MOAA honors deceased veterans

Col. Rett Benedict (USAF, Retired) and Ed Torres (US Army, Retired)

The Missing in America Project (MIAP) was created in 2007 to provide honor and respect to those who have served this country, by securing a final resting place for these forgotten heroes by interring the unclaimed remains of veterans. Mr. Ed Torres (US Army, Retired), the Southern AZ coordinator for the Missing in America Project, providing a moving description of the activities associated with the project at our MOAA Catalina Mountains Satellite meeting on November 17, 2018 at the Mesquite Grill in SaddleBrooke. Ed served 20 years in the US Army, primarily in Special Weapons with tours in Germany, Korea and the US. Since retiring, he has been an Arizona Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist.

The organization is all volunteers and provides a variety of support functions to honor these unclaimed veterans on the path to their final resting place. They help find the veterans’ remains, organize the service at a local Chapel and participate in the escort to the interment at a nearby Veterans’ Cemetery, either state or local. Here in Tucson, the MIAP volunteers provide a motorcycle escort from the Avalon Chapel to the Marana Veterans Memorial Cemetery, often with dozens of riders accompanying the police or sheriff’s riders. There is significant community support to the effort with a local funeral home contributing urns and multiple military related organizations providing buglers, a rifle salute and the ringing of a ship’s bell at the ceremony.

Ed started as one of the riders five years ago and now coordinates the activities for all of southern Arizona, so he gets to put a lot of miles on his Harley. He is definitely a man dedicated to this very important activity. Our members thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated his words and the work of the Missing in America Project.

The next Catalina Mountains Chapter of MOAA meeting will be held on Saturday, December 15, 2018, at 1130, Catalina Room of the Mesquite Grill in the MountainView Country Club Complex. The speaker will be Lt Col (USAF Ret.) Mark Schwartz speaking about “Sputnik and spying: the Eisenhower administration’s secret agenda.”

For additional information, contact Col. Rett Benedict, President, 825-7424, [email protected] or Col. Bill Nagy, MOAA Treasurer, 355-5064, [email protected]. Check website for information.

The Catalina Mountains Satellite is part of the Tucson Chapter and encompasses Northwest Tucson to include Catalina, Oracle, parts of Oro Valley and Marana, SaddleBrooke and Sun City.

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is a nonprofit veterans’ service association dedicated to maintaining a strong national defense and to preserve the earned entitlements of members of the uniformed services and their families and survivors.