MOAA Supports Our Local Veterans!

Your Central Florida Chapter has been busy helping veterans in our local community this past month. We have two members of our Central Florida Chapter who sit on the Fort Stewart/Hunter Army Airfield Retired Soldiers Council and sponsor the annual Retiree Appreciation Day (RAD) held at UCF on May 18th. COL Kin LaFate (in photo) is the Co-Chair and CW5 (ret) Bob Letendre is a council member. MAJ (ret) Lorraine Holland and Patricia Green set-up a MOAA table to help spread the word on the good deeds MOAA provides to our military and their families. The event attracted nearly 1,000 veterans and their families!

Also held on May 18th was the Armed Forces Day at the Museum of Military History in Kissimmee. LtCol Al and Ruth Schroeder and Lin Welch set up tables for our veteran artists to display and sell their artwork. You have to give them and the artists a lot of credit for weathering 95 degree heat for most of the day, outdoors! Many thanks to all for displaying and informing others about the alternative art therapy available to our veterans through the VA!

Our Veteran Artist Eladio Chavez (with the hat) painted his interpretation of the actress playing Joan of Arc and presented the portrait to the Shakespeare Theater on May 14th.

MOAA Supports Our Local Veterans! Read More »

Surviving Spouse Corner

Surviving Spouse Corner – May 2024

Dear members, many of you are preparing for your summer travels. After my recent experience, I want to mention a few things for your consideration before you travel.

If you have purchased travel insurance, read the policy and make sure you understand your coverage. If you have a mishap, is there a consultant who will coordinate the new arrangements that must be made. Does coverage for health issues pay for your total costs or just those that exceed your normal coverage?

Beware, unless you have a special Medicare advantage plan, Medicare does not cover overseas medical treatments or hospitalizations. Luckily, Tricare for Life does. Except for a $3,000 catastrophic annual deductible, Tricare for Life covers you and your spouse when you are abroad. This is a tremendous benefit, so do your part to protect it when it is threatened.

Even if you are covered for medical expenses, do you have coverage for the expense of changing you plans…hotel reservations, airline tickets or catch-up costs to resume a cruise. These can be costly oversights. Is the expense of repatriation of a body and those special expenses included in the coverage?

Some insurance policies must be purchased at the time of trip commitments. Others can be purchased up to the date of the beginning of your trip. Some policies cover cancellation fees and rebooking expenses and refund money…others only offer credit to be applied toward another booking. Does the policy cover a specific event or travel for a length of time?

Before purchasing travel insurance decide what coverage is important to you and/or your travel companion. Read the policy carefully with lots of difficult circumstances in mind while you are considering if the policy suits your circumstances.

Before you go, go to the web and search for the Tricare Important Contact Information. It is a trifold business card that lists Tricare stateside Contacts, Tricare Overseas Program, Tricare area offices. Also listed are Tricare Pharmacy and Dental programs. For our membership, most important is the TRICARE FOR LIFE (TFL) 1-(800)-538-9552. Always carry your military ID card with you. If you need suggestions, you can consult the Nurse Advice line. You may have a conversation with a registered nurse via Web chat, Video chat using Or you can call 1(800)-874-2273 option 1. Your benefits number is on your ID card.
Bon Voyage!

Surviving Spouse Corner – May 2024 Read More »

Lorraine Holland

President’s Message – May 2024

I am reminded again this year that all is not lost when it comes to our young High School JROTC students who seek out serving our great country! It is with great pride I announce that our JROTC Scholarship Selection Board chose 9 of the finest Senior JROTC cadets in Central Florida! Without the generosity of our chapter members to contribute to our scholarship fund, our ability to issue a check for $1,000 to each cadet would not be possible. I thank you for seeing the goodness of our program and supporting the future leaders of our military! I would be remiss if I didn’t thank members of our chapter for making our scholarship and medal program a reality: COL Bob Brogan and Lt Col John Thomas, LTC Mike & Vicki Gillett, LTC Dean Ptaszynski, and LTC Kin La Fate. Mike and John have been chairing the two programs for many years, and they have now handed the baton over to Dean and Bob. I hope you take the time to read the bios of each of the 9 cadets. We honored the cadets, their family and cadre on April 20th with a luncheon, and each year I get reminded that this is the most celebrated luncheon with our members.

May and June are full of holidays or events to recognize the military and I hope you find a few to honor our veterans and their families. On May 27th, please take a few minutes to acknowledge Memorial Day for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom we share. You don’t have to look far to find veteran service organizations that are looking for you to come out and share in their events. For those of you that will be taking vacations during the upcoming months, please make memorable memories, and safe travels on your journeys!

