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  Tarheel Central Chapter MOAA: Serving Surry, Yadkin, Davie, Stokes, Forsyth, and Davidson counties in NC

News & Events: What's happening in MOAA's Tarheel Central Chapter


General News Top ▲

Triad Honor Flight's final for 2023
Jackie Kohler and team deliver another huge success

Our own Greg Bean and Vernon Robinson were among the honored on this flight..

Other members who attended the return were moved almost beyond words by the warmth and energy of the crowd welcoming these warriors back from their day in Washington, DC. Family members, but many others simply wanting to attend in recognition and thanks for the service given to the citizens of the US.

Posted Oct 6, 23 by Thomas Denegre Under General News Permalink 1696602288
50th Anniversary of the US exit from Vietnam

The following is from the March issue of the VFW MAGAZINE:

"...By March 29, 1973, all U.S. combat troops had left the country, (Vietnam).

U.S. military advisors to the South Vietnamese army and Marine guards at

the U.S. Embassy in Saigon remained until the fall of the city in 1975.

From Jan. 1, 1965, to March 28, 1973, a total of 2,594,000 U.S. troops-

including 7,484 women- served within the borders of South Vietnam. During

that same time period, a total of 3,403,100 U.S. troops, (including 514,300

offshore) served in the Southeast Asia Theater, which included Vietnam, Laos,

Cambodia, Thailand, and the South China Sea.

According to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Foundation, a total of 58,281

U.S. troops were killed in the war."

Here are some interesting facts about the names that are on the Vietnam

War Memorial Wall:

There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.

39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.

8,283 were just 19 years old.

The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.

12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.

5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.

One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam.

1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam.

31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.

Thirty-one sets of parents lost two of their sons.

54 soldiers attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia.

8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.

244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War;

153 of them are on the Wall.

Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.

West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation.

There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.

The most casualty deaths in a single day was on January 31, 1968,

with 245 deaths.

The most casualty deaths in a single month was in May 1968,

with 2,415 casualties incurred.



Posted Feb 23, 23 by Thomas Denegre Under General News Permalink 1677179349
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Posted Dec 26, 10 by Dennis Lennon Under General News Permalink 1264184208

Taps Report Top ▲

Passing of Richard Hipwood
Capt. USAF (Vet)

We are saddened to report one of our newest members, Richard Hipwood, has passed after a brief illness. He and his wife, Nalyn, only just joined us in 2023 and were thoroughly enjoying being back in the company of other men and women having military experience.

Richard served in the United States Air Force for 8 years achieving the rank of Captain. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal for his service.

As a devoted husband, friend, and photographer, he enjoyed traveling,

taking photos, and everything about cars. Richard graduated from Drake University with his bachelor’s degree and then went on to receive his master’s degree from Arkansas. He was closely involved with the Corsa Rossa car club and the Alfa Romeo owners club, he also frequently visited the Virginia International Raceway.

Posted Feb 15, 24 by Thomas Denegre Under Taps Report Permalink 1708028996
Passing of Ira Schwarz, Captain USN, Ret.

At age 95, Captain Ira N. Schwarz, US Navy Retired, left the bridge and passed away September 22, 2023. Ira was not alone; members of the Tarheel Central Chapter of MOAA were present during his last moments. He will be interned in The Arlington National Cemetery.

After high school, Ira spent three years in Aeronautical Engineering at Virginia Tech, but his education was cut short by the death of his father. In 1949, Ira joined the Navy where he completed heavier-than-air flight training and was assigned to lighter-than-air dirigibles and served a post-WWII tour defending the east coast from submarines.

He briefly flew amphibious aircraft like the PBY-5 with his next tour as an instrument flight instructor in SNJ & SNB aircraft, followed by General Line School at Monterey where Ira learned about ships and ship handling. He went on to Hawaii for a tour in VU-1, during which he completed jet transitional training. In 1960, Ira reported to the Naval Post Graduate School (NPGS) in Monterey, CA for further studies in Aeronautical Engineering.

