For Mary Dunagan, the military has always been a part of her life. The daughter of an Army officer, she was born in Washington, D.C., and spent her childhood moving and traveling. “It wasn’t always easy, but I thoroughly enjoyed growing up in the Army,” she said. Her goal was to marry an Army officer and continue moving and seeing the world. She did just that.
In 1956, she married Frank Dunagan, who went on to serve a 20-year career in the Army, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
When he died in 2014, Mary Dunagan turned to her family, friends, and volunteer work to help her get through the devastating loss. That included the Cape Canaveral (Fla.) Chapter of MOAA, which she and Frank had been involved with for many years. “My husband was very active in the chapter,” she said. “So I also got very involved. In the earlier days, we did a lot of things together. We planned trips and dances and a lot of entertainment for the chapter.”
A few years after Frank’s death, Dunagan volunteered to serve as surviving spouse liaison for the chapter, a role that allows her to help others get through the grief of losing a spouse. As surviving spouse liaison and chairperson of the chapter’s auxiliary committee, Dunagan works to ensure surviving spouse members are fully integrated into the chapter, are aware of actions and initiatives, and participate in activities and events.
Her goal is to not only be a resource for the chapter’s more than 250 surviving spouse members but also keep them busy. One way she does this is by planning regular activities, such as trips and luncheons.
Additionally, she works with the chapter’s vice president for membership and support to actively recruit and retain members. In 2019, she assisted with sending over 250 invitation letters and emails from MOAA-provided lists to potential members. She also organizes notification calls to surviving spouse and spouse members for annual membership renewal reminders.
“Mary exemplifies MOAA’s creed to ‘never stop serving,’” said Col. Stephen Bond, USA (Ret), vice president of the Cape Canaveral Chapter. “As a military spouse and surviving spouse member of MOAA and our chapter, she has performed a lifetime of service. Mary continues to serve the physical and emotional needs of others. More importantly, she has been invaluable in her service to the 256 surviving spouses and all 1,200-plus members of the Cape Canaveral Chapter.”
In addition to her efforts with the chapter, Dunagan is a member and historian of the Cape Canaveral Ladies, a group of 50 volunteers who stand as a final witness at the burials of veterans at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery. Since 2016, members have participated in over 7,000 burials to ensure no veteran is buried alone.
Dunagan said she’s proud to be a part of the Cape Canaveral Ladies and of her work as a surviving spouse liaison.
“I’ve met so many people,” she said. “It just makes you feel good to be able to help surviving spouses. It’s very rewarding.”
She also encourages all MOAA chapters to have a surviving spouse liaison. “[New surviving spouses] need someone to talk to, someone who understands what they are going through,” she said. “I think it’s very important for every chapter to have this role.”
|_GRECAPTCHA||5 months 27 days||This cookie is set by the Google recaptcha service to identify bots to protect the website against malicious spam attacks.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-advertisement||1 year||Set by the GDPR Cookie Consent plugin, this cookie is used to record the user consent for the cookies in the "Advertisement" category .|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-analytics||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Analytics".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-functional||11 months||The cookie is set by GDPR cookie consent to record the user consent for the cookies in the category "Functional".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-necessary||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookies is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Necessary".|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-others||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Other.|
|cookielawinfo-checkbox-performance||11 months||This cookie is set by GDPR Cookie Consent plugin. The cookie is used to store the user consent for the cookies in the category "Performance".|
|CookieLawInfoConsent||1 year||Records the default button state of the corresponding category & the status of CCPA. It works only in coordination with the primary cookie.|
|__cf_bm||30 minutes||This cookie, set by Cloudflare, is used to support Cloudflare Bot Management.|
|_ga||2 years||The _ga cookie, installed by Google Analytics, calculates visitor, session and campaign data and also keeps track of site usage for the site's analytics report. The cookie stores information anonymously and assigns a randomly generated number to recognize unique visitors.|
|_ga_7VX52F0C6J||2 years||This cookie is installed by Google Analytics.|
|_gat_gtag_UA_6914591_1||1 minute||Set by Google to distinguish users.|
|_gcl_au||3 months||Provided by Google Tag Manager to experiment advertisement efficiency of websites using their services.|
|_gid||1 day||Installed by Google Analytics, _gid cookie stores information on how visitors use a website, while also creating an analytics report of the website's performance. Some of the data that are collected include the number of visitors, their source, and the pages they visit anonymously.|
|CONSENT||2 years||YouTube sets this cookie via embedded youtube-videos and registers anonymous statistical data.|
|_fbp||3 months||This cookie is set by Facebook to display advertisements when either on Facebook or on a digital platform powered by Facebook advertising, after visiting the website.|
|fr||3 months||Facebook sets this cookie to show relevant advertisements to users by tracking user behaviour across the web, on sites that have Facebook pixel or Facebook social plugin.|
|VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE||5 months 27 days||A cookie set by YouTube to measure bandwidth that determines whether the user gets the new or old player interface.|
|YSC||session||YSC cookie is set by Youtube and is used to track the views of embedded videos on Youtube pages.|
|yt-remote-connected-devices||never||YouTube sets this cookie to store the video preferences of the user using embedded YouTube video.|
|yt-remote-device-id||never||YouTube sets this cookie to store the video preferences of the user using embedded YouTube video.|
|yt.innertube::nextId||never||This cookie, set by YouTube, registers a unique ID to store data on what videos from YouTube the user has seen.|
|b_fgNz-||1 day||No description|
|OmdalzGo||1 day||No description|
|wcgoR_rHEJPO||1 day||No description|
|YOi_HJFkKhuVQsCz||1 day||No description|