President's Letter

For the past six months the MOAA Board of Directors has been discussing the future of the El Paso MOAA Chapter.  Despite the Chapter’s recognition nationally as a Five Star Chapter for the past fifteen consecutive years, and despite having received numerous additional national awards for the Border Bulletin and Communications, the Board of Directors is faced with the exceedingly difficult task of considering the closure of the El Paso MOAA Chapter.  Two key factors are influencing this decision:  (1) Key leadership turnover and (2) dwindling chapter membership.  Several key leadership positions will be vacated this year.  The chapter needs new leaders to volunteer and assume these key positions.  Additionally, our Chapter, as well as virtually every other Veteran Service Organization (VSO) in El Paso, is facing dramatically decreasing new membership enrollment, impacting both potential candidates for key positions, and membership funds.
I want to appeal to our readership and our membership, to actively participate and assist in our efforts to recruit new leaders in order to continue the great work the Chapter has performed since its inception in 1955.   I have identified below, the Board of Director (BOD) positions for Officers, Directors, and Committees, and I have highlighted in red those key positions that are currently projected to be vacant after December 2019.  Elections for BOD positions occur during the December luncheon.   After serving as President for eight of the last ten years, this will be my final year as the MOAA President.  In addition to the MOAA President position, additional key positions that will be vacated include the President of the 501c3 MOAA Outreach program; the Publications/Editor; and the Post Liaison.  If we do not get new leaders to fill these key positions for the December elections, then we will have to consider closing the El Paso Chapter.  
Board composition as of December 2019:
  President Vacant
    Secretary   Col Steve Barrett
    Treasurer   Mrs. Elma Smith
    Chaplain   Mrs. Connie Sullivan
    President, MOAA Outreach (501c3 program)  Vacant
    Immediate Past President      Vacant
    Legislative Liaison   CW2 Dave Garcia
    Membership Chair   CPT Steve Mendoza
    Programs     Col Bob Pitt
    Public Relations    LTC Martha Caldwell
    Publications/Editor/Marketing Vacant
    Surviving Spouse Liaison   Ms. Connie Sullivan
    Webmaster/Mass Email    LTC Bill Moore
    Personal Affairs Cmte    Mr. Joe Hernandez
    Transitioning Officer Placement   Col Chuck Wehmhoner
    Chair ROTC/JROTC/Youth    LTC Webster Powell
    Member Database    LTC Bill Moore
    Door Prizes     LTC Martha Caldwell
    Post Liaison  Vacant

What are you doing?  So what else can you do as a member of the El Paso active duty and retiree military community?    
A.  Get Informed.  Understand MOAA’s Top Ten Goals for the year, and track MOAA’s progress in fighting for your compensation and benefits.
Stay connected  to MOAA:;                                                                                 ;                                                                                          
B.  Get involved.  
(1) Communicate directly with your political representatives.  You can send elected officials your own message of support utilizing MOAA National’s website, Legislative Action Center. You can also choose a MOAA-suggested message telling your elected leaders to support veteran focused legislation, especially important now as congressional leaders begin the debate on the NDAA.  Your message will be pushed automatically to your House and Senate leaders. Communicate directly to your elected officials and be heard.  It’s easy. Go to www.moaa.organd use their simple tools.  Its is easy…and it is effective.
(2) Become a MOAA Member and speak with one voice.  Your membership entitles you to access to, and use of valuable planning tools, and continuous lobbying efforts to preserve your earned military benefits.  Join now by visiting  
  “Professional Leaders belong to Professional Organizations.” Become part of the solution.  Join MOAA.  
“Never Stop Serving"

Forrest Smith
Colonel, United States Army, Retired
President - 2019

2018 Communications Award