Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Meeting Notes

We began the April meeting with the Tolling of the Boats for April, birthday wishes for our members, introductions, and officer reports. Then we moved right into the meeting business.

Old and New Business:
Thresher Memorial -If you didn't get a chance to see the webcast of the USS Thresher memorial service, you can view the video recording of the service below. Additionally, a PDF copy of the memorial program was emailed out and can be viewed here. Note that it is a big file and might take a little while to load.

Memorial Program video Part 1
Memorial Program video Part 2

Veteran's Memorial Dedication - Base Commander Doug Abramson, Ric Hedman and Pat Householder attended the Veteran's Memorial dedication at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival on April 12. If you are going to visit the tulip fields this year, be sure to stop by the memorial. You can find out more about the at their website.

Armed Forces Day Weekend at Cabelas - On Saturday May 18, Armed Forces Day, and Sunday May 19 we will set up the Seattle Base float in the Cabela's parking lot. We are hoping to raise some funds for the base through donations from shoppers. We need plenty of volunteers to help man the float on both days. If you would like to help out with this event, please contact Base Commander Doug Abramson or any of the other base officers. You can find more information about, and directions to, the Cabelas store at this link.

Bremerton Armed Forces Day parade - If you can't make it to the Cabela's event, please consider attending the Bremerton Armed Forces Day parade on Saturday, May 18. The Silent Service Motorcycle Club and other local bases will be at the parade.

New Chairman for Tolling Ceremony - New base member John Roberts has stepped up to take over the chairman duties for the Tolling Ceremony from Bob Opple. Additionally, Dick Gonzales has volunteered to help John out with organizing the event. The Tolling ceremony is important part of who we are as USSVI. The next time you see Bob, be sure to thank him for all his hard work, and be sure to thank John and Dick for taking on the job of running the ceremony.

Smokey Point Rest Stop Event - We want to remind you that the Smokey Point event is back for 2013. This year we will be at the southbound rest stop on June 28 - July 1. Be sure to mark the dates on your calendar. Steve Shelton will have sign-up sheets available at the next meeting.

April Program
The April program was a potpourri of items. Bob Opple talked to us about the recent main engine starts on Razorback and showed the videos from the start.
I've embedded one video below:

Others can be found here, here, and here.

Steve Shelton told us about Darin Detwiler being chosen to receive the 2013 Washington State Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching History.
Finally, Keith Watson showed some photos of the old Naval Reserve armory on Lake Union, which has recently been reopened as the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). He had photos from when it was first opened, through its time with reserve submarines, to its current look as MOHAI. It was fun to see all the old photos and get a report about the new museum.

Good of the Order
Pat Householder asked everyone to make sure their contact and next of kin information on the USSVI website is up to date.

Associate member Lois Mezek let us know that she has been attending Veterans Service Officer classes and that if anyone in the group is having issue with veterans benefits, she can help answer questions and put you in touch with people that can help out.

Binnacle List:
  • Gene Posel is still recovering from a torn back muscle.
  • Robbie Robertson is still battling prostate cancer.

We hope to see you at the next meeting.

Monday, April 15, 2013

April Meeting Reminder and More

The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, April 17.

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'll be talking about upcoming events for the Spring and Summer.

We hope to see you at the meeting.

Here are a couple other items of interest.

Redmond Teacher and Seattle USSVI member receives Governor’s Award

Darin Detwiler, a teacher in the Highly Capable Learner Program at Redmond Middle School, has been chosen to receive the 2013 Washington State Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching History. This award is presented to an outstanding certified teacher of Pacific Northwest history in an accredited K-12 school in Washington or to a nonprofit organization. Darin was nominated by colleagues in his building for this honor.

Award winners have demonstrated the following: the use and development and an innovative curriculum, consistent effectiveness in utilizing Pacific Northwest history in either the classroom or the community over an extended period of time, the advancement of Pacific Northwest history as a field of academic inquiry, a lasting impact on students, the use or development of innovative technology, and the encouragement of Pacific Northwest themes in History Day presentations.

