The last month has been incredibly busy for SDMAC. The Immediate Past President, Vice President and I met with the Navy and Marine Corps regional and installation flag and general officers to discuss the priorities they have for 2010 and how SDMAC can assist in providing support. The details were numerous, but broadly aligned in five areas -- quality of life of service members and their families, medical care, encroachment, environment, and energy.
It is no surprise that the most detailed and far ranging discussions were those involved with quality of life and medical care. These are challenging times for those serving our country. The nine years of OEF and OIF have exceeded all but the Vietnam War for major long-lasting conflicts that have occurred over the past 100 years: WWI -- 4 years; WWII -- 4 years; Korea -- 3 years, and Vietnam -- 13 years. Additionally, OEF/OIF have occurred over a greater geographic expanse than any other war except WWII.
Some service members are presently facing their fifth or even sixth deployment.
The effects these deployments have on military members’ health, marriages, children, finances, education, and futures are significant. The military services get it, the local commanders get it, and SDMAC gets it. "Getting it", however, doesn’t resolve the associated issues. Thus, look for SDMAC to play an increasingly significant role with other organizations in the San Diego community, our government, and our educational institutions to help lessen the impact on our service members and their families.
In order to tie the regional commanders’ priorities and SDMAC’s interests and ability to support both, we’ve realigned SDMAC’s committees and issue-focus groups. For 2010, the committees are Achievement Awards, Audit, Executive, Legislative, Membership, and Public Information/Relations, and the issue-focus groups are Bases & Infrastructure, Environmental & Energy, Military & Family Life, Military Economic Impact, Military Medical Care, Regional Transportation, and Veteran Transition Support. I strongly encourage your involvement as members of SDMAC by contacting the chair person(s) listed in this newsletter to offer your help.
We would like to announce a new affiliate in SDMAC’s activities -- the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, whose local representatives attended our February Board meeting. Enhanced communications between SDMAC and the VA have already made us aware of programs and initiatives of common interest -- from education to medical rehabilitation -- where we can cooperate and complement one another and avoid conflict.
As most of you know, at the request of the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Roughhead, SDMAC had scheduled a special breakfast on February 5. Over 400 people had registered for the event. Unfortunately, the CNO had to cancel his appearance and return to Washington in advance of "snowmageddon". He extended his apologies and reiterated his commitment to address SDMAC this year. To the SDMAC staff that reacted quickly to the change of plans, thank you.
Lastly, the SDMAC Military Economic Impact Study is under final review and nearing completion.
The financial contribution of the military to the San Diego region has significantly increased in actual value and percentage to the local economy -- it is the most significant economic contributor to the region.
We’ll roll out the study in the near future.
Thanks to all for a great kick-off for our organization for 2010.