Upon graduation, and switching to Aeronautical Engineering duty, Ira reported to the Senior Program Office (SPO) as Head, Inertial Navigation Section, and a part of the Navigation Branch. His group was responsible for the Ships Inertial Navigators (SINS), the heart of successful navigation at sea. To feed these systems they developed a satellite navigation system (later introduced for civilian use as GPS). They simultaneously perfected a periscope capable of exposure for only 30 seconds that recorded a 17-star fix. As he explained, “If you can know exactly where you are, you can accurately predict where your missiles will land!”

He next commanded the Navy Aero Structures Laboratory at Naval Station, Philadelphia, PA. (1966-1968). In Viet Nam with the Marines, he determined the cause of and solution for the catastrophic losses of H-46 and H-53 helicopters. Ira and his team determined what the structural life of the blades was and how long they could be over stressed before failure would occur. Thereafter, blades could be replaced on a timed basis before catastrophic failure occurred, a new standard that saved hundreds of crews and troops!

His next tour (1968-1971) was as the Officer Assignment Officer for all AED Officers, followed by Air Systems Command (1971-1973) as Head, Structures Branch. In this position Ira was privileged to serve on the initial design team for the F-14 aircraft. Part of his responsibility was the Airborne Mine Countermeasures Equipment and support and Ira again returned to Viet Nam when it came time to remove the mines from harbors there.

His next assignment (1973-1975) was as Commanding Officer, Naval Missile Center at Point Mugu, CA. Ira became Commander, Pacific Missile Test Center from 1975-1976. This command comprised over 7,800 square miles of sea test range with three airfields; Point Mugu, San Nicholas Island and Barking Sands (in Hawaii). His responsibilities included testing each airborne missile against every navy aircraft platform.

Following that tour Ira returned to Washington as Deputy Director, Navy Space Program. In 1977 Ira retired from the Navy. As an aviator he logged over 8,000 flight hours in multiple types of military aircraft.

After retirement Ira became a major player with results in 1998 after nine years of North Carolina litigation that had the North Carolina Supreme Court uphold a decision that a breach of contract had occured and that State and Local government retirees were due a refund of taxes paid during years 1989 – 1997. The State agreed to put up a fund of $799 Million, under control of the Court, to refund the contested taxes paid by all North Carolina government retirees, Federal (military & Civil Service) and State and Local retirees. The Court was to administer the refunds, and Ira was appointed by the Court as Director, Settlement Administration.

The refunds were paid to all claimants by 2002. The final result was that every claimant, over 183,000, received a refund of all taxes paid to the State for the years 1989-1997 on government retirement benefits, PLUS an average interest of 19%.

A truly remarkable life of great accomplishments. RIP

Posted Apr 22, 23 by Thomas Denegre Under Taps Report Permalink 1695578640
Passing of "Hank" Wade, Captain USN, Ret.

With the deepest of regrets we are posting the loss of a long time dear friend of our Chapter.

CAPT Shelba H. “Hank” Wade, Jr., USN, (Ret) passed away on April 12, 2023, after a seven-year valiant battle with cancer.

He enlisted in the Navy in 1955, and became a naval aviator in 1963. Following his marriage to Gaye Sowers in 1963, they traveled to Rota, Spain for his first tour of duty. Other tours included Pensacola, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach. After leaving active duty, Hank and Gaye moved to North Carolina and raised their two daughters, Deborah and Ashley. He continued his service in the Navy reserves until he retired with the rank of Captain in 1985. Hank worked as general manager of CENCO, Inc. and served as the company’s chief corporate pilot.

Community service was very important to him. He was active at Advance United Methodist Church in committee work and teaching. Hank also served as President of the Stratford Kiwanis Club, and in more recent years as President and other offices in the Tarheel Central Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America.

He will be sorely missed by us all. RIP

Posted Apr 22, 23 by Thomas Denegre Under Taps Report Permalink 1682198242
Passing of Col. Terry Hales

Terry Lee Hales, Col.,USA, Ret.

December 14, 1946 — April 9, 2023.

