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:


    PO Box 5002
    San Luis Obispo, CA 93403-5002


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




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


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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:



Vacation meetings



Next Meeting: Friday Sept 14, 2018

Program TBA...enjoy your summer



Highlights of some prior Meetings:

Saturday, June 2, 2018

This was the annual picnic at the Atascadero Lake Park on Morro Road (Hwy 41) held jointly with the Vandenberg Chapter of the MOWW. Food and beverage were provided with the Atascadero Kiwanis doing the cooking.. Family and friends were encouraged to attend to...make it a picnic!! NO BUSINESS


The Zoo at the park...MOWW sponsored the zoo sign and the statue of founder Charles Paddock (on the left) Some meet and greet time
Awaiting the desserts... Kiwanis chef Jimmy with the desserts!!
The Kiwanis again did a great job cooking the chow


May 11, 2018

This was an interesting forum/open discussion on our Chapter and where we have been and where we want to go. The "results" will be discussed at the next Excom meeting and forwarded to the membership.

The group MAJ Jim Hawkins with some thoughts
LTC Richard Ennes discussing some financials LTC Ken Chapman with some insights

April 13, 2018

We had a lot of opportunity to socialize at the meeting with no formal speaker on the program. LTJG Joe Brocato, USN (fmr), was our member speaking about several things but mainly his experience with Dave Congalton on KVEC 920 talk radio.

Joe had met Congalton when he (Joe) wanted to publicize the MOWW WWII Veterans Tribute at the Madonna a couple of years ago and he asked to be on the show.  Joe’s social and political bent was made apparent to Mr. Congalton at that time and reinforced by Joe calling in often to support or rebuff Dave’s guest.  This familiarity gave rise to several subsequent invitations to be on the program to discuss the “hot topic” of the day.  The most recent being April 5th to discuss California’s Sanctuary Cities…there is no doubt about where Joe stands on that one!


There is no “script” on the program they just set a topic and let it flow.  Joe presents his views in a clear concise manner so no one has any doubt on where he stands. Joe does not attempt to change anyone’s mind, just to present his point of view…clearly. Callers can add some points that trigger some in-depth discussions. (Joe indicated the callers’ names are shown on a screen to Dave and he then selects one to be on the air… he has some favorites).


We had a small group but it was an interesting meeting with some good social time


LTJG Joe addressing the group Capt Dave with some observations...


Capt Dave was in a philosophical mood and had some thoughts on our generation passing down some of our ideals and morae’s to the younger folks.  Setting the example for personal responsibility and earning our way is high on the list.  We also had some discussion on the proposal to split California into 3 states (some interesting pros and cons). 


Capt Dave with a Thank You certificate for LTLG Joe



March 9, 2018

Dick Mellinger and Gil Igleheart, the co-founders of Pawsabilities for Veterans (previously Paws for a Cause), brought us up to date on their program which is set up primarily as one of several fund raising organizations for New Life K9’s, and they have been doing very well. New Life K9s train and place the service dogs with military veterans and First Responders diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or other significant disabilities at no cost to the recipient.

Jack Gould heads up the New Life K9s organization and brought Caramel (a Labradoodle) with him to the meeting. Jack mentioned it does take about 2 years to train a dog and they are now using inmates at the Soledad and San Luis Obispo Men’s Colony prisons to assist in the training.  The dog stays with the inmate during the week and spends the weekend outside with a trainer for socialization and other specific training.  There is a definite benefit to the inmate in their training of the dog…our local newspaper The Tribune had a relating article in the January, 2018 edition (see it here).


Both groups were with us last year, fully explained their objectives, and continue doing a great job.


Dick Mellinger with an introduction of guests Gil Igleheart with some updates to Pawsabilities for Veterans

Jack Gould indicated that 13 dogs had been placed to date with 10 going to military veterans and 3 to First Responders. There are currently 24 dogs in training.  It takes about 2 years and $10K to train each dog, and they start at age 8 weeks.

There was a 50% success rate in the earlier training of the pups but that has gone to 90% with the use of the inmates. 


A win/win for everyone. 

Caramel with her trainer Nicole

Pawabilities purchased three puppies from Kathy’s Labs.  Janet Jett, representing Kathy’s Labs, is holding certificates for Jack to present these puppies to New Life K9s.

Capt Dave with a Thank You Plaque to Gil and Dale

Our guests for the luncheon.


The gentlemen in the back are Capt David, Jack Gould, Gil Igleheart, and Dale Melinger. The ladies are, from the left, Karen Gould, Janet Jett (representing Kathy's Labs), Nicole Hern, Trainer and of course in the lower front Caramel our silent star of the show!

February 9, 2018

An update presentation was made by Maj. Jamie Warner, USMC (Fmr.) highlighting the current status of the Mighty Oaks Warrior Program. 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.”


The Program Jamie presenting...he is a very polished speaker
Jamie Close up Capt Dave presenting a Thank You Certificate

While on active duty Jamie served as a CH-53 Pilot. He lives in Atascadero, recently taught high school, and works with the Mighty Oaks Foundation from an "Outpost" just out of San Miguel.

Their Mission is to operate on a standing commitment to reach the brokenhearted, with specific calling to assist our nation’s military Warriors and families find a new life purpose through a hope in Christ, after enduring hardship through their service to America.  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."  Jamie indicated that the program is also available to troubled First Responders, whether or not they happen to be veterans.

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.  Funding is provided solely by private donations (no government money).

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.

For more information, their website is:

January 12, 2018

Our guest speaker was Brigadier General Kelly Fisher, Land Component Commander - California Army National Guard.  BG Fisher gave an excellent presentation describing the overall function of the National Guard. Everyone left the meeting with a much better feeling for the mission of the NG (our Citizen Soldiers).

There is a Federal and State aspect to the National Guard.  The Federal side reports to the President via Army/Air Force Staff to Secretary of the Army/Air Force to Secretary of Defense to the President.  The State side (both Army and AF) reports to the Governor via the Adjutants General.  Relative personnel size: Army NG is ~34% of total Army and Air NG is ~21% total Air Force. The California guard currently has approximately 22,000 soldiers.

The three basic missions of the NG are:

Federal including:  Warfighting Operations (Iraq/Syria, Europe, Philippines, Turkey) , Counterdrug, Homeland Response, State Partnership Programs, et al.

State including: Military Airlift (rescue, medevac, fire fighting), Drug support to Law Enforcement, Cyber Security Operations, Disaster support (floods/fires), et al.  

Community including: Work for Warriors (state/federal partnership), Operational support aircraft, Homeless shelter program, Civil disorder/order, CA Cadet Corps, At risk youth programs…such as the Grizzly Academy, et al.

The CA NG funding is primarily provided by the Federal Government (94%).


Having Lunch and conversation BG Kelly Fisher
The NG started a long time ago..... BG Fisher Presenting
BG Fisher answering questions And President Capt Dave presenting a thank you certificate to BG Fisher

December 8, 2017

This was our annual Christmas Party again at the Madonna. Social hour started at 5:30 pm and the menu selections were Salmon &
Rib Eye. We were in the dance floor/band-stand area and this was (and is) always a fun event.


Some photos:




November 10, 2017

During the meeting we elected our leadership for the next two years and addressed some fundamental issues regarding the very core of our growth going forward.


The officers for the coming year remain the same with the exception that MAJ Jim Murphy will assume the position of Chaplain to give our long time Chaplain CDR Bill Houston some time off.


The MOAA and MOWW are looking at having some combined social meetings during the coming year. The Gmail contacts lists will be merged so all upcoming events can be communicated with both organizations.


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 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:

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.



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