State Representative / COL (Ret.) Sam Whitson, USA
State Representative for TN House District 65 and MTC Member
Old Natchez Country Club, 115 Gardengate Drive, Franklin, TN 37069
Colonel Sam Whitson is a native Tennessean, his family having first arrived in middle Tennessee in 1807. He graduated from Glencliff High School and attended Middle TN State University on an Army ROTC Scholarship, where he received both an A.A. and a B.S. degree. Following graduation in 1976 he was commissioned a second lieutenant as a Regular Army officer.
Sam commanded at company, battalion and brigade level units, and served on staffs at the battalion, brigade, division and corps levels. He had the opportunity to witness significant historical events while stationed in Germany from 1989 to 1992, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, collapse of the WARSAW PACT, and deployment of U.S. combat forces from Germany to the Middle East. He had wartime service in Iraq with the U.S. Army’s VII Corps during Operation Desert Shield & Desert Storm.
He received a Master of Public Administration Degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1984 and completed the U. S. Army War College in 1998.
His military awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge and German Army Airborne Badge.
He retired in 2002 at the rank of colonel after serving for 26 years.
Following retirement he was employed as a defense contractor and regional manager providing training support and personnel for the Department of the Army at college and university level ROTC programs from 2002 to 2011.
When Sam returned to Tennessee, he stayed very busy in the Williamson County area, volunteering extensively and becoming involved in the local community. His sense of community service eventually led him to become dissatisfied with local state politics and in 2017 he put his beliefs in action and ran against a heavily favored incumbent for the position of Representative for House District 65. He won and took office in the 110th General Assembly and was re-elected in 2018 to the same position in the 111th General Assembly. In 2017 he was designated the Tennessee Engineers’ Freshman Legislator of the Year; he was awarded the 2018 TN Licensed Professional Counselors Association Legislator of the Year, and the 2018 National Alliance on Mental Illness Public Policy Advocacy Award.
Sam is devoted to his community, neighbors, friends, family, all dogs and especially his two sons, two daughters-in-law, five grandchildren and Pam, his high school sweetheart and wife of 45-years.
Please join us for this meeting as there is so much more of this story to tell, and it will provide you with an opportunity to meet a man who truly embodies the MOAA slogan of “Never Stop Serving!”.
MTC President's Message
Thanks to LTC Wanda Bruce Graham for setting up the outstanding personal affairs meeting last month. We heard an excellent presentation on preparing for the legal aspects of aging. Like most people I thought I was doing all the right things but Barbara Moss, the founder and lead attorney at Elder Law, highlighted many of the challenges we face as family members as we age.
One of the benefits membership at national level is the services that are provided. If you attended last month’s meeting you heard about the many challenges that we all face with the legal aspects of aging families. One the services offered by MOAA for premium and Life members are free planning guides for Personal Affairs, Investors, Financial Planning and Estate Planning. Other publications available include Military Benefits guides, Transition guides and Survivor Issues guides. You can find them at MOAA Publications.
We appreciate each of you who have paid their dues for 2019. To date we have 75% of the membership that have accomplished this task for 2019. If you have not paid your dues for this year please mail them to MTC MOAA, P.O. Box 50252, Nashville, TN 37205-0252.Also, if you have not joined MOAA National please take a few minutes to go to Join MOAA to sign up for the Basic membership. It does not cost you anything and it helps you keep informed on all the issues at the national level. Equally important is that our chapter benefits our from your national membership when we compete for the 5 Star Chapter award.
I want to thank all the members who have taken time out to present the MOAA Medal to our ROTC and JROTC units in the middle Tennessee area. During the spring recognition events at 13 local High Schools we make our annual presentations to outstanding young cadets who have demonstrated leadership potential. Additionally, we present awards to selected candidates in the Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC programs at the local universities. My personal thanks to LTC Karon Uzzell-Baggett and Captain Larry Cotton for all their work in the coordination of the events and presenters.
I want to invite you to attend our Chapter Memorial Ceremony on May 25th at the Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery at 1000 hours. We will conducting a ceremony to honor those who have serviced and paid the ultimate sacrifice. We will convene at the flagpole in the northern section of the cemetery. Uniform or civilian attire are appropriate.
This month we will be welcoming chapter member Representative Sam Whitson as he shares some of his experiences as State Representative. Mark your calendar for the Tuesday after Memorial Day, May 28th . I look forward to seeing everyone at the meeting.
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.