Serving country is family affair for new MOAA president

Retired Maj. Timothy Pishdad. left and his wife, retired Lt. Col. Cynthia Watkins, are dedicated to the Cape Canaveral chapter of the MOAA.

Family get-togethers seem more like an Armed Forces conference when the family is Timothy Pishdad’s. 

The new president of the Cape Canaveral Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, Pishdad is understandably proud of a family tree that includes several branches of the military. 

The chain of command at the Pishdad household starts with Maj. Pishdad’s wife, retired Lt. Col. Cynthia Watkins. One son serves in the Marines Corps and another in the Air Force. A third, now a Brevard County paramedic, was in the infantry deployed to Afghanistan.

Pishdad’s father, Amir Sr., is retired from the Army, as is Cynthia’s dad. His brother, Amir Jr., is a retired Navy Seal. 

In 2008, Tim and Cynthia moved to Six Mile Creek near Indian River Colony Club, where his father lives.

"We had visited the area several times to visit my parents and really liked it," Pishdad said.  

Tim met Cynthia in Fort Lee, Virginia when he was working as a logistics specialist for a military contractor. She was working in the transportation side of logistics. 

Cynthia is in demand for her singing skills and has sung the National Anthem at the Capitol in Tallahassee during Military Appreciation Day. 

A 1978 graduate of Virginia Military Institute, Pishdad joined the Army upon graduation and retired in 1995, serving in the Medical Service Corps as a quartermaster officer and as a parachute rigger. His civilian career included a stint in Afghanistan, where he worked for logistics contractor Patricio Enterprises.

"You worked 24/7," he said. 

He still is working hard since being president of one of  the largest and most active MOAA chapters in the country is almost the equivalent of a full-time job.

"I spend at least 30 hours a week on MOAA business since we have 20-plus committees and two 501(c)(3) organizations, and are involved in almost every aspect of the community," said Pishdad, who nevertheless still makes time to volunteer at the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, as well as with several ministries at the Patrick Air Force Base Chapel, where Cynthia serves as the Protestant parish coordinator. 

"When you grow up around the culture of service, you are drawn to it," Pishdad said.