Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Holiday Luncheon Photos

Editor's Note: I apologize for not getting the photos up earlier. I am recovering from shoulder surgery and it takes longer to type with one hand. Thanks to Jim Harper and Pat Householder for providing the photos.

On Saturday, December 14th, World War II submarine veterans, USSVI submarine veterans, family, and guests met at Anthony’s HomePort in Kirkland for our Joint Holiday Luncheon. The weather was cloudy and chilly (a typical Seattle December day), but Anthony’s was warm and inviting.

The day started with some social time that gave us all a chance to peruse the submarine memorabilia on display and to catch up on the exploits of our shipmates over the last year.

Then it was on to lunch and presentations. Base Commander Doug Abramson presented the Shipmate of the Year Award to Andrea Geisler and Lois Mezek for the work they have done for Seattle Base this past year. Congratulations to Lois and Andrea on their well-deserved awards.

We also inducted the new Holland Club members at the luncheon. Roy Burt and John Roberts were in attendence to receive their certificates and patches. The other inductees for this year are Mike O’Byrne, Gary Flynn, Anthony Glaza, and Gary Van Dusen.

It was a fine event coordinated by Andrea Geisler. Thanks to everyone else who helped out with the luncheon.
Welcome to the 2013 Holiday Luncheon
The view from Anthony's
WWII veteran Ervin Schmidt and family arriving
The memorabilia table
Enjoying some social time
A different view of the dining area
Viewing the memorabilia table
WWII veteran Robbie and Teri Robertson arriving
Art Thompson and Ervin Schmidt
Barbara and Karl 'Dutch' Krompholz
Bob Morris and friend
Dani and Bob Haslan
WWII Vets - Ervin Schmidt and Fred Esslin
Sam Ronnie and Lois Mezek
Doug Gilman wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Fran and Dick Gonzales
Tim Floresh and Ervin Schmidt
Bob Morris with another friend
Karl Krompholz and Jay Davis
Pat Householder
John and Sandra Roberts
Dorthy Holman, Gloria Christopher and Ron Alfonso
Karl 'Dutch' and Barb Krompholz and Sherry and Eric Muller
Fred and Josie Ensslin with Cliff Nutter
Robbie and Teri Robertson with daughters Sue Greenfeld and Amy Wade
Tim Floresh with Paul (WWII submarine veteran) and Aecha Christofferson
Anthony's staff getting ready for the toast
Seattle Base COB Ralph Sterley tolls the lost boats while Pat Householder reads the names
New Holland Club member - Roy Burt
New Holland Club member - John Roberts
Shipmate of the Year Andrea Geisler and Lois Mezek with the Seattle Base Honor Roll plaque

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

USSVI Seattle Base Kap(ss) 4 Kid(ss) visits Children's Hospital

Seattle Base Kap(ss) 4 Kid(ss) organizer John Roberts sent us this report from the group's first outing. 

On Monday, December 2nd, Doug Abramson, Pat Householder, Steve Shelton and I visited Seattle’s Children’s Hospital as part of the USSVI’s Kap(SS) 4 Kid(SS) program. It was a terrific and exceptionally rewarding experience.

We were split into two groups of two each and rotated between entertaining children who were in the Playroom and visiting more seriously ill children in their rooms. All in all, we interacted with 16 girls and boys between the ages of 6 and 15, all of who received Honorary Submariner certificates and Dolphin emblazoned hats, as well as photos of various subs and coloring books.

The kids were excited to see us and asked a lot of questions. A little girl in the Playroom went over to an easel and started drawing a picture of a submarine for us. One young man was connected to several medical devices and was sedated to the point that he had to struggle to pay attention to our conversation but he thanked us for our visit and gifts and insisted on shaking our hands before we left.
Seattle Base members John Roberts and Steve Shelton with the newest Honorary Submariner
When visiting the rooms we had to use sanitizing gel on our hands before entering and again upon leaving. On several occasions we were required to wear gowns, masks and gloves because of viral concerns. Some of the parents were active duty or recent veterans in their own right and thanked us profusely for our attentions to their children. We were discouraged from taking photos but are hopeful that any concerns about this will be relaxed during future visits. But one young mother and father insisted on taking our picture with their son. She graciously emailed it to us and it’s the one shown above.

