Club Spotlight: Military Officer of America Association
As a naval officer, and, later, as a retired vet, Clyde Meade could’ve become an active member in any number of military organizations. He chose the Military Officers Association of America.
“What I like about MOAA is we give support to all veterans, regardless of what they do,” says Meade. “As a veteran myself, I have a desire to give back.”
Forging deep relationships amongst its members is a key component of the MOAA. Befitting a group powered by active-duty and retired members of the armed forces, the MOAA is also is ever at the ready: backing grants to combat food, financial and other woes among veterans; awarding scholarships to families of military families; and fighting for military pay and retirement benefits.
“We get Congress to pay attention,” retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, president and CEO of MOAA, tells GroupWorks in a statement. “Our experts in Washington tap our network to help them effectively lobby [for] legislation that benefits all uniformed officers and the entire military community.”
The group boasts 350,000 members and 400 chapters nationwide. GroupWorks is fortunate to be affiliated with several MOAA chapters, including the Northern Arizona Chapter.
The Northern Arizona Chapter is led by Meade, a retired U.S. Naval lieutenant commander, who serves as its president. The chapter, which meets bi-monthly in the city of Prescott, about 100 miles north of Phoenix, helps back college scholarships for Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. cadets at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s local campus, and offers awards to high-schoolers in Prescott and Bullhead City, Arizona.
Meade says the group is also involved with the local Veterans Affairs hospital, and at the ready with clothing and other assistance for neighborhood homeless vets: “It’s not a handout,” Meade says of the latter effort. “It’s a hand up.”
The Northern Arizona Chapter is new to the GroupWorks community. (“I’m always open to new ideas,” Meade says.) For now, the chapter primarily uses the platform to share news about club events and meetings.
Meade joined MOAA while still on active duty. But he says he didn’t become an active member until he and his wife put down roots in Prescott four years ago. Within a year, Meade was the chapter president.
“What got me more involved was I wasn’t moving every two years,” says Meade, 65, who retired from the Navy in 2004 after a 32-year career. “I was in a position where I needed something to do other than sit around.”
What Meade needed, it turned out, was the group experience — a return, in a way, to the camaraderie he’d experienced in the military.
“Getting to be a part of this, and doing these kind of things in giving back — it’s the right thing to do,” Meade says.