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Never stop serving. Those are words to live by for the Flagler County Chapter of Military Officers Association of America, Chapter 41. It’s their motto, and they strive to uphold military values and serve the community as if they still wore the uniform today.
“We are loyal, and we have honor about what we did and who we are,” said Peggy Hengeveld, Flagler MOAA Chapter president, a retired colonel who served as an army nurse.
The Flagler County MOAA Chapter is an organization of current, former and retired military leaders dedicated to promoting military values, traditions, issues and leadership in the community and the nation. Chapter 41 was formed 1986 and has nearly 100 members.
Locally, the group is seeking new members. All current or former military officers and/or warrant officers are welcome, along with spouses and surviving spouses.
Each month, the chapter meets for a meal and hosts guest speakers. The speakers vary between military personnel and local government officials.
Keeping true to their motto, the chapter serves the Palm Coast community through service projects and charitable contributions.
Each May, they award a scholarship to one graduating senior from each of the two Palm Coast high schools. Recipients are selected based on academic achievement.
“We are a smaller organization, but we want to give as much as we can within our budgetary restraints,” said Peggy.
The chapter also awards a MOAA medal each year to one cadet in the Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program at the each of Palm Coast high schools.
Through their “Veterans in the Classroom” project, the chapter educates local students about the military and what it means to be a veteran. A veteran himself, Cecil Hengeveld, travels to local classrooms to speak with students. Cecil was a helicopter pilot during the Viet Nam war.
“Today, I’m pleasantly surprised by how much support we have by the young kids and teachers,” said Cecil.
On Memorial Day, the chapter honors families of fallen soldiers.
“Without the families who supported the military all those years, we could not go on and do what we do as the military,” Peggy said.
This Memorial Day, Peggy will speak at the Flagler County Memorial Day Ceremony at the Government Services Building in Bunnell.
“As a female and a veteran, I am very honored to do that,” Peggy said. “We need to get the message out that the military has great offerings for both genders.”
“It’s just a great organization. I just hope we continue on. There are 42 chapters here in Florida.
“We are so proud to be part of the Flagler chapter,” said Peggy. — Rachel Dolezal