The Mission of The Hilton Head Area Chapter is: (1) To promote the aims of The Military Officers Association of America, as stated in the preamble to the Bylaws of that Association; (2) To further the legislative and other objectives of The Military Officers Association of America; (3) To encourage and facilitate camaraderie among retired, active, and former officers of the uniformed services; (4) To provide useful services for, and to protect the interest of, members and their dependents and survivors; and (5) To serve the community and the Nation.
To uphold the Mission of the Chapter, the following Officers and Directors have been elected for 2012.
President:Blaine Lotz; 1stVP:Frank Gindhart; 2ndVP:Charles Gobrecht; Secretary:Howard Haines; Treasurer:Jerry Sarver; Past President:David Pustilnik; Legislative:George Stubbs; Personal Affairs:Bob Reuter; Public Affairs:John Cully; Education:Ed Tankins; Military Coalition:Tom Shanahan; Headliner/Website:Bob McGarry.
Information on Joining the Chapter
Membership in the Chapter is composed of : (1) Regular Members consisting of men and women who are or have been Commissioned or Warrant Officers of the seven U. S. uniformed services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Public Health Services) or the reserves or other components of those services; and who are Retired Officers, Officers on active duty, and Officers separated from the service under honorable conditions; and (2) Auxiliary Members consisting of widows and widowers of any deceased individuals who would, if living, be eligible for membership. Membership is obtained by completing a “Membership Application” form and paying the appropriate annual dues. Membership in National MOAA is not required for Chapter membership.
A Membership Application Form may be obtained by contacting the Membership Chair, Charles Gobrecht, at 843-342-7171 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chapter provides a variety of activities. Speakers are invited to six or seven Chapter luncheons during the year. A visit to The Citadel is an example field trip. We also host an annual picnic and a Holiday Luncheon. The Chapter contributed $1,590 to the Fisher House Foundation; awarded $1,000 scholarships to two graduating JROTC students; gave several grants of $250 to JROTC students; and presented $200 US Saving Bonds to five JROTC students. A memorial flag pole was purchased, installed, and dedicated at the Children's House. We provide volunteers to staff the Wounded Warriors/Patriots Outpost Tent at the Verizon Heritage PGA Golf Tournament; solicit help for the Lt. Dan Bike Ride; and provide volunteers to staff the USO Welcome Center at the Savannah Airport. For deceased veterans, we assist in placing flags at grave sites of the veterans on three occasions. We also sponsor and participate with other Veteran Groups in activities at the Military Veterans Memorial.
The Chapter has an appointed “Director of Legislative Affairs” whose responsibility is to stay current on all Legislative Issues, both in South Carolina and the United States Legislative, as well as local government. This Director reports to the Chapter’s Board of Directors at its monthly meetings on issues that may have impacts on the Chapter membership. The Director works closely with the South Carolina State Council of Chapters counterpart to make certain that all necessary information is ready and available to be shared with Chapter members. This insures that Chapter members are both well informed of, and actively supportive of National MOAA objectives. A “Legislative Update” column appears in all six issues of the Chapter’s Newsletter and several email “blast” are sent to members to encourage them to contact their elected governmental representatives. The Hilton Head Area Chapter continues to spearhead the South Carolina State Council of Chapters effort to exempt all retirement pay for all retired military personnel from South Carolina State income tax. At least one luncheon meting during the year is devoted to a speaker on National, State, or local Legislative issues. A representative from the State or National MOAA is also a frequent luncheon meeting speaker.
While the population of the geographical area of The Hilton Head Area Chapter is growing, the area does not contain any active military bases. These are all located in adjacent Chapters. Therefore, the addition of active duty officers to become members of our Chapter is very difficult, if not impossible. Our Membership Chair continually makes contact with National MOAA to obtain a list of National members who are not Chapter members. The Public Affairs Director works closely with the local print and TV media
to insure that Chapter programs and participation in community activities receive maximum coverage. The Chapter also has a Personal Affairs Director who provides information to members relative to their entitlements. This Director also sends letters of condolence to family members of deceased MOAA Chapter members or of deceased spouses of a MOAA Chapter member; attend local funeral services of deceased members; provides transportation to members in need of such services so they can attend Chapter functions; and visits members in their home if they are unable to attend any Chapter functions. Our Education Director coordinates our sponsorship of five JROTC Units with various grants and scholarships. Approximately $3,000 is invested per year in these JROTC Units.
About Our Chapter
In the Spring of 1982, five members of the Beaufort, South Carolina TROA Chapter lived on Hilton Head Island. Other Retired Officers lived on Hilton Head Island and were members of the National Chapter, but were not members of the local Beaufort Chapter. With the assistance of the Beaufort Chapter, it was decided to form a separate TROA Chapter on Hilton Head. The first meeting of the new Hilton Head Chapter was held on February 16, 1983 with 36 charter members present. The Hilton Head Area Chapter serves the communities of Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, and Sun City, and other areas south of the Broad River. The Chapter currently has approximately 150 members consisting mostly of Retired Officers. The Chapter also has an Auxiliary. The Chapter publishes a bi-monthly newsletter (The Headliner) that is emailed or mailed to all Members. Information, including flyers on monthly meetings and all other activities of the Chapter, is also emailed or mailed to all Members.