The Military Retiree’s Club of Richmond, Virginia, a war veterans organization, was the dream and vision of founders the late Leon Ellis and the late Joseph Steward, both U. S. Army retirees who recognized the need to maintain a sense of comradeship among military retirees and the opportunity to strengthen bonds and relations with the community at large. Their dream and vision was shared by 27 other charter members who came together to organize the Military Retirees Club on June 1, 1972. The prerequisites for membership required an applicant; without regard to race, color, creed, or national origin, to have completed at least 20 years of honorable military service and be retired from a branch of the armed forces of the United States.
As with any new organization, the first few years presented many challenges. With no club house, membership meetings were held in the homes of members and in various established organizations such as the Bel Air Club, the Excelsior Club, Mocha Temple and other clubs that were willing to lend a hand to a fledging organization.
The Military Retiree’s Club filed for Incorporation and received its certificate of incorporation from the Commonwealth of Virginia in June 1972. In 1975 the club received recognition from the United States Internal Revenue Service as a non-profit, war veteran, tax exempt, corporation for civic, humanitarian, and patriotic purposes. The first president of the corporation was the late Chief Warrant Officer George U. Green.
Approximately two years after receiving its charter, the Military Retirees Club established its first club house at 2416 Chamberlayne Avenue. Here, the club experienced some of its best and finest years. The club grew in membership and in prominence within the Richmond Metropolitan Area. As a commitment to its humanitarian and religious foundation, the club established a policy to attend a member’s church each month. Fifth Baptist Church was the first church attended. In December 1981, a larger facility was needed, therefore, MRC bid farewell to its first clubhouse at 2416 Chamberlayne and hailed it new and present premises at 2220 Sledd Street.
Over the years, the MRC has donated its time, talent, and resources in support patriotic, civic, and educational programs in the community. The Military Retirees Club has adopted Franklin Military School and supports all other Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp (JROTC) programs in the Richmond Metropolitan Area. The organization established a scholarship program in 1972 for graduating seniors from Richmond Metropolitan High Schools. Additionally, the club has prepared and provided Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless and less fortunate members of the community; and conducted annually, a toy for tots Christmas party for some of the less fortunate children in the community.
In March 1992, the MRC organized an Auxiliary to assist and support its humanitarian, patriotic, and educational goals and objectives. The first president of the Auxiliary of the Military Retirees Club was Mamie B.H. Kelley.
During the course of its forty years of existence the Military have had 12 presidents. The Military Retirees Club through its leadership, dedication, and commitment continues to distinguish itself in the Richmond Metropolitan Community and lives up to its motto “Retired but still serving.”
Today, the Military Retirees Club is led by President W. Andrew Taylor and Martha Rogers, President of the Auxiliary of the Military Retirees Club (AMRC). They are no less committed than their predecessors’ of 40 years ago to those values and virtues that builds a strong community and bonds a stronger nation. …