Colonel Hales was a proud veteran in the US Army and retired as a full bird colonel after 30 years with his service including two tours in Vietnam. A decorated military leader, he had the respect of many around him. After serving on active duty, he taught ROTC at Oak Ridge Military Academy, RJ Reynolds High School and Davie High School for over 20 years, teaching students the value of respect, loyalty and duty to country. He served these same students both inside and outside of the classroom.

Colonel Hales joined our chapter in 2015.

Posted Apr 11, 23 by Thomas Denegre Under Taps Report Permalink 1681237893
Passing of Lt. Colonel Fred Avery Price, Jr.

We are distressed to report that Lt Co. Fred Price passed away on 5 August, 2021. Our second loss within a months time.

Fred was a new member to our Chapter so we were just getting to know him when Covid stopped our meetings. His obituary follows.

Lieutenant Colonel Fred Avery Price, Jr. passed peacefully on Thursday, August 5, 2021, after a short battle with a very aggressive cancer. He is survived by his sister, Janet McFaydden; children, Allison Price Stafford, Sharon Price Bivans, Fred A. Price III, and Robert D. Price; and his 7 grandchildren. Fred had recently turned 90 and was predeceased by his wife, Velma Flowe Rogers, who passed on December 23, 2018, after a beautiful marriage of 63 years.

Fred was born July 20, 1931, in Greensboro, NC to Fred Avery Price and Inez Varner Price. After attending Central High School in Greensboro, he continued his education at the University of North Carolina, where he graduated in 1953. He was a member of Chi Psi Fraternity. Fred was a lifelong Tar Heel fan and avid learner, later receiving his MBA from the prestigious University. In 1953, Fred joined the Air Force as a second Lieutenant, where he became a pilot and flew some of the first Jets in active service. During this time, Fred married his beloved wife, Flowe, June 18, 1955. Throughout his 23 years of service in the military, Fred served as an intelligence officer and flew many multiple-engine planes as part of the Military Airlift Command. He concluded his military career in Flying C-130s in the NC Air national guard as a Lieutenant Colonel.

Fred continued his professional career as a banker, holding prominent roles in NCNB (now Bank of America), First Union National Bank (now Wells Fargo), and Southern National Bank (Subsequently BB&T, now Truist Bank). After he and Flowe moved to Winston-Salem in 1992, Fred became an active member of the Highland Presbyterian Church, often serving on their finance committee. He further prioritized his community through his involvement with Kiwanis, an important organization to the Price family.

Posted Aug 15, 21 by Thomas Denegre Under Taps Report Permalink 1629033752
Passing of Colonel Michael Galloway Cheston

We are deeply saddened to report that Col. Cheston lost his battle with cancer on 29 July, 2021. An especial loss as he and his wife, Captain Laurie Wesely, had only just joined our Chapter in November of 2019. We had been looking forward to integrating them both deeply into the activities of the Chapter.

Attached is the cover and back of the program of remembrance at Clemmons Presbyterian Church, 3 August, 2021.

Posted Aug 10, 21 by Thomas Denegre Under Taps Report Permalink 1628631684
Member Passings in 2021
We lost an additional three long term members this year

CDR Glen Miller, USN - Past Chaplain. 12/5/21

COL Roy Adams, USA...........................12/19/21

CAPT Bob Thompson, USN....................11/10/21


Posted Jan 14, 22 by Thomas Denegre Under Taps Report Permalink 1642186736

Awards and Honors Top ▲

2023 - 5 Stars Recognition Awards From National MOAA

The Chapter Board of Directors thanks all chapter members whose contributions assisted the chapter attain these awards.

The annual Level of Excellence Award recognizes MOAA chapters that excel at supporting and fostering programs that directly support the MOAA mission and their communities.

The annual Col. Marvin J. Harris Communications Award recognizes MOAA chapters that achieve excellence in communicating with their members and communities through the newsletter, website and social media.

Posted 04/15/24 06:25 by The Webmaster Under Awards and Honors Permalink 1713176752
Scholarship Awards Dinner
May 2023

This was our awards night when we present Scholarship awards to most deserving junior military cadets to assist their entry to college level academics. A new record of 81 people attended the dinner.

