* Bruce Specher, Director of Public Affairs (VISN6) provides this copy of the Voices of VISN6, Volume 9, Issue 4 via their distribution list for including on our web site.
* Further, Bruce has offered to post in his newsletter any article/announcement from NCCOC chapters that has to do with Veterans...links to your Chapter newsletter or activities that are on your own Chapter webpage can also be advertised/posted.
* To partner with the VA in ways such as this can only be advantageous...a win/win so to speak.
December 15, 2018
The accompanied pictures are from the Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Sandhills State Veterans Cemetery, Spring Lake on December 15, 2018. This was a most memorable JOINT group - the MOAA Uniformed Services Nurse Advocates Virtual Chapter is grateful to USAA for their Chapter Sponsorship and other member donations were able to distribute wreaths to 4 sites around the country, thus the USAA and MOAA signs. The Cape Fear Chapter was represented by COL (Ret) Ok Sun Hodges whose spouse MAJ (Ret) Alexander Hodges was interred there this past year; COL (Ret) Diana DiStefano (Sandhills Chapter), COL (Ret) Jeri Graham, COL (Ret) Diane Scherr, COL (Ret) Ed Baisden and COL (Ret) Deb Betts also noted.
November 10, 2018 - In Memoriam
Lt.Col. Long was born in Ashe County, NC on July 22nd, 1925, the 11th child of George and Flora Long. With the attack on Pearl Harbor, Joe joined the Army Air Corp, volunteering for pilot training. He was diverted to gunnery school and served on B24 aircraft until 1946. After the war, Joe entered the University of North Carolina, graduating in 1950 with a BS in Commerce and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the United States Air Force. Upon graduation, Joe entered pilot training. He served 14 years with the Strategic Air Command (SAC), flying B29’s on reconnaissance missions during the Korean War. He served as an instructor at SAC with his experience in B29, B47, B50, and B52 aircraft. While assigned to Lowry Air Force Base, he earned a master’s degree in Industrial Management from the University of Colorado in 1963. In 1967, he volunteered for Vietnam serving as a forward air controller. Upon returning, he was assigned to the Military Airlift Command and flew the C141 in support of the war. Between 1968 and 1972 he flew hundreds of troop support missions over to Vietnam and Air Evac missions back to the United States. For his last mission, he was designated to transport 65 senior ambassadors to Ethiopia for a UN meeting. He finished his career with a 2-year assignment with the Joint Military Assistance Group where they helped modernize the Korean Military Forces. He served a total of 35 years and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, 8 Air Medals, 1 Joint Service Commendation Medal and 2 Air Force Commendation Medals. Shortly after retiring in 1978, he was part of a large group to work on assistance to the Shah of Iran to shape a modern military force.
After retiring, he served many volunteer hours with the Military Officers Association of America, Federal Retiree Task Force, the 4th Branch and his local MOAA chapter. He also worked with the Red Cross on their emergency notification system for active military. He never stopped serving!
Joe married Martha Price in 1946 and they became parents to Pattie. Martha passed away after a lengthy illness after 54 years of marriage. In 2003, he and Joan Freeman Shaw were married. Their blended family includes 5 children,10 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. Joe and Joan reside at Searstone Community in Cary, NC.
Link: Joseph H. Long Legacy.com Obituary on the Raleigh News & Observer
November 2, 2018
Each year, we observe Veterans Day in honor of all those who answered the call to serve our country. On Veterans Day (Sunday, November 11th), we pay a special tribute to the men and women and their families who sacrificed so much for our nation and our country. I know firsthand that service members, veterans, and their families are the cornerstone of their communities all across this great state. Day in and day out, I, and my dedicated staff are working tirelessly to ensure that every veteran in our state receives the highest level of service in appreciation for the sacrifice, honor, dignity and integrity they exhibited while serving our country. Veterans, active duty military and their families account for almost ten percent of our total population. These individuals are an incredible asset to our state’s economy and culture.
North Carolina is proud to be the home of the most exemplary military bases in our nation. These facilities are manned by thousands of brave and committed men and women who work hard every day to ensure that the freedoms that we hold dear are kept safe. Our state is one of the top destinations for these individuals when they transition back to civilian life. We work hard to preserve that designation for those transitioning as well as our veteran community.
I am devoted to addressing the needs and challenges that veterans and their families face on a daily basis. My staff and I, along with Governor Cooper, are steadfast in our commitment to enriching the lives of veterans and their families. Together our team stands ready to offer sound advice, assistance and resources to address our veterans’ needs.
I ask, whether you are a veteran, an advocate or a veteran family member that you call (844) 624-8387 or go online for the latest updates and information regarding veterans. Also, below is a short list of upcoming Veterans Day events. For more events and information on discounts, visit our website or our Facebook page. We hope that you will utilize and share this content with fellow veterans and their families. I also encourage you to keep us informed about what we can do to be of greater assistance to you.
It is my goal as your Chief Advocate to make sure that every active service member and veteran knows that North Carolina is honored to have them in our great state.
Thank you for your service and for all you have done and continue to do!
Secretary Larry D. Hall
NC Legislature's Long Session, 2019
* Please help to encourage the North Carolina legislature to make Bailey Patton state law and provide for fair taxation of ALL government retirees in NC, including military retirees...
* Read more here:
The NC 4th Branch is lobbying hard to get the legislative bill entitled “Equal Tax Treatment of Government Retirees” passed this upcoming session. We are approaching a make-or-break point on this critical tax exemption issue that benefits newly retired and soon to be retired military personnel, as well as retired government employees at all levels. A key factor that the General Assembly legislators have often pointed out is that they are not hearing about this issue from their constituents throughout the state. The 4th Branch lobbying team sends our legislative alerts at appropriate times and asks subscribers to send out pre-staged email messages to their respective state legislators. Please know that we have established a new platform to enhance the quality of website operations. Today, most organizations that advocate for causes, use a similar technology as one method of outreach to legislators. Our website is easy to navigate and use to get important messages to the smart phones and computers of staff and legislators. Our chapters of 4th Branch member organizations have tried a variety of outreach methods to solicit support for registering on the 4th Branch website and system with minimal results. Our grassroots efforts have such potential for making a difference, but they require some commitment and effort. Remember that you do not need to be a retiree to register for the 4th Branch website. Please consider encouraging your spouse, other adult family members, friends, colleagues to register for the 4th Branch website at www.4thbranchnc.org.
Link: Sign the petition here:
Council/Chapter Name / Award
NC00 - North Carolina State Council / 5 Star
NC01 - Cape Fear Chapter / 5 Star
NC02 - Coastal Carolina Chapter / 4 Star
NC04 - Charlotte-Metrolina Chapter / 5 Star
NC07 - Southeastern NC Chapter / 5 Star
NC08 - Tarheel Central Chapter / 4 Star
NC09 - Triangle Chapter / 5 Star
NC10 - Western North Carolina Chapter / 5 Star
NC21 - High Country Chapter / 5 Star