about 2 years to train a dog at a cost of about $10K.  They are now providing 1 dog a month against a waiting list of 15-17 vets.

Hercules was a quiet star of the show!!

 

An award winning video produced by some talented students from Cambria High School was shown at the meeting and presented some interviews with veterans explaining the value of having their service dog always with them. 

 

Some of the training of the dogs is done in a few penal institutions by convicts who are also veterans.  The video interviewed a convict assigned to help train a dog and he likewise talked about the value to him personally of being associated with the dog.

 

These are the students with their Photography instructor.

 

We had a very nice, cordial attendance to share the afternoon

Col Angel Ortiz warmed up the crowd by sharing some of his past and current assignments...currently in a leadership position at Camp San Luis Obispo.

(He is also a newly re-signed up member of MOAA.)

 

March 10, 2017 - joint meeting with MOWW and MCL680

The MOWW and MCL680 joined us at this luncheon to pay our mutual respect to Chuck Ward. Chuck has done much for all of these organizations over the years and he will be greatly missed. There was also a representation of our local and county political offices and law enforcement. Our President David did a fine job in making the proper introductions and keeping the meeting flowing smoothly.

 

Many comments were made on the multitude of projects and community support efforts made by Chuck over his "retirement" years (Wow..what an active retirement!!) and an appreciation for the fine man he was.

 

Treasurer Richard Ennes with some help from
Betsy & Phyllis
Nice turnout to recognize Chuck
A slide show highlighting Chuck's many endeavors and projects was presented by Dave Frayer, who worked very closely with Chuck for ~10 years Atascadero Mayor Tom O'Malley reading a citation to Chuck for Whitney with Paso Robles Mayor Steve Martin assisting
County Supervisor Debbie Arnold reading a proclamation from all of the Supervisors Whitney with Debbie and the nice county proclamation
Whitney with Col Jack Jones, USA (ret) with a certificate from the MOWW, Chuck was the current Commander of the Vandenberg Chapter of the MOWW MOWW Sr. Vice Commander Lt Ron Janney, USN (fmr) saying a few words
CPT Dick Hathcock, USA (fmr) and Jr. Vice Commander of the MOWW: Dick was close to Chuck and supported his many projects Tim Haley representing the Marine Corp League 680, a fellow marine to Chuck and a long time close friend
Whitney expressing his appreciation for all the honors and support given to his dad...Pops was quite a guy!

 

 

February 10, 2017

 

A presentation was made by Maj. Jamie Warner, USMC (Fmr.) highlighting the Mighty Oaks Warrior Program. While on active duty Jamie served as a CH-53 Pilot. He now lives in Atascadero, teaches high school, and works with the Mighty Oaks Foundation from an "Outpost" just out of San Miguel.

 

The interesting name for this country wide program which is Faith Based reflects the message of Isaiah 61: “To restore the brokenhearted through Christ, to build leaders of leaders to rise up from the ashes; they will be called Mighty Oaks of Righteousness.”

 

Jamie described The Process as: "We work to lead people to a moment of decision…the decision to get up and become the person that they were created to be."

 

An intensive weekly meeting is guided by Outpost Leaders, who have received Mighty Oaks Leadership training. Attendees learn strategies and successes in combating the challenges of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS), combat trauma and daily life utilizing the program curriculum and group interaction. Attendees discuss resources and support one another during their various journeys of recovery. The Warriors who attend are fully sponsored for training, meals, and lodging needs to ensure that upon arrival to the ranch, each Warrior is focused solely on his or her recovery and identifying purpose moving forward.

 

The leadership teams have the unique ability to connect with the Warriors and their families. Since all instructors are program alumni, they each have experienced tragedy and hardships through their service to America. Having endured deployments, family separations, learning to handle the effects of PTS (both in war and at home), the instructors are able to connect to the students on a peer level, opening a forum that is not found in clinical environments.

 

If you are a current member of the military, a spouse or a veteran who struggles from reintegration, PTS or combat trauma and you are interested in building a life of strength, courage and purpose you are welcome to attend.

