The West Valley Chapter (AZ-131) of the Military Order of the World Wars was chartered on 21 April 1971. The West Valley Chapter was the first to evolve from the Phoenix Chapter (AZ-092) to better serve the Military Officers residing in the Sun City, AZ area. The first commander, MG Edgar Erickson USA (Retired), and his staff chose to name the chapter the Sun Cities Chapter since it best represented the location of the chapter membership. In 2012 the Chapter name was changed to become the West Valley Arizona Chapter to better represent the current source of membership. The Chapter focuses on the western part of Maricopa County encompassing the cities and school districts in north Phoenix, Glendale, Peoria, Sun City, Sun City West, Sun City Grand, Surprise, Buckeye, Avondale, Goodyear, and Tolleson. The West Valley Chapter also assumed responsibility for the U.S Air Force and U.S. Army ROTCs at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott. Monthly breakfast meetings at 10:00a.m. are held on the second Saturday of the months October through May at The Fountains at Lake Pleasant near 99th Avenue and Beardsley Road in Peoria, AZ. Our Chapter has low annual dues of $10 per year for a Companion or $15 per year for a Companion and significant other. We strongly encourage Companions to become Perpetual members to avoid annual National membership renewal and dues.
Chapter Focus and Activities:
Our strategic focus is in line with the National Order: 1) Grow membership and Companion participation; 2) Strengthen Chapter outreach programs; 3) Raise MOWW national and local visibility; 4) Enhance leadership training and development; and 5) Promote Companion, Chapter and community recognition. We currently have a strong membership committee who has surpassed the national goal of 4%. We continue to support the Arizona Youth Leadership Conference with proportionally more delegates each year per living Companion in the Chapter than any other Chapter. We are making inroads into the presentation of certificates of recognition to the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. We support 17 high schools with JROTC annual awards and 2 college ROTC units at their annual awards presentations. Written articles for local and national publication are produced annually. Chapter staff members are encouraged to get on the national website and review our constitution, by-laws, etc. to learn their responsibilities as quality supporting members of our Chapter. Our annual Massing of Colors and Service of Remembrance each February draws hundreds of participants and spectators. Over the past several years our guest speaker experiences have span the time frame from WW II through the Iraq and Afghanistan times of turmoil. Each has had a very compelling, patriotic and memorable experience to share. We are active members in the Northwest Valley Veterans Association. This group of 14 Veteran Service Organizations includes members of the DAV, American Legion, VFW, USMC League, and so forth. We are actively involved in Veterans Day activities, Memorial Day Activities, etc. While not active in parades, we do make appearances at local social club meetings advertising our goals as members of the MOWW.
Chapter Services and Membership:
Like several of the Department of Arizona chapters, the Chapter 131 annual Massing of the Colors and Service of Remembrance is the keystone to our activities. Several of our members are also members of many of the other Veterans Service Organizations and keep all informed of their focus and activities. Annually we partner with the MOAA for a Christmas dinner dance celebration. Several of our Companions are members of the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame.
Like too many chapters nationwide, we experience losses in membership due to old age and a reluctance of younger former military officers to get involved. Annually we comb the national data base for members that may have moved into our vicinity. We invite them to transfer their Chapter membership to ours and to become active with us. Over the last few years our membership has varied a plus or minus 4 settling at around 40. We consider our membership to be small but rugged – just like the Arizona vegetation that surrounds us. Please visit our online Chapter website at : www.mowwwestvalley.org for more information.