Welcome to the North Texas Chapter of AAAA
2015 was a great but challenging year for the North Texas Chapter. We had BG Bob Marion, Program Executive Officer for Army Aviation, arranged to speak to the group during a dinner scheduled on March 5th 2015. Unfortunately, the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex sustained a freakish ice storm that canceled BG Marion's flight. In fact, most services and businesses shut down including Sky Creek Ranch, the venue for the dinner. Our board then scrambled to put together another 1st Quarter event twenty days later when newly elected board members were introduced to the Chapter membership at a reception at Sky Creek Ranch in Keller, Texas.
AAAA National and our NTC Chapter helped sponsor the 2–149th GSAB's Dining Out/Change of Command/Retirement Ceremony on April 11th at the Dallas Hilton. LTC Joanna Gale relinquished command to LTC Jeff Long at a ceremony attended by the majority of the battalion. COL (Ret) Bill Gavora represented the North Texas Chapter's Executive Board and presented two Orders of St. Michael Bronze Awards to Major Ashley Bloom and Major Eric Phillips, as well as two Lady of Loretto Awards to Ms. Lorie Hanna and Ms. Leslie Phillips.
Our official second quarter event was (the postponed dinner speaking engagement) with BG Bob Marion held on April 22nd at Diamond Oaks Country Club in Haltom City, Texas. On July 25th our chapter teamed up with AUSA North Texas Chapter to sponsor soldiers and their families at the Grand Prairie Air Hogs Minor League Baseball's "Military Day" game. This was a great "first time" event that we plan to make part of our annual events going forward.
AAAA National released the list of 2015 Scholarship awardees in early September. North Texas Chapter contributed 14 scholarships this year and most were filled by North Texas members' children. September 29th saw 34 golfers take to the links of Sky Creek in support of our scholarship program. It was good to see members whose children received scholarships participate in this event and spread the word about the program. Through LTC (Ret) Larry Ginder's steadfast tournament efforts, we were able to clear $2,200 profit for scholarships.
Finally December brought forth two events. AAAA National and our Chapter helped sponsor the 2–149th GSAB's Christmas Party on December 6th. COL (Ret) Mike Miller addressed the more than 250 people present about the mission and benefits of being part of AAAA North Texas Chapter. Our signature event, the Holiday Reception was held on December 10th at the Petroleum Club in Fort Worth. Final tally of attendees was over 120. For the second year in a row the AAAA National President was our guest speaker. This year BG (Ret) EJ Sinclair did the honors of visiting us and joining the festivities. Chapter President COL (Ret) Mike Miller presented four Order of St. Michael's Bronze Awards to LTC (Ret) Larry Ginder, MAJ (Ret) Bob Hastings, CPT Alan Wood, and CSM (Ret) Roy McCormes. National President BG (Ret) EJ Sinclair also presented North Texas Chapter President COL (Ret) Mike Miller with the Order of St. Michael's Silver Award. We were fortunate to have five corporate sponsors: Bell Helicopter, L-3 Communications, Elbit, InterConnect Wiring, and Turbomecca. We would also like to recognize Howell Instruments for their storage and movement of T-Bone, our long horn mascot, in support of this reception. We were honored to host ROTC Cadets from Texas A&M and TCU as our guests. AUSA North Texas Chapter President COL (Ret) Richard Kaniss also attended and addressed the group.
We end 2015 with 360 members and will be making a concerted effort to increase membership in 2016. We welcomed Steve Mathias (Treasurer) and Dave Downey (Industry Affairs) to our board while Terry Reininger retained his position (Scholarships) and Bill Gavora moved from Treasurer to his new position (Membership). The 2016 positions up for election are President, Secretary, Events and Military Affairs. We are saddened to see Ms. Clare McGarrey not seeking another term as Secretary after serving three consecutive 2-Year Terms for a total of 6 years on the board, or CW5 Doug Phillips not seeking a second term as Military Affairs. Both served selflessly and we thank them for their support and leadership. COL (Ret) Steve Kihara has thrown his hat in the ring for Secretary and CPT Craig Neeley, 2-149th GSAB, has done the same for Military Affairs. The ballots will go on line in early January and results will be posted and announced at our first quarter event in 2016.
Have a Very Happy and Safe New Year!
MICHAEL J. MILLER