Maurice "Moe" Bailey, the founder of Alaska Veterans Aviation Outreach, president of Vietnam Veterans of America Mat-Su Chapter 903 and 2007 recipient of the Alaska Governor's Veterans Advocacy Award, passed away Wednesday. He had been fighting leukemia for a couple of years.
Moe was very active in Alaska Veterans activism and his outreach project brought medical attention, medications and other important materials to Alaska veteans who live off the road net.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski has released a statement on Moe's passing:
I am profoundly saddened by the loss of my dear friend, Maurice "Mo" Bailey, who will long be remembered as one of Alaska's most significant veterans' leaders. Mo reminded us through his daily life how one person can truly make a difference in the lives of others. His was a life of service, humility and grace.
A disabled veteran who battled the VA bureaucracy to obtain the benefits he earned through his service in Vietnam, he gave his all to ensure that Alaska's rural veterans could overcome vast geographic challenges and obtain their earned benefits. The Veterans Aviation Outreach, which Mo founded with fellow veterans, created a lifeline through which rural veterans could apply for their benefits, obtain transportation to Anchorage for medical appointments and network with fellow veterans, which is so important to healing the emotional wounds of war. This is critically important work that must continue.
There is little doubt in my mind that Mo's selfless sacrifice on behalf of Alaska's rural veterans will inspire others to ensure that this vital lifeline for rural Alaska's veterans is not lost.
Maurice Bailey's memorial service will be Monday at the National Cemetery at Ft. Richardson.
images by PA - Moe and Diane Benson in 2008; Mark and Jacob Begich with Moe in 2009