Army 1st Lt. Albert Cliette, right, receives the Silver Star from Maj. Gen. Claude B. Ferenbaugh, commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division. (U.S. Army Special Operations Command photo)
When Albert Cliette volunteered to join a new unit seeking the Army’s most daring warfighters, he already had proven his leadership prowess and courage — by jumping from airplanes at airborne school.
But when he arrived at the newly formed Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga., in 1950, he and other black soldiers were reminded they weren’t equal and were pulled away from white soldiers to train, eat, and sleep. It was a gesture of racism Cliette, 92, hadn’t experienced during his childhood in Detroit.
Read my story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/life-member-likely-last-living-officer-of-2nd-ranger-company/
They’ve soared high in fighter jets and served under the sea in submarines, but now military-trained astronauts could prepare for a new, out-of-this-world destination: Mars.
Eleven new NASA astronauts – including seven who started their careers in the military – recently graduated from NASA’s rigorous two-year basic training. It’s the first class of astronauts to graduate under the Artemis program, which will be NASA’s return to the moon (NASA’s aiming for 2024) and journeys to Mars.
Read my story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/some-of-nasas-newest-astronauts-are-military-officers.-and-they-may-be-heading-to-mars/
Brig. Gen. Charlie Duke, USAF (Ret), braced himself as Apollo 16 descended to the moon’s crater-covered surface in April 1972.
On edge after noticing strange vibrations in the command module engine, the crew was forced to pause their descent and circle the moon for several hours as they waited for guidance from Mission Control in Houston. Scientists back on Earth analyzed data — and finally permitted Apollo 16 to proceed toward the moon.
“Pete, 16 here,” said Duke, relaying a message from Apollo 16 to Donald “Pete” Peterson, the communicator at Mission Control. “Looking through the telescope at the Earth. It’s sure apparent that we live on a pretty planet. The colors are … more vivid than any of the photographs.”
Nearly 50 years later, Duke is part of a small — but growing — fellowship of military officers who have united the country through space exploration.
Read my story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/the-first-person-to-walk-on-mars-could-be-an-officer/
Edie Smith talks to me about what repealing the Widows Tax will mean for her and hundreds of other military widows.
With just three words, military widow Edie Smith summed up the last two decades of countless trips to the Capitol, where she represented thousands of military widows from across the country in meetings to repeal a bill that withheld survivor benefits.
“We did it,” Smith said, as a room full of military widows, veteran service organizations and members of Congress roared in applause. “I’ve waited a long time to say that.”
Read my story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/hundreds-gather-in-d.c.-to-celebrate-widows-tax-repeal/
Military families with special needs should be notified of actual availability of appointments – not just that special-needs providers exist – before moving to their next duty station, MOAA’s director of government relations for health affairs told lawmakers Wednesday during a House Armed Services (HASC) subcommittee hearing.
Karen Ruedisueli was one of five military family advocates who testified before HASC’s military personnel panel about problems with the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) and the Military Health System (MHS), including gaps in care that can be caused by lengthy waitlists as servicemembers move to new duty stations. She called on members of the subcommittee to address concerns of special needs families.
Read my story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/moaa-advocates-for-improvements-to-military-family-health-care-at-house-hearing/