Awardees were:

Cadet MaKayla Beard, Brigadier Command Sergeant Major for Forsyth county, attending Mount Tabor High-school. . Student Body President, Member of National Honor society including NHS Science, Spanish, Math and English. Plans are to attend UNC Chapel Hill

Cadet Miles Akers, Four years of JROTC at North Davidson High-school attaining rank of Colonel. Member of National Honor Society. Plans are to attend UNC Chapel Hill

Our Speaker, Dr. "Butch" Hall, PHD, took us through the run up to US entry to WWI, culminating after Germany's recommencement of unrestricted submarine warfare against all vessels sailing to and from England.

Posted May 15, 23 by Thomas Denegre Under Awards and Honors Permalink 1711655168
Scholarship Awards Dinner
May 2022

This is our JROTC Scholarship Awards Night. Always a very special treat for our membership to meet these bright aspiring Cadets as they move up into their College Years.

This years recipients were: Jaydeliz Paola Rivera Matos and Leah Katherine Waddell, Both highly qualified and with most impressive resumes which can be seen in the download menu below.

Jaydeliz is off to Old Dominion University with long term plans to becoming a Medical Doctor. Leah is off to Appalachian State University for a BA in Criminal Justice and long terms plans to enter service with the NC State Bureau of Investigation.

Following the award ceremonies Jackie Kohler, VP Board of Directors, Triad Honor Flight Organization, spoke about their structure and activities. Kohler is a retired business woman, widow of a Navy Commander and mother of two combat wounded Marines. She, herself, comes from a military family and served 4 years as a Military Police Officer.

Posted May 13, 22 by Thomas Denegre Under Awards and Honors Permalink 1711655279
Jacqueline Kohler receives Surviving Spouse certification

Chapter Assistant Jacqueline Kohler has recently completed the necessary training from MOAA national to be a surviving spouse liaison.

Furthermore, she was also one of six female veterans recently honored during the fifth annual Outstanding Combat Female Veterans of North Carolina Ceremony Program.

Jacqueline Kohler, Army, served in the Afghanistan war and now volunteers with Triad Honor Flight group that takes area veterans to Washington, D.C.

State Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Secretary Walter Gaskin said that female veterans “have stood shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts.”

Women have served in or near combat settings dating back to the American Revolution, according to Combat Female Veterans Families United. But the involvement escalated from the middle of the 20th century during World War II to the present day. Approximately 7,000 women were deployed to serve in the Vietnam War, more than 40,000 served in combat zones during the Persian Gulf War and an estimated 150,000 women were deployed to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars from 2001-12, Combat Female Veterans Families United reports.

Women now account for 15% of active service members in the U.S. military.

Posted Sep 28, 23 by Thomas Denegre Under Awards and Honors Permalink 1695933045
MOAA Recognizes Captain Laurie Wesley!!
Africa Mercy - Hospital Ship Volunteerism

Heartiest congratulations to member Captain Laurie Wesley for her recognition in the MOAA Newsletter for her voluntary services aboard the Hospital Ship in Africa Mercy.

The full story of her time there in company with her late husband can be found at the link below.

MOAA Magazine article link
Posted Nov 13, 22 by Thomas Denegre Under Awards and Honors Permalink 1668376068
Tarheel Central Chapter Awards Emeritus Membership
LTC USArmy, Retired, F. Dave Cone, Honoree

"If there is anything I can do, I am ready to volunteer. I wanted to be a soldier, and I was a soldier".

His own words say it all.

Purple Heart Recipient, and long time member of the Chapter, Lt. Colonel Dave Cone, USA, Retired, was awarded the first Emeritus Membership ever given by the Chapter, in recognition of his long service on active duty and to our own Chapter, most recently as head of the Scholarship Committee.

A copy of the award certificate can be downloaded below.

Posted Jun 11, 19 by Thomas Denegre Under Awards and Honors Permalink 1560272689
Scholarship Awards Dinner
May 2019

On May 14, 2019, the Tarheel Central Chapter MOAA awarded their annual $1500 scholarships to the two JROTC selectees for this year. Awards were presented by I.B. Southerland Maj, USAF (Ret): Scholarship Program Chair of our chapter.