As this was our initial visit, we sat down immediately afterwards to capture lessons learned and to incorporate changes that might make future visits more fluid. We also began to make plans for regular visits to Children’s Hospital and to follow up on leads to other organizations as we plan to make this program a regular part of fulfilling our purpose to "Perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. That their dedication, deeds and supreme sacrifice be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments.”

You can learn more about the Kap(ss) 4 Kid(ss) program on the USSVI website. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

November Meeting Notes

We started the November meeting with Tolling the Boats lost in November and December, followed by birthday wishes for our members, introductions, and officer reports.

We also had a short recap of the Veterans Day parade and events (remember you can see photos from the parade on the blog).

Old and New Business: 
John Mansfield, Jim Harper, Karl Krompholtz, Doug Abramson, Bob Morris, Bob Opple, and John Roberts at Cebela's on Veterans Day
Cabela's Event - The two-day event at the Cabela's Tulalip store was another great opportunity for the Seattle Base to get out into the community to explain our organization and meet some fellow submariners. Additionally, we also took in almost $600 in donations from the event.

Cabela's Tualip store is also holding a special dedication ceremony for the 'Wreaths Across America' program at 11:00 AM, Saturday, December 7.

Holiday Luncheon - The Seattle Base USSVI and Lockwood Chapter, Submarine Veterans of WWII Joint Holiday Luncheon is set for Saturday, December 14 at Anthony's HomePort Kirkland restaurant. The registration form is in included in the current newsletter or you can download a single-page copy of the registration form here.

Due to the success of the Base fund-raising events this year, we will provide a $10 refund on your Holiday Luncheon costs. If you have questions, be sure to talk with Jim Harper (his contact information is on the registration form).

We will also be doing some Holland Club presentations at the luncheon. It will be a fun time and we hope to see you there.

Bylaw Changes - The list of changes and updates to the Seattle Base Bylaws were presented at the meeting (you can read them here). Most of the changes are to put us into alignment with the National Bylaws, but we are also looking to change Base Officer elections to even years and extend the terms to 2 years (which is how long most people serve) and officially make the Base dues $10 (the current Bylaws say $15). The change will be voted on at the January meeting, so be sure to review the changes and come to the meeting.

Kaps 4 Kids - John Roberts gave a short presentation on the Kaps 4 Kids program and Seattle Base's involvement. John has organized a trip to Seattle Children's Hospital in December. If everything goes well, we are hoping to have more visits with children next year. If you are interested in joining in the effort, contact John Roberts at the next meeting.

Seattle Base Elections - Base elections are coming up in January. Our base needs men like you to stand for the necessary positions to keep the base running, and we want to invite you to throw your name in the ring for one of the Base Officer positions. Even if you aren’t ready to be a Base Officer, you can still help out as one of the committee chairs or appointed officers for the base. Committee chairs and appointed officers are really needed to handle the necessary base functions that make our base valuable to us all. Please consider stepping up for an officer or committee position.

Dick Gonzales has been nominated for the Base Commander position, but we still need people for the Sr. Vice Commander, Jr. Vice Commander, and Storekeeper positions.

Membership Dues - If you are on the annual membership plan, it is time to look at paying your dues. Please contact Jim Harper to pay your dues or if you have questions.

Meeting Time Changes - Our meeting attendance often drops during the winter months. An idea was brought up to think about shifting the weekday and times for winter meetings to a weekend afternoon. No decision has been made, but it is something for the base members to think about. If you would like to see a change in the meeting days or time, please contact a Base officer or one of the past Base Commanders.

