Capt. Vaughan presents a Certificate of Appreciation and MOAA Challenge Coin to Ms. Moon. (Photo by George Bone)

Former Lt. William Myers, CEC, USN

The Catalina Mountain Chapter (CMC) of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) held a recent luncheon meeting on Feb. 17 at SaddleBrooke Ranch. The meeting began with a business session presided over by retired Capt. Chuck Vaughan, U.S. Navy, president, during which members were updated on the chapter’s current and upcoming activities.

Our speaker was Ms. Marsha Moon, who is both a First Nation Navajo and the Gold Star Mother of Specialist Christopher Moon. On July 13, 2010, Spc. Moon died at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, from wounds suffered in Afghanistan, while a sniper for the 82nd Airborne Division during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Chris was drafted by the Atlanta Braves out of high school, but he chose instead to attend the University of Arizona on a baseball scholarship. After only one semester, however, Chris enlisted in the Army, leaving for boot camp in February 2008. Some think of Chris as “the Pat Tillman of Tucson” because he gave up a scholarship to play baseball at the University of Arizona to serve his country.

Although he wanted to go to Ranger School after graduation, he would have had to wait six months to do this. Chris then joined the 82nd Airborne (Recon Unit) trying to get a billet at Ranger School. Instead, he was assigned to Sniper School and was deployed to Afghanistan in September 2009. He was the youngest sniper in his Recon Unit. Chris’s career with the 82nd Airborne, as well as his last mission on July 6, 2010, is included in the book The Last Patrol.

The March CMC luncheon meeting was held at the SaddleBrooke Ranch Grill on March 16 and our speaker was Virginia “Gail” Joyce, who serves as chair of the MOAA President’s Surviving Spouse Advisory Council, as well as is co-chair of the MOAA Surviving Spouse Virtual Chapter. Her husband, Larry Joyce, was a retired U.S. Army officer who had served two tours in Vietnam. Gail earned a Bachelor of Arts in English (cum laude) in 1983 and a Master of Arts in humanities in 1986.

Gail is also a Gold Star Mother. Her youngest son, Sergeant James Casey Joyce, was an Army Ranger, who died on Oct. 3, 1993, in Mogadishu, Somalia. Sgt. Joyce’s story is told in the movie Black Hawk Down.

If you are a former or current officer of the uniformed services interested in joining our organization, please contact Membership Chair retired Lt. Col. Donald Timian, U.S. Army, by email at [email protected] or by telephone at 571-216-3679.

The membership of CMC encompasses the areas of Catalina, Oracle, parts of Marana and Oro Valley, SaddleBrooke, SaddleBrooke Ranch, San Manuel, and Sun City. For additional information, please visit our website at

The CMC and MOAA are nonprofit, Internal Revenue Code Section 501 (c)(19) taxexempt veterans’ organizations dedicated to maintaining a strong national defense and preserving the earned entitlements of members of the uniformed services and their families.