Summer is in full swing, but the Army Aviation Branch and AAAA remain very engaged.
I had the great pleasure of visiting the Aloha Chapter last month and getting to know some outstanding Americans who were honored with The Order of Saint Michael (OSM). The Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) from Hawaii and Gold Star father Alan Hoe, and Gold Star spouse Kristy Balli, were inducted as Knights of the Order. Alan Hoe, a medic during Vietnam, has been a great supporter of 25th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) for many years. Unfortunately, he lost his son in Mosul while serving with the 25th Infantry Division (ID). Ms. Balli was accepting the honor on behalf of her late husband, CW2 Edward Balli, a UAS Soldier who died in Afghanistan in January 2014 during an attack. Additionally, CW5 Terry Horner, 25th CAB Command Chief Warrant Officer and Command Sergeant Major Benjamin Jones, the 25th ID CSM, were inducted. It was truly a very moving and memorable day.
The following week MG (Ret.) Tim Crosby was down in Louisiana at the Voodoo Chapter. The chapter is in excellent shape with the leadership very energized in growing their chapter. They were already looking to the future for the next events, especially a red-fish fishing tournament in the fall. Tim assured Voodoo that the National AAAA office is here to offer support. The Voodoo Chapter is also responsible for breathing new life into the old Sustaining Membership program, rebranded “Community Membership,” designed for local (non-defense) businesses or agencies that would like to support Army Aviation at the local level. Thanks, Voodoo!
Bill Harris and Janis Arena, from the AAAA National offfice, visited the leadership and about 20 key influencers in the Narragansett Chapter. They reviewed available AAAA National programs like Soldier of the Month, Scholarship, Awards, and especially the free AAAA membership for deployed Soldiers program. Chapter members have deployed twice in the last few years. Thanks to COL Andy Chevalier, chapter president, and his team for taking the initiative with a refreshed membership program, new scholarships, and more chapter meetings to meet the needs of his Soldiers and their families.