Mountain Empire Chapter Early History
The Mountain Empire Chapter of The Retired Officers Association (TROA), the latter of which subsequently became the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), was chartered on September 22, 1979. There were thirty four charter members. The original charter and charter members are noted below as are the current bylaws.
Donald Salo (USA) began the process of forming a local Chapter by contacting TROA members in the vicinity. The initial members were (in alphabetical order) Walter Ashe (USN), Charles Badgett (USA), George Halliwell (USAF), Axel Lindstrom (USN), George Patterson (USAF), John Sammons (USA), Paul Tickle (USN), and Dan Zoerb (USAF). An initial meeting was held at the Johnson City Armory where temporary officers were appointed followed by another meeting at Science Hill High School. DonaldSalo was appointed as Temporary President. In September, 1979 the Charter meeting was held at the Johnson City Country Club. The officers at that time were: John Sammons (USA) President, Donald Salo (USA) Vice-president, Charles Badgett (USA) Secretary, and Axel Lindstrom (USN) Treasurer.
Executive Board meetings were held every other month at the homes of the officers with regular Chapter meetings on the alternate months. The name Mountain Empire was chosen to reflect the entire community of members from East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. At inception, the purpose of the Chapter was to provide members with social interaction and information. Medals were also presented to ETSU ROTC and local high school JROTC members.