 

This program is a bit more intensive than the SLO Vet Center program discussed last month by Mike Young. Jamie showed a video of a young veteran describing in great detail the struggles he went through, the impact on the family, the unreal tremendous tolerance of his wife, and in spite of this support his actual attempt at suicide. While in the hospital recovering from his 60 ft jump, he was made aware of the Mighty Oaks program...attended an intense week long session in San Miguel area...and is well on his way to recovery. It was a very moving story.

 

Their website is: http://www.mightyoaksprograms.org/

 

There are various programs that work with veterans going through emotional trauma...we have highlighted 3 of them: Mighty Oaks, Vet Center, and Paws for a Cause. Guess the real issue is to get the message out that help is available.

 

Jamie presenting his slide show Super topic
The young man after his descriptive video - meeting his instructors Jamie with a Thank You from President David

 

 

 

January 13, 2017

 

Our speaker was Mike Young the Director of the San Luis Obispo Vet Center.  Mike gave an extremely interesting, informative, articulate discussion of the Vet Center, which not many of us knew about. (Mike served in the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve.)

 

The goal of the Vet Center is to provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services enabling eligible Veterans to achieve a satisfying post-war readjustment to civilian life.  There is never a charge for Vet Center services.

 

Overview Slide Mike presenting

 

The Vet Center is a part of the Veterans Administration but an automatous entity that is capable of maintaining very strict confidentiality for the veterans being supported. The Vet Center is a readjustment counseling service dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), alcohol & drug assessment, and suicide prevention.

 

Veterans that served on active duty in a war zone against a hostile force are eligible for the services of the Vet Center, as well as their family members. Service members that provided medical care to the causalities of war are also eligible for services at a Vet Center.  Any veteran seeking help for military sexual trauma is automatically eligible for care.  Members of the family of a veteran who died on active duty are eligible for bereavement counseling.

 

Eligibility Chart Mike with President David after Mike's presentation


Mike indicated that anyone calling his office or any Vet Center gets a live person answering the phone and a Vet Center Combat Call Center is available 24/7 (phone: 1.877.War.Vets).


The San Luis Obispo office is located at 1070 Southwood Drive (805.782.9101). Their hours can be flexible depending on the need. Mike also indicated that his office often goes to where the veterans are.

 

 

December 9, 2016: Christmas Social at the Madonna

This was our annual Dress Up get together for conversation, dining, dancing, and having fun! Very enjoyable evening.

 

Some of the group From another angle....
The band played some great music And our couples did some great dancing

 

Some of the couples:

 

 

 

 

November 11, 2016

CAPT Doug Evans, USN (ret) gave a very comprehensive overview of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Doug is currently head of all Security efforts at the facility with a staff of 340 highly trained individuals. Security is taken very seriously.

 

Doug is a member of the CCCC MOAA chapter and served 26 years in the Navy, 12 years active duty as skipper of a nuclear submarine with 14 years in the reserves. He is really a nuclear guy with over 34 years total experience. Diablo is scheduled to shut down totally in the next 7-8 years. California legislature has dictated that a growing percentage of electrical power in the state is to be provided by "renewable" sources over time. Nuclear is "clean" but not considered renewable. The projection is that by 2030 with the growth of "alternative" sources of electrical power the demand from Diablo would be ~50% of current output...and it would not be economically feasible to operate the plant.

 

Doug did go through the operational concept of a nuclear plant and gave an indepth overview of the security efforts currently in operation and that will continue during the shutdown. The threats are sabotage (internal) and attacks by air, sea, & land. All employees go thru a screening process at the start of their shift that is much more extensive than what one goes through at the airport today....and are limited to what areas of the facility they have access to. There is a shooting range on site and it is used extensively, the security personnel have continuing training much more extensive than the police departments.

 

CDR Bill Houston, USN (ret) aka Padre Bill, gave a very fitting invocation and benediction for this meeting on Veterans Day CAPT Evans addressing his slide presentation
CAPT Doug making some points and doing the pointing...(how a nuclear plant operates)
The Certificate of Appreciation presented by President CAPT David Brandmeyer, USMC (ret) Mary Faber paid the chapter a visit as she has moved out of the area...and President David took the opportunity to recognize Mary and her many contributions to the chapter.


 

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