November Program:
Don starting out his presentation
Don Ulmer provided the program for the November meeting. Don first heard the story from his best friend at age 11 and it stuck with him. Don continued to research the story, wrote a book based on the story and helped create a musical play based on this tale produced by the Seattle Museum of Flight. The story was about his friend's Aunt Marge Van Sciver and 1st Lt Malcom Gunn, of the embryo US Army Flying Corps. The young couple did not want to wait until the war was over to get married and, over objections of both their families, they decide to get married on the eve of Malcom's deployment to France. Malcom was shot down over France and after the war Marge went to the area to try to find where he was buried (while holding out hope he might still be alive). In the end she was not able to find his grave (although Don think he knows what happened to the young aviator) and she returned to America to marry and live out the rest of her life. It was a great program, punctuated with images and recordings from the play.

Good of the Order:
Lois Mezek let us know about a special invitation she received to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC. Lois talked about her trip, all the memorials she was able to see, and the wonderful people she met. The trip was very unique and we thank Lois for sharing her experience with us.

Base Storekeeper Bill Giese let us know that we are sold out of the 2014 calendars.

Remember there is no meeting in December, but don't forget the Holiday Luncheon. The next meeting is January 15, 2014!

Monday, November 18, 2013

November Meeting Reminder

This is a reminder that the next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, November 20.

We will meet at VFW Post #2995 (4330 148th Ave N.E., Redmond WA 98052). Social hour starts at 6 PM with business meeting at 7PM. Don't forget to review the previous meeting minutes, you can find them here on the blog or on the Seattle Base website, just click the Minutes button on the left.

We have a number of items on the agenda for this month:

There is revision to the Seattle Base bylaws that will be presented at the meeting for discussion and seconding and voting will occur at the January 2014 business meeting.

The 2014 National Calendar “The Boomers” is sold out nationally and Bill Giese, our Base SK still has a small number of calendars on hand. If you want one, he will have them at the base meeting. If you cannot make the meeting, email Bill to purchase. The calendars are $10.00 each, plus mailing cost if not picked up at the meeting. When they are gone, that will be it.

John Roberts has made tentative arrangements for a Kaps4Kids visit to Children’s Hospital. He will provide a brief presentation explaining the program at the meeting.

Find your ‘round-tuits’ and get your Christmas Holiday lunch reservation at Anthony’s Home Port in Kirkland in to Jim Harper as soon as possible. The view is great, food is wonderful and the company cannot be beat! You can find a copy of the registration form in the latest newsletter or download it here.
Dues renewal notices have been sent to all those who need to renew their national and/or base dues. Please pick up that ‘round tuit’ and git r’ done by getting your dues to Jim Harper.

November Program:
Don Ulmer will spin a true bittersweet saga of World War I told him by his best friend at age 11. The friend's Aunt Marge Van Sciver and 1st Lieut Malcom Gunn of the embryo US Army Flying Corps marry on the eve of his deployment to France over objections of both families. Film clips excerpted from a musical play based on this tale produced by the Seattle Museum of Flight spice Don's PowerPoint presentation. A good one for wives and significant others, so bring 'em. A heart string tugger, kleenex advised for the ladies.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

2013 Auburn Veterans Day Parade Photos

We had a nice turnout for the parade with members from Seattle, Bremerton, and South Sound Bases showing up. It was a cloudy and cold day for the parade, but the crowd was bundled up well and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Here are some photos from the event.
Seattle Base Float ready for the parade
The Bonefish Float with her new 'guns'
We arrived early and had to spend a little time telling 'sea stories' before the parade.
Pat Householder and Doug Abramson
Ric Hedman, Bob Haslan, and Dick Gonzales
Ralph Sterley and Bob Opple
Bill & Diane Giese, Bob Haslan, Keith Watson, Dick Gonzales and Ralph Sterley
The Silent Service Motorcycle Club members
Sam Ronnie brought his limo along
Bremerton Base members
there were some other Navy veteran groups there too
With their own floats
and trucks
There was even a little meeting between the groups (Admiral Horton Smith talks with Chief Larry Smith)
The parade started with a helicopter flyover
And then we got ready to move
As did Bremerton Base
A view of the parade
A group photo of the USSVI Members
It was a fun time and don't forget to check the next issue of the newsletter for more photos.