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MOAA numbers almost 390,000 members - approximately 25 percent of whom (100,000 members) belong to one of the 423 chapters worldwide. MOAA strongly supports its chapter network because it has found that chapter members provide the essential grassroots support we need to get legislation enacted into law. We are convinced that, without our effective and active chapter system, we would not have been as successful as we have over the years in achieving the goals of our national legislative agenda. In addition to providing essential grassroots support, there are other good reasons to belong to a chapter: Chapter membership provides an opportunity for sustained military camaraderie - a link for those who served their nation to share the experiences of military life and the common values of patriotism, honor, and selflessness. Most chapters have an active social calendar that offers the opportunity to renew old acquaintances. It can provide a feeling of belonging and a sense of sustained pride for having served, as well as a continued sense of pride in our country. Because many chapters frequently have guest speakers from a variety of backgrounds, chapter membership can help members stay up to speed on important local, state, and national issues. It helps members keep on top of military and political events affecting military and post military life. Chapter participation can be of major assistance to the national association in its ongoing efforts to lobby for the rights of retired military members. An effectively mobilized chapter helps influence national, state, or local governmental actions that affect military service members or retirees. For instance, in many states today, military retirees are enjoying some state tax relief as the result of MOAA chapter action. Chapter membership can help members continue their avocation toward service by providing opportunities for involvement in community service related activities For instance, many chapters sponsor local ROTC and JROTC programs and hold annual award events for outstanding cadets of those programs. Many chapters sponsor local college scholarship programs. Many chapter members also contribute considerable volunteer time to support local health care or community action programs. By joining a chapter, members and their families gain access to important advice and assistance on matters relating to military retirement entitlements, benefits, and privileges - such as retired pay, medical care, survivor benefits, Department of Veterans Affairs benefits, income tax issues, and activities that affect them on nearby military installations. Most chapters also have a designated personal affairs representative who can help surviving spouses apply for authorized benefits and entitlements. Text provided by Larry Anduss, Green Country Chapter
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