Capt. Vaughan presents a Certificate of Appreciation and MOAA Challenge Coin to Len Hampton. (Photo by Kurt McMillen)

Kurt M. McMillen, COL USA (Retired)

The Catalina Mountain Chapter (CMC) of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) met on Jan. 21 at SaddleBrooke Ranch. The day’s speaker was Lenwood (“Len”) Hampton. Len is a Vietnam veteran and is currently serving a four-year term as a member of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) National Council of Administration. He represents the Department of New Mexico.

In today’s world, veterans are generally respected by U.S. citizens, and the government provides a variety of services to help them through the consequences of their service to our country. It was not always so, and that was the main reason for the VFW! Veterans returned home from major wars with very little done to help them afterwards. At the end of World War II, the G.I. Bill and other services were finally provided. The VFW was instrumental in making this happen. Our own organization, MOAA, was formed for many of the same reasons, and the two organizations often collaborate.

Len’s presentation was a comprehensive video on the history of the VFW since its start to the present. The principal theme: The VFW significantly serves America’s veterans. The video showed, with many decades of facts, why this is true.

Further information supplied:

VFW Mission: They advocate for and foster camaraderie among veterans of overseas conflicts. The VFW also ensures that veterans always receive their earned entitlements and are recognized, respected, and remembered for the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made.

VFW Establishment: The VFW was formally created in 1913 in Pittsburg, Pa., through a merger of three national war-veteran societies that were all founded in 1899 after the Spanish-American War:

* The American Veterans of Foreign Service (predecessor organization of the VFW),

* The Colorado Society of the Army of the Philippines, and

* The American Veterans of Foreign Service Veterans society.

VFW Membership Requirements:
Eligible members must be:

* Serving in the U.S. armed forces or received an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions, and

* Currently serving in, or have completed service in, a conflict on foreign soil or in hostile waters.

The presentation was very enlightening for all audience members.

The VFW national headquarters is in Kansas City, Mo. Currently, the VFW has more than 1.5 million members, and its 6,000-plus “posts” are grouped into 52 departments covering the 50 states, the Asia-Pacific area, and Europe. For further information on the VFW, please visit

The February luncheon meeting of the CMC will be held at SaddleBrooke Ranch Grill on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 11:30 a.m. The speaker will be Richard “Rick” Kreiberg, founder and executive director of Veterans Affinity. Veterans Affinity’s mission is to ensure veterans get the care they need and the benefits they have earned.

If you are a former or present officer of the uniformed services interested in joining our organization, please contact Membership Chair, former LTJG David Bull, U.S. Navy, by email at [email protected] or by telephone at 520-825-0604.

The membership of CMC encompasses the areas of Catalina, Oracle, parts of Oro Valley and Marana, SaddleBrooke, SaddleBrooke Ranch, and Sun City. For more information, please visit our website

The CMC and MOAA are nonprofit veterans organizations dedicated to maintaining a strong national defense and preserving the earned entitlements of members of the uniformed services and their families.