This years recipients were:

Overall Group Commander Cadet Cilia Mariela Espinoza-Roman, Surry Central High School, USAFJROTC

A leading academic student all her four years in JROTC she graduates with a 4.018 GPA, she is the most decorated cadet in her High School's history with activities ranging from rocketry to Salvation Army drives, Surry County food drives, Color Guard and, most impressively, recipient of three National competitive awards for leadership, academic performance, community service, personal appearance, behavior and attendance.

Cadet Commander LTC Missy Duentes-Delgado, Elkin High School, USAJROTC

An outstanding academic student with a 4.52 GPA, she has been active in local and shcool activities such as soccer, cross country and annual Red Cross blood drives. She is destined to attend Stanford University upon graduation.

Each recipient was accompanied by their parents and JROTC representatives from their schools.

Earlier comments by our own Ken Zuhr CDR, USN (Ret): First Vice President, Membership highlighted the value to his Naval career from Junior High School onwards in JROTC and ROTC programs.

Posted June 6, 2019 by Tom Denegre Under Awards and Honors Permalink 1559085164
Tarheel Central MOAA Scholarship Recipients 2016
May 2016

First Recipient:

Derrik Mahlon Brown of Thurmon, NC

- Surry Central High School – Graduating June 2016

- Will attend NC State in the fall

- He is planning to get a degree in either Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering

- DOB: September 8, 1998

- Parents: Ms. Regina Brown

- AFJROTC for 4 years: unit under the command of LtCol Brian O’Connell, USAF

- Cadet of the Year (Level I & II) 2013 & 2014

- Top AFJROTC Performer – 2015

- AFJROTC Group Commander

- Color Guard Commander

- Raiders Commander

- Kitty Hawk Air Honor Society Commander

- President National Honors Society

- President of the Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society

- Quiz Bowl Team Member

- National Technical Honor Society Member

- Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society

- GPA (unweighted) 3.86

Second Recipient:

Samuel Jonas George of Siloam, NC

- East Surry High School – Graduate June 10, 2016

- DOB: May 7, 1998

- Parents: Jack and Vickie George

- UNC Charlotte: Mechanical Engineering, Army ROTC

- Awarded 3 year ROTC National Scholarship at UNCC

- JROTC – 4 years unit under the command of 1stSgt Ronald Montgomery, USA, Retired

- Best 1st Year JROTC Student – 2013

- Senior Patrol leader in JROTC

- JROTC Platoon Sergeant

- Command Sergeant Major

- Battalion Commander

- JROTC Raiders Team member

- Very active in the yearly can food drives with different organizations

- Part of planning & execution of 8 American red cross blood drives

- Various fund raisers to help veterans

- Other charity fund raisers for local students with cancer.

- Eagle Scout in 2013

- Best 1st year scout in 2009

- Assistant Senior patrol leader in Boy Scouts

- Academic and leadership Quiz Bowl team captain

- Member of the National Honors Society

- Member of the National Technical Honor Society

- Cross Country team member

- GPA (Unweighted) 3.72

It was a great pleasure for the Tarheel Central MOAA Chapter to recognize these two outstanding recipients of our 2016 Scholarship Awards.

Posted May 18, 16 by Dennis Lennon Under Awards and Honors Permalink 1463586178
Leadership Medal presentation at Davie High JROTC
April 28, 2012

On April 28, 2012 at the annual Military Dance for the Davie High JROTC program, the Tarheel Central Chapter's CDR Dennis Lennon, USN (Ret.) presented the National MOAA Leadership Medal to Cadet Capt. William Priestley. Open the thumbnail photographs to the right which has CAPT Hank Wade, USN (Ret.) assisting in the presentation. Additionally, our own chapter member, Capt. Joe Clarey of the NC Purple Heart Association presented a Medal as well to another cadet.

Posted Apr 29, 12 by Dennis Lennon Under Awards and Honors Permalink 1335744153