I hope to see everyone at our luncheon on June 11th!
Cheers …. Lorraine

President’s Message – May 2024 Read More »

Lorraine Holland

President’s Message (Lorraine Holland) – February 2024

It is with great pride that I announce we have now had two Veteran Art Shows to showcase the unique artwork from 5 of our local veteran artists!  The interaction between the veteran artists and the patrons was beyond my wildest expectations!  Not only did the patrons ask the veterans to talk about how their artwork came to be, but the veterans felt a sense of empowerment to tell their story on the journey they have made to help overcome their fears and mental anguish they experienced in the military.  At both showings, each veteran captured the hearts of the patrons and sold several pieces of their artwork!  We will be hosting a Veteran Art Show at our upcoming February 13th luncheon, and in addition, we will be given a briefing by Recreational Therapist MaryBeth Verbinski from the VA Lake Nona.  MaryBeth has been a steadfast supporter of our “Healing Through Expression” program, and our chapter supports her monthly veteran’s art class at Lake Nona with donations of art supplies, drinks, and refreshments.  There is far more than art therapy to the VA’s Recreational Therapy program to address suicide and PTSD, and I encourage you to attend the luncheon to hear the innovative ways the VA is helping our veterans who are dealing with the results of their military service. Some of the artwork on display will be for sale, and we can take cash, check or credit card as payment (all sales go to the veteran).   We will also be partnering with the Museum of Military History (5210 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy, Kissimmee, Fl) for a museum fundraiser on Sunday, February 11th for another showing of artwork for our veterans.  There is free admission to the museum between 10:00-6:00pm, and I can attest that the museum is worth a visit!  See attachment.

I hope to see you at our luncheon on February 13th.

And for our March luncheon …. save the date of March 12th for a rare chance to hear from Dr. Lourdes Benes, a practicing neurologist who specializes in age-related cognitive and mobility issues as we age.  In April, our usual 2nd Tuesday luncheon is replaced with our JROTC Awards Luncheon, this year on Saturday, April 20th.  Don’t miss it.

Next MOAA CFC Event is February 13th @ 11:30 am  $24 per person 

Our next Chapter meeting is a luncheon on February 13th at 11:30 am at the DoubleTree Orlando East – UCF Area. The DoubleTree is located at 12125 High Tech Ave, Orlando. Please note, the hotel sits back off the road and may not be immediately visible. We are very fortunate to have a special briefing on the Lake Nona and Lake Baldwin Recreational Therapy program to combat suicide and veterans with PTSD.  MaryBeth Verbinski is the Recreational Therapist we work with on implementing our “Healing Through Expression” program.  In addition, we have invited several veteran artists to set up their artwork for viewing or sale, and they are looking forward to discussing how art therapy has transformed their lives after leaving their respective military service.   The DoubleTree is serving London Broil with Mushroom Sauce on the side, Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and California Vegetable Melody.   Dessert will be the Chefs selection, and a warm Doubletree Cookie. Please RSVP NLT February 9th to this email, or email or call 407-221-1388. Come out to enjoy a wonderful event with your fellow chapter members!  Save-the-date for our next luncheon on March 12th where our guest speaker is Dr. Lourdes Benes, a board-certified Neurologist in Cognitive, Behavioral and Movement Disorders.  (  Dr. Benes will enlighten us on age-related cognitive and mobility issues as we age.  We all can use helpful tips to keep our minds and bodies sharp as we get older! And we will learn how to spot forgetfulness versus dementia setting in. Dr. Benes had a Fellowship with the VA Medical Center Cognitive, Behavioral & Movement Disorders.

Florida Council of Chapters Website

The Florida Council of Chapters is rolling out a new website following the retirement of John Snyder, our former Webmaster.  John’s website was a custom created site that only he knew how to operate; it served our needs for many years and his efforts over the years was greatly appreciated.  The new website features a new look and can also be easily used by Chapters who don’t have their own customized website, like we do.

Go to to check it out.  Once the February Communique’ newsletter is published it, and all following newsletters, will be posted there as well.

President’s Message (Lorraine Holland) – February 2024 Read More »

Henry VI, Part 1: Joan Of Arc @ The Orlando Shakes

Update On The Veterans “Healing Through Expression” Project

Since my last update, things are continuing to get busy. We had another meeting with The Orlando Shakes and picked a date for our first Double Feature program with them. It will take place on Sunday January 21, 2024. Our Veteran Art Show will take place after the Matinee showing of King Henry VI Part 1. Joan of Arc. The performance begins at 2:00pm.
Henry VI, Part 1: Joan of Arc – The world whirls out of control in the thrilling tale of France’s Joan of Arc, the English warrior Talbot, and the young King Henry VI. Shakespeare’s epic, powerful beginning of the Wars of the Roses is riveting storytelling that never lets up. In this raw, “Bare Bard/Original Practices” production, Orlando Shakes’ actors will perform the play with less than 40 hours of rehearsal, no designers, and no director – just like the acting companies of Shakespeare’s time!

Henry VI, Part 1: Joan Of Arc @ The Orlando Shakes
Henry VI, Part 1: Joan Of Arc @ The Orlando Shakes

If you would like to see the show there is a Military Discount for seats in section A and B. To order tickets, call 407-447-1700 x1 and ask for our Military Discount. This is a very popular play and seats are selling out fast.

The Artists and Art Show will be in the Patrons Room with sales taking place after the show. More information to follow.

On February 11th 2024 we will have another Art Show and Sale at the Museum of Military History in Kissimmee. More on this in the coming months

First Quarter of 2024, Date and Time TBD. A Private Art Show and Sale at the Mayflower, Winter Park’s Distinctive Retirement Community.

Please keep watching for more information to follow.

Update On The Veterans “Healing Through Expression” Project Read More »

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