Colonel Bob Mallow and his wife, Shirley,
proudly display our 50th Anniversary Award
Black Hills Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America turned 50 years old in November 2020. Deferring to the hazards of Covid-19 early in the year, meetings were first postponed – then cancelled. A planned December celebration, including a speaker from national MOAA headquarters had to be scrapped. As it turned out, there was no anniversary celebration.
With 2021 upon us, we know that the coronavirus remains a very huge problem. Nonetheless, with development and distribution of vaccines and precautionary measures, we’re optimistic about our future.
While a national MOAA representative wasn’t able to visit our chapter in 2020 – and there was no big celebration – MOAA President, Lt. Gen. Dana Atkins, USAF (Ret) was kind enough to to send us a note of congratulations and a “Fiftieth Anniversary Affiliate Award” commemorating our 50 years of service. (Above, LCDR Walker also reported on a new proposal being undertaken by Ellsworth Air Force Base to include Native Americans in their "Wing Man" Day activities in the large Pride hangar. The focus is around a march in native dress and instruction given in a Pow-Wow format with dancing and music. She suggested MOAA may want to consider sponsoring the JROTC units from the reservations to attend these events in their uniforms. It was agreed that further information is required as to what our involvement might entail.
Here are a few highlights from some of our past gatherings.
Margaret Cowan – shown above – was enjoying the prospect of a gift she had selected during the "Gift Exchange" as part of the Black Hills Chapter 2019 Christmas gathering at the American Legion Post #22. Alas, this gift – among most others – finally fell into the hands of others. Fortunately, all participants went home with a gift!
It was a festive and fun time for about two dozen chapter members celebrating the holiday season. Traditionally, as with this session, no speakers are scheduled for December meetings. Shown above from left-to-right are Cowan guests (and new members!) CAPT Bill Rhode and his wife Elizabeth; Margaret Cowan; COL Jim Cowan; and LT Mary Piper. Both COL Cowan and LT Piper as past presidents of the Black Hills Chapter.
Recognizing the breadth and depth of military experience held by many of our "seasoned" MOAA chapter members, Major Crespo said we must have some wonderful stories to share and expressed interest in hosting MOAA at a future meeting. We're exploring a return to Ellsworth for our first meeting in 2020.
Back in April 2019, President Bonnie Walker welcomed another new member – Major Christopher VanDelist, U.S. Army Reserve, of Rapid City. LCDR Walker also encouraged members to attend any of the JROTC awards ceremonies scheduled for Central High School on April 22nd and Douglas High School on May 9th.