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ROA Family Support Group Honors Early College High School - Carrollton-Farmers Branch - Texas

Posted By ROA National Staff, Wednesday, June 24, 2020

(From left to right) Timothy A. Isaly, Principal Early College High School; Major Norma Cabanas, ROA Chapter President-Dallas/Ft. Worth; Jessica Cabanas, Graduating Senior Class of 2020; Carolyn Glover Hockley, ROA Family Support Group; Col. Ralph Hockley, ROA Dept of Texas Membership Chairman.


 ROA, doing business as the Reserve Organization of America, proudly presented the first in the nation “ROA-Family Support Group Award” plaque to the Texas Early College High School of Carrollton-Farmers-Branch School on May 22, 2020.  Individual certificates were awarded to school staff: Timothy A. Isaly – Principal; Nikita D. Fisher – Counselor; Maria C. Ramos - Admin Records; Jaime Wegscheider – English and Journalism Teacher; Susan Freid – Mathematics Teacher; and Nabil M. Khawla – Science Teacher. 

The ROA awards were presented by Carolyn Glover Hockley, Col. Ralph M Hockley and Maj. Norma Cabanas of the Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter, Dept of Texas.  ROA headquartered in Washington, D.C. welcomed the new ROA Family Support Group and its mission to assist and help sustain the Reserves, the National Guard, and their families in the Fall of 2019.

This new ROA award was established to recognize the Silent Angels who seek no recognition but who go above and beyond the requirements in support of the Uniformed Service members of the Reserve and National Guard.  These include the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

After three overseas deployments from September 2015 to July 2019, and now most recently in response to the COVID-19 pandemic response mission out of Grande Prairie Armed Forces Reserve Complex, Cabanas of Carrollton stated that, “The Early College High School’s Principal, Faculty and Staff went above and beyond to ensure and help steady her daughter - Jessica’s daily challenges."  Deployments are not only hard on the military member(s), but also on their families.  Schools play an integral part in keeping the military child steady, focused, and supported.  

During one of those deployments, Mr. Meason Kolkhorst from Long Middle School was the first angel who assisted Jessica in completing her high school enrollment to Early College High School. During the few phone calls while deployed, Jessica shared many stories of other teachers who helped: Shawne Poplar; Richard Lewis; Jahee Kong; Swanson; Judith Tepper; and Patrick Pulliam.  Each assisted her in getting through some rough times. It was the school staff that helped fill the mommy shoes.

Cabanas stated, “Whether school staff realized it or not, their direct and indirect support made a difference to the whole family.” At the time of the first deployment in 2015, Jessica was only 14 and attending middle school. With mom and sister Jennifer, both in the Army, with Dad and Jessica at home in Carrollton, and her closest relatives 1,300 miles away, life was difficult for this teenager.  

Simple tasks were not an option for Jessica - she had to help with meals and cleaning, be responsible for going to bed and getting up for school and doing her homework.  Cabanas said that she is 100 percent sure it was the motivation and inspiration of the school that kept Jessica focused. Graduating in May, Jessica Cabanas plans to continue her college education at University of Texas in Dallas.   

Principals, teachers, and counselors make a big difference in a student’s success or failure - and life.  

Each of the recognized school staff went above and beyond to support the family of one citizen warrior – a member of the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve. ROA’s Family Support Group recognizes the giant steps attained by the 2020 graduates at the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD - Early College High School; we congratulate each one.  This year, in particular, is a special time for all graduates. 

For more information on ROA’s Family Support program contact Anne Groskreutz, at

Tags:  family support group  roa  texas 

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Chaplain's Corner: Eyes to See and Ears to Hear

Posted By ROA Staff, Friday, April 10, 2020
Updated: Sunday, July 12, 2020

A Spiritual Fitness message from the ROA National Chaplain

Exodus 12 / Gospel of John 20

We are in the season of the calendar year when two very important worship events are highlighted -- The Passover and Easter. These epoch times are important to those of the Jewish and Christian Faiths. From their miraculous happenings they have been major points of testimony, recognition and historical anchors.  They are not only important to persons of faith but in the world as a whole. 


Both of these historical acts in 2020 will be remembered much differently than at any time since world WWI because of two world shaking events. Passover and Easter will be celebrated and worship will occur but in extremely small groups—perhaps with family or electronic video.  Market places will be empty.  There will be little or no traffic in the streets.  Smiles will be hidden by facial masks. 


