The Colonel Billie L. Stephens - Apache Trail Chapter (AZ-207) of the Military Order of the World Wars was chartered at the Chez-Louis Restaurant, 7363 East Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ on 21 October 1989. The Apache Trail Chapter is a spin-off of the Phoenix Chapter, organized to better serve Military Officers residing in the East Valley. Several Chapter names were considered with “Apache Trail” chosen since Apache Trail Boulevard was then the main road from Tempe Mill Avenue eastward. Monthly meetings were held on the first Monday of months September through June at the Ranch House Restaurant, now Dobson’s Golf Restaurant—where we presently meet on the 3rd Saturday of each month September through May. Monthly dinner meetings were later transferred to the Williams AFB Officer’s Club, until the base closed. Luncheon meetings were then moved to the Best Western Dobson Inn at Dobson Road and US 60 --except for a short two years at Tempe Holiday Inn-- until new ownership at Dobson Inn cancelled our contract. Dobson’s Ranch Golf Restaurant then welcomed us back to where we had started. We do not charge local yearly dues, and encourage members—Companions to become PERPETUAL members, thereby avoiding yearly National dues. This year we celebrated our 28th birthday on 21 October 2017. On 23 January 2018, the National Commander approved our name change initiative to “Colonel Billie L Stephens-Apache Trail Chapter”.
Chapter Focus and Activities:
We fully support the stated goals of our National Order to the best of our ability. We tend to focus on our strengths pertaining to the following National Outreach Programs: ROTC/JROTC and Patriotic Education, but we have made tremendous strides in recent years in Scouting and Veterans Affairs. We generally have at least one Meeting Program annually supporting Homeland Security and Law and Order during the Activity Year. We annually support 21 JROTC units in the East Valley of the Phoenix Metropolitan area but also cover the JROTC program in Globe; south to service the two MCJROTC programs in Casa Grande; and west to the JROTC program in Blythe, CA. We also alternate with the Phoenix Chapter to cover the three ROTC Detachments at Arizona State University, in Tempe, AZ. Our chapter annually sponsors the Massing of the Colors & Service of Remembrance held at Marcos de Niza High School, Tempe, AZ. Our major annual fundraiser concentrates on sponsoring as many high school students as possible at the annual Arizona Youth Leadership Conference held on the ASU West campus, Glendale, AZ. Our Companions continue to support the other statewide chapters at their events as many veteran centric community events and activities in the valley as possible. These include Pearl Harbor Memorial ceremonies, Veteran Stand-downs, outreach, mental health, career, employment job fairs and Veteran’s Day parades and three other Massing of the Colors in Southern AZ, Phoenix, and the West Valley. We lay our wreath at the annual Memorial Day Observance at the Cave Creek National Cemetery. Our Chapter conscientiously supports the Motto of the ORDER: “It is nobler to serve, than to be served”.
Chapter Services and Membership:
Our signature events such as the Massing of the Colors partners with the cadets of Marcos de Niza High School. The entire cadet corps participates as well as numerous statewide Patriotic Organizations and JROTC/ROTC Color Guards. Numerous Companions are also members of other patriotic organizations and provide necessary liaison and mutual cooperation when possible. For years we participated with MOAA on joint picnic meetings. Our major fundraiser each year to send as many students to the AZYLC as possible has enabled us to fund 10-20 students per year. This past year was our best year yet when we sent 24! We have had ten Companions inducted into the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame Society. Members continually pursue novel ways to grow membership and serve the community extending beyond the East Valley to include the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan areas. We have experienced transfers of new members from neighboring chapters the past couple years. We currently have 78 live members: three RM; 49 PM; and 26 HPM. Our membership and activities have declined due to age of our members. Recruiting younger members is paramount.