Darin will receive his award at the Washington State Historical Society’s Annual Awards Luncheon on June 22. He qualified in submarines in 1989 aboard the USS William H. Bates (SSN-680) where he served as a nuclear Machinist Mate.

SubVets at Veterans Memorial Dedication

Pat Householder, Ric Hedman, and Base Commander Doug Abramson attended the dedication of the Tulip Town Veterans Memorial on Friday April 12.
If you go up to see the tulip fields, be sure to stop off at the memorial.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

2013 Submarine Force Birthday and Wear Your Dolphins to Work Day

Thursday, April 11, is the 113th birthday of the U.S submarine force.
Thursday update, here is COMSUBPAC's birthday video

Additionally, it is "Wear Your Dolphins to Work Day." A day on which we encourage every submarine qualified individual to proudly wear their dolphins on their civilian shirt while at work. The goal is to raise awareness on the service you provided.
This idea was suggested by Dennis, a retired COB who served on boomers. You can read his story and rationale on his original site of this same domain, head on over to the Wayback Machine and read his story. Here's a snippet from his old web site that explains the rationale behind the initiative...

If we can have a "take your daughter to work day", why not have a "Wear your Dolphins to work day"? Earning Dolphins must be at least as hard a having a baby, right? So why are we hiding our achievement?" We were in the "Silent Service", not the "Hide it like we are ashamed Service". I know some sea lawyer is thinking that we aren't supposed to wear uniform insignia with civvies, but we're SUBMARINERS! We wore beards when the rest of the Navy was clean shaven! We wore Nikes as uniform of the day at sea. We hit golf balls off the bow at the North Pole! We wore civilian clothes on watch for half-way day. We have friends with names like "Warhead"! If we can take pictures from inside Russian harbors, we can damn well wear our fish with civvies one day a year. Why not do it to celebrate the Submariner Force Birthday, April 11th?

I hope you'll join me in wearing your Dolphins on Thursday.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Thresher Memorial Update and WD4 Newsletter


Here is some information about Thresher Memorial Service and the latest Western District 4 Commander's newsletter.

Thresher Memorial Service Information

The 50th Annual USS Thresher Memorial Service held this Saturday, April 6, starting at 1 P.M, Eastern Time. The program will be broadcast live over streaming internet video and you can view the program here (if the link doesn't work copy and paste this URL into your browser:

Please tune in to join with us in creating an international sense of community to remember the 129 men lost aboard USS Thresher 50 years ago on April 10, 1963.

You can find more details about the program here (if the link doesn't work copy and paste this URL into your browser:

Western District 4 Newsletter
Western District 4 (WD4) Commander John Mansfield just sent out his latest newsletter with information about what is happening in WD4. If you didn't get a copy in your email, you can review and download it here (if the link doesn't work copy and paste this URL into your browser:

Monday, April 1, 2013

2013 USSVI National Award Nominations


The deadline for award nominations is April 30th. Currently only a handful of nominations have been received. The Awards Program is an important and integral part of USSVI, as it is the only means we have of honoring and thanking our shipmates who have dedicated themselves and contributed to the success of our great organization, USSVI.

There are several categories to choose from, and virtually every Base has a member or members that go “above and beyond” in one or more of these categories. It is our duty to acknowledge these Shipmates by nominating them for these various awards. It is our way of saying “Thanks, and Bravo Zulu” for your extra effort to make USSVI the premier veterans organization in the world.

The guidelines for the awards are listed below and you can find them online here. Review the various awards, look around at your shipmates and nominate them for an award. 

Remember that the Awards Committee only has your letter of nomination to make the selection from, so the better it is written, the better chance your nominee has of being selected. Also remember that not everyone nominated can get an award, but the mere fact that they were nominated makes them a “Winner”. It is an honor and a great feeling for a Nominee to know that their shipmates thought enough of them and their efforts to put them in for an award.