Social distancing will mean no hugs, shaking hands, or other habitual forms of greetings. One is a very disrupted economic circumstance which has shifted from a three-year thriving recovery to a sudden crunch. Second is an outbreak of a disease of pandemic proportion.  Both are connected and both are wreaking havoc and lots of “unknowns” into our lives. Both are not new for there have been periods of economic disappointments and there have been diseases of pandemic proportions before 2020.  Both can bring extra baggage of blaming, accusations and criticism of responses but the world has been here before. 


The great difference today is that we have so much more technology, medicine, ready-made information, instant communication and excellent collaboration and terrific opportunities which can be applied. It is a time when we apply our faith in God and His intervention into our lives.  It is a time when we recognize that we live in an unshakable kingdom and an unchanging God. 


The God of the days of the Passover and the God of Easter has not changed. History is on our side and these battles have been fought before. God hears the cries of His people.  He opens our eyes to see when we ask of Him. He delivers His people and He stills storms. He uses us when we allow Him to do so. He brings comfort and hope in the middle of turmoil. 


My mother told me the story of my great grandfather as she showed me a picture of her mother’s family. It was one of those black and white well-worn photos taken in the front yard of their home with the mother and father seated and the children (six of them) surrounding “mom and dad.”  She said that her grandfather wanted to serve in the War but became ill and could not.  Then she said this, "while his desire was to serve our country in time of war, he fought the flu and we had nothing with which to fight this invisible disease." 


Doctors and medicine did everything possible but he died of the flu epidemic the day the War ended.   Wow!   She shared with me how tough it was - but - she said the families “hung together,” shared responsibility and their values and character never faltered.  It was really difficult for them but both wars came to an end.  There were numerous causalities from both but with broken hearts and unwavering faith they all charged on.


Today, this is happening again but God has not changed, His Kingdom is unshakable, microscopes are better, hospitals are numerous, medical teams are better educated and qualified than ever before, communication is nearly instantaneous, testing is as never before.  We are witnessing the amazing cooperation of benevolent governments and the genius deliverance of free-enterprise. 


It is not just America in this conflict but the entire world needs YOU-your prayers, your optimism, your gifts and graces, your talents, your energy, your “Call to Duty”-and bring with you your “go bag” with courage, faith, teamwork.  While we do face grief, as every generation does, we do not need to be defeated just because something is unseen.   

I have also learned that grief is a love word. We are able to grieve because we are able to love. It may frighten us but long ago I learned that courage is not without fear.  It is doing the right thing in spite of my fears.   


I bow in awe before the Living God, thankful for so many whom have gone before us to include our first responders, law enforcement persons, medical professionals, neighbors, friends, our fire fighters plus our men and women in uniformed services, truck drivers, farmers, infra-structure specialists and the list of Americans stepping forward to do and be all they can be goes on and on.  May God bless America and may we be worthy of His favor.

Until next time.                                                             


Retired Chaplain (Col.) Sherman R. Reed 

 Army Reserve Ambassador, Emeritus, ROA National Chaplain

Tags:  Chaplain  Easter 

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Scholarship Season has Begun

Posted By ROA National Staff, Tuesday, February 18, 2020

ROA STARs Henry J. Reilly Scholarship Program for 2020-2021 Academic Year Now Open

Applications are due by April 16, 2020, at 11:59 PM Pacific Time Zone.

The applicant portal link is When you click to this site, you will see a plain "Account Login" page with a background photo of new graduates in their caps and gowns. Either register and enter, or if you've registered before log in. You will then be directed to the scholarship application page with an ROA logo on the upper left.

In its fourth year, ROA will award up to twenty $2,500 scholarships to students pursuing courses of study leading to certificate, associate, bachelor, and graduate degrees.

Tags:  Reilly  scholarship 


Talk to ROA - Survey January 2020

Posted By ROA National Staff, Thursday, January 2, 2020

ROA has supported extending TRICARE Reserve Select to military technicians as a recruiting tool for the services. When we worked on this change with the Senate, they decided it would only be fair to extend it to all National Guard and Reserve federal employees. Of course, the biggest hurdle is the offset of appropriations because this option has not been funded by DoD.

While ROA supports the recently passed legislation, it does not resolve the problem of having multiple types of TRICARE that change when orders are issued.

