The first meeting of the year for the Upper Cumberland Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) was held on Monday, March 21, at Shoney’s Restaurant, with President Russ Schubert presiding. The chapter welcomed Ed Harris, executive director of the Tennessee State Veterans’ Home in Murfreesboro, and staff member Leanne Lewis for marketing and public relations. Together they gave an informative presentation on veterans’ homes in the state, which currently total four with two more in the planning stages. These facilities provide short-term rehab for physical, occupational and speech therapy as well as long-term care for veterans. They are unique in the structure of state government since these facilities fall within the Department of Veteran Services but their employees are not state employees. Each Home is self-sufficient, requiring no state funding.
Harris explained that to be eligible for admittance to a State Veteran Home, the individual must be an honorably discharged veteran and either a current resident of Tennessee (at least one day); born in Tennessee; or lived in Tennessee at the time they entered the service. Some spouses and Gold Star Mothers are also eligible, based on space availability. Furthermore, he advised there is a lengthy waiting list for admissions. Harris entertained questions from members and was then presented the chapter’s challenge going by President Russ Schubert.
An unexpected and welcome presentation was made by chapter member Linda Frazier to President Russ Schubert on behalf of past president Dave Marr. The Charles D. Marr and Jacquelyne J. Marr $25,000 Designated Scholarship became a reality when Dave and wife Jean graciously donated $25,000 to the chapter for a designated scholarship. This scholarship will be administered by the MOAA national organization. They also donated $25,000 for a designated scholarship for their current chapter in Clarksville, TN. Members were gratified by their generosity and impressed by their strong bond with the Upper Cumberland Chapter. Dave is a retired lieutenant colonel, U.S. Army, who joined the chapter in 1997 and served five years as secretary-treasurer and three years as president. He had many fond memories of his years of service with the chapter and maintained friendships with many members.
In addition to Harris, travel agent Linda Yates and Steve Rosenstein, chairman of the US Branch of the International Military Music Society, spoke to the members about a trip to attend the Virginia International Military Tattoo, scheduled for April 21-24 in Norfolk, VA. There were a few remaining seats left for the 30-passenger coach bus and she wanted the audience to be aware of this opportunity to see one of the truly exceptional Tattoo programs in North America.