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Hey Shipmates,

It’s been about a week since the 48th Annual Symposium came to a close and I’m still excited, re energized, and hopeful. While 2020 has been a challenge for everyone, seeing and hearing from you, even if virtually, is always a highlight. For us veterans it was probably the best part of the entire week. Our Service leaders did a great job of laying out their plans of action and way forward in this tumultuous time. That’s why I’m hopeful. However, I am excited and re-energized because of YOU! As veterans, you didn’t attend this symposium because you were interested in becoming a successful sea service officer, but because you care about NNOA.

Having said that, I want to capitalize on the momentum created by the Annual Symposium and extend a cordial invitation to you to participate in two events: a survey and a “Veterans Roundup.” The Roundup will be conducted via Zoom on Saturday, September 12th at 1800 EST.

As a Veteran, you may be wondering how you can turn your concern for the future of the NNOA into action. Here are three areas in which volunteers are needed.

1.NNOA Foundation – After almost five decades of not only survival, but valued and purposeful existence, NNOA has reached the next level. The NNOA leadership team is hard at work establishing a foundation to fund its operations, support youth STEM programs, establishing endowments for scholarships, and other areas requiring financial independence.  Veterans will be a critical asset in creating and maintaining the Foundation.

2.Career Development Committee – Dr. Mary McAdams, Capt, USN (Ret), chair of our Career Development Committee, is actively searching for mentors and coaches to strengthen and encourage all of our members. Our lessons learned, positive and negative, are highly sought after and are valued by today’s officer corps. Their way forward will no doubt cross a path that we have opened, and in most cases, have traveled ourselves.

3.Transition Assistance – Transitioning to the civilian world is a life changing event.  What better way to enter the unknown than with shipmates who’ve been there and done that? Forming a Veterans assistance group can help Shipmates safely navigate civilian life.

These are just a few of the areas your help is needed. I urge you to add to that list by voicing other ways in which Veterans may be “value added” to the NNOA membership. You can easily do this by participating in the survey and the Veterans Roundup on Saturday, September 12th at 1800 EST.

I leave you with this quote by a first century Jewish scholar, “If not you, then who? If not now, then when?”

I miss you. We miss you…NNOA NEEDS YOU!

Your NNOA Veterans Representative

Ernie Taylor