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President’s Perspective – Legislative Advocacy


President’s Perspective – Legislative Advocacy

COL Steve Bond, USA (Ret)

One of the primary reasons our chapter exists is to make our voices heard with our elected representatives on behalf of the serving military, all veterans, and their families.  We do this in conjunction with MOAA at the National-level and with the Florida Council at the State-level.  We engage locally to ensure our elected officials understand what is important to us—keeping the military strong, while taking care of our nation’s veterans and their families.  I hope you read the articles authored by BG John McMahon, our Legislative Affairs Committee Chair and MAJ Tim Pishdad, the Deputy Chair, each month.  They do a great job keeping us informed on current issues impacting the military, veterans, and families.  While John and Tim lead this important committee, the rest of us are “committee members”.  When asked to “TAKE ACTION”, we all need to act through our letters, emails, or meetings with elected leaders.


I have a confession—While I have been a member of MOAA for 23 years now, the very first time I sent one of the “TAKE ACTION” pre-printed cards from Military Officer Magazine or sent one of the autofill e-mails from the MOAA website to our legislators was just three years ago, after I joined this chapter.  Why?  I thought I was doing my part by just being a member-at-large of a great organization that was looking out for things important to me.  I saw how MOAA was up on Capitol Hill working issues on behalf of the military and veterans.  I, like so many others, confused my passive membership with action.  What I have learned in the past three years is MOAA’s advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill are only as good as the active support they receive from the broad membership base.  In other words, if we collectively don’t TAKE ACTION to be heard, those elected officials won’t bother to listen.  MOAA has a saying:  “The larger our numbers, the greater our voice”.  Our chapter legislative advocacy mission is to ensure our 1,200+ voices are added to the chorus—This is not a spectator sport!


We have had several key legislative engagement activities over the year and in the past several weeks.  MOAA—with our support—is up on Capitol Hill with the “Advocacy in Action” campaign to work key legislation into the Defense Bills.  Our August Luncheon Speaker was Florida Senator Tom Wright, the Chairman of the Florida Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.  Then in September, our local Congressman, Bill Posey (FL-8), met with his Veterans Advisory Council.  I, along with other chapter members and area veteran-leaders were in that group for discussions on military- and veteran-related issues facing the nation.  We have highlighted those meetings in this month’s INTERCOM and be sure to read Tim Pishdad’s Legislative Affairs article.


One of the slogans I remember from my youth was: “Think Globally, Act Locally!”  That is what we do as a chapter—engaging with our local elected representatives to make our voices heard on behalf of the serving military, veterans, and their families—here at home, across the nation and literally around the world.  That is our mission and one of the primary reasons we exist as a chapter.


I appreciate your thoughts.   If you have comments or concerns e-mail me at  

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