(PLEASE NOTE change to November date to accommodate the Thanksgiving Holiday)
Mr. Curt Stacy
Equine Program Director, First Presbyterean Church, Nashville, TN
Old Natchez Country Club,
115 Gardengate Drive, Franklin, TN 37069
Curt developed an interest in horses at an early age after visiting a relative’s horse farm in West Virginia. Since then, he has studied riding with both English and Western trainers, has worked as a Wrangler overseeing herds of horses and has worked in several horse barns fulfilling various equine and barn duties.
In the fall of 2011, he was admitted into the Middle Tennessee State University Horse Science Program where he obtained his Master of Science in Horse Science, with a focus on Therapeutic Horseback Riding in 2014. During his residency at MTSU, Curt began volunteering at Saddle Up! – A local therapeutic horseback riding program for children with disabilities. He eventually worked his way up to lesson assistant and then to instructor in training. He was also involved a pilot program that served Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder through therapeutic horseback riding at MTSU.
After participating in both programs and witnessing the positive impact that it had on the participants, he knew that he wanted to eventually develop his own therapeutic horseback riding program for adults with disabilities as well as Veterans, Service Members and First Responders. Curt obtained his Instructor Certification through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Int’l.) where he went on to become a therapeutic riding instructor in 2016 at Saddle Up!.
In the summer of 2018, the Therapeutic Equine Assistance Method at First Presbyterian Church (T.E.A.M. - FPC), a therapeutic horseback riding program for Adults with Disabilities as well as Veterans, Service Members and First Responders was approved. Curt’s first official participant started in February of 2019 and he is continuing to grow the program.
Come join us on 19 November to discover more about what Curt Stacey is doing for Veterans!
MTC President's Message
2019 is rapidly drawing to a close. As we move into November and the associated holiday season, we have much to be thankful for. The Chapter is growing with new members, we received our 5th consecutive Five Star Award and we have had a year of great programs. All of this happened because we have an outstanding board and active membership. As Thanksgiving approaches, I want to thank everyone for helping make it a great year in 2019.
Our scholarship fund drive is nearing the end for this year. For those of you who have already contributed thank you. To date we have received over $4500 dollars. In a few weeks we will be sending in the contributions to MOAA national, Belmont and Lipscomb. If you would like to add your contribution or make an additional donation it is not too late.
For the last couple of newsletters, I have discussed our goal of 90% membership at the MOAA national level. After some diligent scrubbing of our local membership we have identified 30 members who are not national members. I am extending a personal plea to those of you who are not a national member to please join. You can join on BASIC membership at no cost. All we need is for you complete a membership form online, or complete one that we can send to MOAA national to get you enrolled. We will have copies of the form available at our next meeting. Also, if you are unable to attend the next meeting please email me or Doug Minton and we will email you the form. Thanks in advance for your support.
Open season for enrollment in the TRICARE and Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) begins on 11 November and goes to 9 December. If you were enrolled in either the Dental and/or Vision programs you may want to review the options for 2020 at www.benefeds.com ,or you can also contact them at 877-888-3337 if you have questions. If you have questions or need to switch between TRICARE prime and select contact them at 800-444-5445.
Many of you are aware that action on the original NDAA that was sent to conference committee has stalled out. In an effort to pass a military budget for 2020, Senator Jim Inhofe has introduced a “skinny NDAA” designed to keep the proposal moving to completion. The problem is that the skinny NDAA leaves out many important items like the elimination of 18,000 medical billets, the consolidations of the commissary and exchange system and the end of the widows tax. So, we need to continue to tell our elected representatives to resist the skinny NDAA and to support the fully funded NDAA that includes the end of the Widows Tax as well as the other issues MOAA has been working on this year. You can do that by contacting your elected officials at http://takeaction.moaa.org/app/write-a-letter?0&engagementId=503117
This month we will be welcoming Curt Stacy presenting on Equine Therapy. So, mark your calendar for the 19 November. Look forward to seeing everyone.
Congratulations Are in Order
CAPT Dean Wegner, CEO of Authentically American
Congratulations to CPT Dean Wegner, USA! His company Authentically American has recently been recognized in a Forbes Magazine feature article! If you were fortunate enough to make the March 2019 monthly meeting you heard Dean share his story from West Point to becoming the CEO of an American based manufacturer of apparel. Dean is a frequent participant at our monthly meetings, so if you missed the March meeting you can connect with him at an upcoming meeting!
COL Doug Minton, President TN Council of Chapters presents the MOAA LOE 5-Star Award for the year 2018 to CAPT Dale Lewelling, President Middle TN Chapter on 24 September 2019.
Mrs. Patricia Bergquist, Surviving Spouse Liaison
Mrs. Patricia Bergquist received the MOAA Leadership Award last week as the first Surviving Spouse Liaison for the TN MOAA Council of Chapters.
At the National level, Patricia has been a strong advocate for our military, representing the Council at nine “Storming the Hill” events.
At the State level she has visited 7 of the 10 TN Chapters, engaging Surviving Spouse members in the activities of the Chapters, as well as reminding everyone of the value that our Surviving Spouses bring to our Chapters.
The award signed by Lt.Gen. Dana Atkins is Patricia’s second MOAA Leadership Award. She also received the Award from Adm. Norb Ryan in 2012 for her leadership at MOAA National in organizing what became the Surviving Spouse Advisory Council.
Another outstanding example of our members’ “Continuing to Serve”!
VA's Tennessee Valley Health Service Veterans and Family Advisory Council
In July 2017, the VA’s Tennessee Valley Healthcare System (TVHS) established the Veteran and Family Advisory Council (VFAC), which includes Veterans, family members, caregivers, and employee Veterans who receive their care at the VA Hospital.
The mission of the Council:
1. To partner with health care staff to improve communication among Veterans, families and staff.
2. To assist in improving safety, satisfaction, and quality of care.
3. To allow staff to listen to and honor Veteran and family choices.
CAPT (Ret.) Steve Arends, USN and MTC member is a founding and current member of the Council. He will hopefully be joined soon by COL (Ret.) Kent Crossley, USA who has applied for a position on the Council.