The following are the pictures and biographies of the Arizona MOAA members in the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Class of 2018. The presenters are Dr. Joseph Cuffari, Policy Advisor for Military and Veterans’ Affairs [on the left] and Colonel Wanda Wright, USAF, (Ret) Arizona Department of Veterans Services Director [on the right].
Raymond “Ray” Boucher, Arizona Chapter was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1934, Ray Boucher served twenty-six years in the U.S. Air Force, including service in Southeast Asia as an F-4 Phantom weapons systems officer; retiring in 1983 as a Lieutenant Colonel. Ray has served on the Credit Union West Board of Directors since 1982; and since 2006, has volunteered at Habitat for Humanity. Ray supports many events which benefit veterans, the military, and students. As Treasurer, Arizona Territorial Chapter, Association of the US Army, he co-chairs the Healing Heroes program which provides a 2-day family vacation for wounded veterans and their families; co-chairs the annual Task Force Smith Golf Tournament to raise funds for active, Reserve and National Guard families; and chairs the annual Armed Forces Career Officer Day to assist and encourage JROTC cadets to become officers in the armed forces.
Joseph D. “Joe” Britton, Coronado Chapter (1940–2017) was born in Laurel, Mississippi, Joe Britton was commissioned from ROTC in 1961 into the US Army Field Artillery, served in Vietnam, is the recipient of the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, retiring as a Colonel in 1988. Volunteering included: Coronado Chapter, MOAA’s Director for the JROTC Support Initiative; Rotary Vocational Director and District 4-Way Speech Contest (High School) Director; Southern Arizona, American Red Cross Board Director; Habitat for Humanity President. As a member of the Sheriff’s Assist Team, Joe contributed over 1,400 hours of service not only for the safety of the county, but in identifying two previously unsolved cases resulting in felony convictions. Joe’s volunteer efforts provided scholarships for students, mentoring support for soldiers and veterans, reduced homelessness and helped to provide a safer environment throughout Cochise County.
Doris L. Caldwell, Coronado Chapter was born in Oakland, California in 1930, Doris Caldwell served in the US Army for 28 years, with tours in Japan, Vietnam, and Greece; she retired in 1981 at Fort Huachuca. For 37 years Doris, a member of eleven civic organizations, has been a Community Leader in the Sierra Vista area. A two-term elected Board Member of the Sierra Vista Unified School District, Doris worked untiringly on the $25 million-dollar bond election for Buena High School. She served on the Sierra Vista Library Administrative Board for thirteen years. She served as Chair of the “Art in the Park” event for five years. Doris also supports and advocates for veterans and their families through her active support of the programs and activities of Chapter 95, Women’s Army Corps Veterans’ Association; and the Coronado Chapter, Military Officers Association of America.
Stuart S. “Stu” Carter, Coronado Chapter was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1952, Stu Carter served in the U.S. Air Force information technology field for thirty years, retiring in 2001 as a Lieutenant Colonel. Since 2012 Stu has led a group of Sierra Vista bicyclists who adopted and maintain a highway mile in memory of a retired Army bicyclist. For three years, Stu, President of Cochise Bicycle Advocates, advocated for new signed bike routes and an improved, expanded multi-use path system, and succeeded! As Vice President and President of Cochise Chapter, Air Force Association, Stu raised $10,000 for Cyber Patriot training benefitting 900 students enrolled in 95 local school teams. As Vice Chairman and Chairman, Greater Sierra Vista United Veterans Council, Stu led thirty veterans support organizations who advocate for veterans and their families, and who support and plan many community activities and events.
Donald T. Eskam, Yuma chapter was born in Minatare, Nebraska in 1937, Don Eskam served in the U.S. Marine Corps as an air traffic controller, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. After 24 years and six months of service, Don retired at the rank of CWO3. While working at the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, Don assisted over 8,000 veterans to claim their earned benefits. Residing in the Yuma area for more than 40 years, Don is a leader in many organizations: The Caballeros de Yuma for 29 years, the Yuma Chapter of Military Officers Association for 27 years, 4-H for 24 years, and the Kiwanis Club for 35 years. Don Eskam’s community achievements include establishing a USMC JROTC unit at Kofa High School, frequent participation in patriotic events at elementary schools, and visiting veterans in nursing homes.
Dean “Doc” Hager, Yuma Chapter was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1950, Dean “Doc” Hager served twenty-six years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Navy Medical Service Corps Captain. When Doc arrived in Yuma, he immediately volunteered as a driver transporting veterans for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV); receiving recognition by the Director of Veterans Affairs Tucson for 1,000 hours of volunteer service. In 2008 Doc joined the Board of Directors, Yuma Council, Navy League of the U.S., raising funds, growing membership, and renewing relations with Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. In 2015 he led efforts to establish the City’s annual Military Appreciation Day and founded Yuma’s award-winning Naval Sea Cadet Corps program. Doc currently is an active member of The American Legion, Navy League of the U.S., Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Yuma Chamber of Commerce’s Military Affairs Committee (MAC).
Peter K. “Pete Kloeber, Grand Canyon Chapter was born in Santa Monica, California, in 1945, Pete Kloeber served in the U.S. Air Force for 32 years, retiring as a Colonel in 1999. Pete volunteers in many civic and veterans organizations: The Highlands Fire District Board of Directors since 2001, including Chairman for 13 years; protecting five unincorporated communities with over 3,000 families; Board of Directors for seven years including two years as President of Forest Highlands, a community with over 2,000 residents; a leader in the Knights of Columbus supporting the Greater Flagstaff area. Pete is a member and charter president of the Grand Canyon Chapter, Military Officers Association of America, supporting veterans and providing student scholarships. He is a leader in the Northern Arizona Veterans Coalition of 39 organizations, and its Chair since 2016. Pete currently serves as Chairman of the Arizona Veterans Service Advisory Commission.
Lee Fitzhugh Lange II, Arizona Chapter was born in St Paul, Minnesota in 1948, Lee Lange graduated from college and chose the US Marine Corps, specializing in artillery. A Gulf War veteran, Lee retired in 2001 as a Colonel with 30 years of service. Lee’s second career was with the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) in Alexandria, VA, advocating for military survivor benefits. Moving to Arizona in 2013, Lee continued his leadership efforts as 2nd Vice-President, 1st Vice-President, and Chapter President with the Arizona Chapter, MOAA, raising $14,000 towards scholarships for cadets and midshipmen in ASU’s ROTC programs. As Vice-President and President of the Southwest Veterans Chamber of Commerce, Lee helped raise over $15,000 for veteran scholarships and veteran’s charities in Arizona. Lee has also assisted the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation in raising $700,000 for student scholarships.
Thomas J. “Tom” Owens, Tucson Chapter was born in Buffalo, New York in 1945, Tom Owens served in the U.S. Air Force for thirty years, and retired in 1999 as a Colonel, BioMedical Services Corps. A leader in the Reserve Officers Association and the Military Officers Association of America, Tom has coordinated the ROTC (three units at the University of Arizona) and JROTC (four high schools) Awards programs in the Tucson area for the past fifteen years. Tom advocates for the ESGR/Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program which enhances employers’ support of their employees who serve in the Guard and the Reserve. Tom also advocates for the Esperanza and Escalente programs which assist homeless veterans. Tom has helped to organize events to support the military and students, such as baby layettes for service members at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, and spaghetti dinners to raise scholarship funds.