Floral designer and military spouse Kassie Peterson has created dazzling centerpieces for dozens of events. This year, she used her skills to help deck the halls of the White House.
Decorating the White House for Christmas has been a tradition of the first lady since Jackie Kennedy hung ornaments on a tree in the Blue Room in 1961.
“It’s the first lady’s initiative,” Peterson said. “It’s neat to see their style come out, but also how it’s maintained traditional throughout the years too.”
Read the story: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/meet-the-army-spouse-who-helped-decorate-the-white-house-for-christmas/
Col. Paul Arcari, USAF (Ret), the galvanizing voice who helped move the military from the draft to the all-volunteer force while crusading for proper pay raises and health care after service, died Dec. 1. He was 88.
Arcari, a relentless force for troops on Capitol Hill, was genuinely modest and equally respected by those who agreed with and opposed him, friends said. He devoted his life to serving others through the Air Force and The Retired Officers Association (TROA), which became MOAA after a 2003 name change.
“He was the champion of doing the right thing by military people – even when it wasn’t the popular thing to do, even when there were budget constraints,” said Col. Steve Strobridge, USAF (Ret), a friend and former colleague of Arcari who took over as director of government relations for TROA when Arcari retired in 2001, fighting for troops, officer and enlisted, across every branch of the uniformed services. “Paul – in both his professional and private life – devoted himself to others.”
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/col.-paul-arcari,-usaf,-remembered-by-moaa-as-champion-for-all-who-served/
As he prepared for the role of Navy pilot-turned-astronaut Alan Shepard, actor Jake McDorman studied military culture and visited Cape Canaveral to get a feel for the power of rocket launches.
But nothing prepared him quite like a spin in NASA’s “Gimbal Rig” – a circular cage that simulates tumble maneuvers an astronaut could feel in spaceflight.
“Nobody ate much that day,” McDorman said in an interview with Military Officer.
McDorman spoke about his role as the first American in space in The Right Stuff, which comes about five years after his role as a Navy SEAL in American Sniper. Shepard, who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1944 and retired from the Navy as a rear admiral in 1974, was a complex man who remained true to himself, making him an interesting man to portray on screen, McDorman said.
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/moaa-interview-the-right-stuff-actor-on-portraying-alan-shepard/
Reilly McGinnis, a soccer standout from a small town in Pennsylvania, has joined a small, elite group of women who have earned the rank of first captain at the U.S. Military Academy – just six in the academy’s 218-year history.
“Thinking back as a plebe, I never would have thought this would happen,” McGinnis told MOAA. “Getting to lead in this position is definitely humbling.”
The first captain is the highest position in the cadet chain of command. She’s responsible for the performance of the 4,400-member Corps of Cadets and acts as a liaison between the corps and the administration.
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/moaa-interview-west-points-first-captain-on-leading-the-cadets/
During his time aboard Navy guided-missile cruisers and destroyers, former Lt. Billy Hurley III, USN, learned to overcome the challenges that threatened any mission.
His perseverance didn’t just help him reach the rank of lieutenant over his five years of service, but also with each swing of his golf club on the most prestigious courses in the country, against the world’s best players.
“Being mentally tough and being able to get knocked down and get back up,” Hurley said, describing how the Navy prepared him for civilian life. “Sometimes shot-to-shot can feel like that. Hitting a bad shot and getting back up to go hit the next one and not compound errors ... . So mental toughness was a huge piece of the Naval Academy and Navy.”
Read the story here: moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/moaa-q-and-a-billy-hurley-iii-on-his-path-from-the-navy-to-the-pga-tour/
Brig. Gen. Charles McGee flew more than 409 combat missions during his legendary Air Force career — and nearly five decades later, the barrier-breaking aviator’s service continues to leave people in awe.
McGee, who flew patrol and strafing missions with the Tuskegee Airmen in the then-segregated armed forces during WWII, was the first African American to command a stateside Air Force wing and base in the integrated Air Force. His military service continues to be remembered and honored, including by President Donald Trump. McGee received an honorary promotion from colonel to brigadier general through the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, which Trump signed on Dec. 20, 2019.
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/above-and-beyond-brig.-gen.-charles-mcgee,-usaf-(ret),-on-his-world-war-ii-service/
Each time Mathilda Benson patched up a sailor pummeled from the battles of WWII, she couldn’t help but think of her younger brother, Lewis.
Just a few months before Benson joined the Navy in the early 1940s, Lewis was killed in a boat off the coast of Northern Africa. His service had inspired her to parlay her dream of becoming a nurse into military service.
“That was really tough on me,” said Benson, now 100 years old. “I always felt bad that I couldn’t have done anything for my baby brother. ... When I was taking care of the young men, I felt like I wish I could have taken care of my baby brother.”
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/healing-on-the-home-front-lt.-mathilda-benson,-usn-(ret),-on-her-world-war-ii-service/
Joseph Peterburs flew his P-51 Mustang close to the B-17 bombers he was escorting through the sky above Berlin, just as he had on 48 previous missions during WWII.
But on his 49th mission, the Germans flooded the sky with fighters. Peterburs, an adrenaline-filled 19-year-old, soared through the sky chasing a German fighter he saw blow up a B-17 bomber. He closed in as it hit a second bomber.
“Just as he blew up the second, I came in from the rear,” Peterburs said. “I saw smoke and fire on his left wing. He immediately rolled over and started to the deck. I just broke off the chase.”
Read the story here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/from-teenage-pilot-to-pow-col.-joseph-peterburs,-usaf-(ret),-on-his-world-war-ii-service/
When the Gestapo visited Frank Cohn’s childhood home in Breslau, Germany, in 1938 searching for his father, he and his mother knew it was time to leave.
At the time, 13-year-old Cohn hadn’t imagined he would return to his native Germany six years later. But when he did, he was wearing an American Army uniform, searching for Nazis and liberating oppressed people.
For Cohn, WWII was the culmination of years of childhood memories of violence, hate, and atrocities he recalls seeing on his street. “I’m a survivor and a liberator,” said Cohn, a 94-year-old retired Army colonel. “I was not going to be a victim for the rest of my life. With a caveat — we were never going to be like them.”
Read the story: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/a-survivor-and-a-liberator-col.-frank-cohn,-usa-(ret),-on-his-world-war-ii-service/
Army 1st Lt. Benjamin Keating knew the armored supply vehicle was too heavy for the road in Kamdesh, a remote town in eastern Afghanistan, so he went against regulation that day in 2006 took the wheel.
The road collapsed, tossing Keating from the truck as the Landay-Sin River sucked him under, according to reports. His death had a profound effect on his platoon, while demonstrating the tremendous care he had for his soldiers.
“Lt. Ben Keating was an example of a good leader who took responsibility and lived among his men and for this men and not above them or looking down on them,” said acclaimed actor Orlando Bloom, who portrays Keating in the new military thriller The Outpost.
Bloom spoke to Military Officer about his role as Keating and how he trained with the Army. The performance comes nearly 20 years after one of his first film roles as a professional actor – a brief appearance as an Army private first class in Black Hawk Down.
Read more here: https://www.moaa.org/content/publications-and-media/news-articles/2020-news-articles/moaa-interview-orlando-bloom-on-portraying-an-army-officer-in-the-outpost/