Please don’t put this on the “back burner” any longer. The deadline will come and go before you know it.
USSVI 2013 Awards Guidelines

Any USSVI member in good standing can nominate another member in good standing (or entity such as a Base, where appropriate and stated in the award description). Nominations are submitted using the following guidelines:
  • All award nominations shall be typewritten and shall be a maximum of two pages.
  • Clearly state the specific award for which nomination is being made, along with the member’s name, title, and home base.
  • Each entry shall be for the nomination of a single award. Do not include more than one base or member on the same nomination.
  • Do not include any photographs or endorsements. Additional nominations or separate endorsements for a nominated member or base are encouraged.

USSVI members can make nominations for the Joe Negri Award, Robert Link National Commander’s Award, Ben Bastura Historical Achievement Award, Meritorious Award, and Silver Anchor Award. All the awards are described below. Note the other USSVI awards (District Commander of the Year, Golden Anchor, and Newsletter of the Year) have a different nomination process.

The Joe Negri ‘Shipmate of the Year’ Award
The late Joe Negri is considered the primary founder of USSVI. The Joe Negri Award is given to the member who, by his personal individual efforts and participation during the preceding years, contributed the most to the advancement and embodiment of the USSVI creed and agenda, and by his dedicated service and support to our USSVI organization and his fellow submarine veteran brothers exemplifies the meaning and spirit of the word, “Shipmate.”

Eligibility for this Award requires Membership in United States Submarine Veterans, Inc.
All nominations should be submitted to National Awards Chairman.The Selection Committee will consist of five previous Joe Negri Award recipients.

The Robert Link National Commander’s Award
Robert Link was the first National Commander of USSVI. This award is the USSVI version of a “Letter of Commendation” from the National Commander. The nominations can be for a member, a group, or a base.

The criteria for selection and presentation of this award are at the sole discretion of the National Commander. Nominations for this award can be sent to the National Awards Chairman or directly to the USSVI National Commander (

Meritorious Award
This award is presented to the member, base, or group that most exemplifies the motto, “Pride Runs Deep,” through efforts and involvement in local veterans affairs, parades, school activities, and presentations to civic, legislative, veterans, patriotic and other organizations.

Some examples may be library displays, community bulletin boards, schools, and items that appear in print and/or electronic media, press releases, public/community service announcements, etc, which promote the concept of Honor, Duty, Pride, and the history and lore of the US Navy Submarine Force to the general public and community at large.

All nominations should be submitted to National Awards Chairman. Selection is made by the District Commander's.

The Silver Anchor Award
The Silver Anchor Award is presented to an individual member in recognition of his efforts to support one of the primary objectives of our creed: “to provide a way for all submariners to gather for their mutual benefit and enjoyment.”

This award recognizes the member’s volunteer support for meetings, projects and events, including work to recruit new members and to retain the current membership of the base. This award is only presented to individual members.

All nominations should be submitted to National Awards Chairman. Selection is made by the District Commander's.

The Ben Bastura Historical Achievement Award
The Ben Bastura Historical Achievement Award is given to the person(s) who have demonstrated their understanding and commitment to our creed in perpetuating the memory of submariners and submarines by gathering, creating, or in other ways preserving a significant amount of submarine history.

The award is given to the person(s) in the submarine community who has shown a broad and encompassing discipline of gathering submarine history. That person should have demonstrated that they are an expert in the many aspects of gathering and preserving submarine history, its artifacts and/or documents.

All nominations should be submitted to National Awards Chairman. Selection is made by the District Commander's.

Submitting Nominations
Award nominations can be submitted starting now through April 30, 2013. All Award nominations must be received by John Stanford, National Awards Chairman, by that time. E-mail nominations to or mail them to:

USSVI Awards Program
John Stanford, Chairman
3026 Cesery Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32277-3527