Southwest FL – This month we again played host to the annual South West Florida Joint Luncheon with attendees from the Bradenton, Venice, and Lee Coast chapters joining us. Additionally, John and Myra Morrison, the President and First Lady of the Florida Council of Chapters joined us from the East Coast.
Our guest speaker was Major General Joe Lynch, MOAA General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, who up-to-dated us on events in Washington DC affecting military issues and veterans. After a decade of winning legislation, including Tricare and Tricare for Life, congress is beginning to look not too favorably on our military benefits. Maj Gen Lynch pointed out that less than 20% of the members of Congress served in the military, and MOAA must continually educate them about the sacrifices endured by our active duty military and veterans. With the issues of budget deficits and sequestration being pushed at DOD, Pentagon planners are proposing measures that will have a serious impact on recruiting, retention and readiness; capping pay increases at 1%, cutting the basic allowance for housing by 5%, increasing Tricare fees, and cutting COLA by 1% per year for new retirees until age 62. All of the proposed reductions are budget driven, without any regard for the world situation and past experiences.
MOAA says that while cuts are necessary, it should not all come out of the hides of our military personnel and should be equally shared by all. MOAA is doing the best that they can to support and lobby for the very best quality of life for active duty military, veterans and their families and we are encouraged to do all we can at the grassroots level to influence our legislators.
Maj Gen Lynch is a dynamic speaker who caught and held our attention as he covered a myriad of topics affecting all of us. The presentation was extremely thorough and informative and we welcome him and his lovely wife Pat to join again at any time.
MOAS is the Sarasota Chapter of Military Officers Association of America. MOAA is the nation’s largest and most influential association of military officers with 370,000 members. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization. For more information visit, www.sarasotamoaa.com