Please tell us how often your health care changed, either when you were in service or now as a participating National Guard or Reserve member.


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Talk to ROA - Survey December 2019

Posted By ROA National Staff, Saturday, December 7, 2019

Some argue that military tuition assistance such as the GI Bill should be the subject of new restrictions (please see accompanying article in Legislation), making it harder for for-profit schools to use these funds. Increasingly, for-profit schools offer options that traditional schools do not, such as technical and other “career” training.  While the for-profit sector has in some cases gotten a bad reputation, our research indicates the occasional problems these days are far outweighed by the benefits offered by good for-profit schools.

The VA itself testified before Congress that this could cost some 66,000 GI Bill beneficiaries their educational options – their schools would shutter or close programs or raise tuition, etc. That’s more than the size of the Coast Guard and it’s almost exactly the Army’s annual recruiting goal. It’s also about 10 percent of GI Bill beneficiaries. Where else would we as veterans’ advocates support a reduction in earned benefits that hurts 10 percent of beneficiaries?

The ROA legislation team conducted research of our own: based on a May 2019 Congressional Budget Office report, five of the 10 most popular institutions under the Post 9/11 GI Bill were private for-profit, with more than 72,000 veterans who likely would be affected by a 90/10 rule change. (That’s just the top five for-profits . . .).

ROA is interested in the real, on-the-ground, truth about where veterans attend secondary education. Please take the survey at the below link and tell us where you attended secondary education.

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Talk to ROA - Survey November 2019

Posted By ROA National Staff, Thursday, October 31, 2019

Gray Area Retirees - National Guard and Reserve servicemembers who have completed 20 years for retirement will not collect their retired pay until they reach early retirement or are age 60. These individuals are referred to as "Gray Area" Retirees. Approximately 6 months to 90 days prior to their 60th birthdate (or early retirement age) “Gray Area Retirees” must apply for their retirement pay.

The branch of service in which they last performed military service is responsible for validating the servicemembers retirement points. Once this process is complete the branch of service will send the servicemembers retirement pack to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service for continued payment of retirement benefits.

Once retirement orders for the “Gray Area Retiree” are processed DFAS will conduct a confirmation calculation of the servicemembers completed service record. This confirmation, on average, takes between 90 to 180 days. During this time the servicemember will not receive any payment of benefits.

Please take a quick one-question survey that tells ROA how long you waited for your first paycheck. CLICK HERE

Tags:  gray area  retire  retirement  survey 


National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 6, 2019
The House (H.R. 2500) and Senate (S. 1790) each passed their version of the NDAA. When Congress returns from summer recess in September they will, hopefully, quickly move to conference to resolve their differences. Here are some of the sections that need to be resolved: READ MORE (pdf) >

Tags:  NDAA 

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Talk to ROA - Survey August 2019

Posted By ROA National Staff, Thursday, August 15, 2019

Earlier this year the Department of Veterans Affairs implemented the Mission Act which was intended to be an improvement on the Choice Act. The purpose of both Acts was to provide community care to Veterans to relieve the long waiting periods for appointments with VA. ROA would like to know how many members have used either of these community care programs to receive medical care.

Have you ever used the VA community health care program under the Choice Act or Mission Act?

Let us know by completing this quick two-question survey. CLICK HERE


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Starting a Business?

Posted By ROA National Staff, Thursday, August 8, 2019

Congress is looking at ways to increase opportunities for Veterans to start a business.



Tags:  #roa 


Talk to ROA - Survey July 2019

Posted By ROA National Staff, Monday, July 8, 2019

The Department of Defense 13th Quadrennial Review of Military Compensation is assessing converting the current pay and allowance (housing, subsistence) system to a single pay system based either on national averages or geographic location. 


For example, civil service pay consists of a single pay system based on national standards for General Schedule employees.  Civil Service Wage Grade salaries are based on geographic location.  Both have high cost of living geographic differential pay.


CLICK HERE to Talk to ROA and answer this question:

Should military pay and allowances be converted to a single pay system?


Talk to ROA provides members an opportunity to provide feedback to ROA’s legislation team on issues being worked either through legislation or policy. Your response will help inform ROA’s action going forward. The next Reserve Voice will give you the results of the survey and the next monthly RV question.


Please share the link with other Reserve and National Guard servicemembers who may not be ROA members and encourage them to join ROA and help with our legislative efforts!


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