Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February 2014 Meeting Notes

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

Old and New Business 
Our new Base Commander, Dick Gonzales, gave us an overview of the recent Base Officer’s meeting. A number of items were discussed at the meeting, including: how to get more members to attend meetings, more Base activities (such as a picnic), and maintaining Base membership. Several actions items came out of the meeting and we will be hearing more about these and other ideas in the coming months. If you have some ideas for Base activities or other things the Base should be doing, be sure to talk with Dick or any of the Base officers. We are always on the lookout for good ideas.

Ralph Sterley, with a little help from Art Thompson, is taking over as the Base Storekeeper. We want to thank Bill Giese for all his hard work as Storekeeper. Bill will be staying on as the Base Secretary.

The Seattle VA hospital is going to be having some construction work done in and around their parking lot and will be looking for volunteers to help out with directing and transporting patients and their families around the construction and in the hospital. We will provide more information about these opportunities soon.

Base member Don Masoero let us know that the USS Perch (SS/APSS-313) will be September 4 – 6 in the Renton area. Don let us know that while the main focus of the reunion will be Perch’s WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam veterans, all submarine veterans are invited to join in the events. A full event schedule is not set yet and Don will let us know more as the reunion gets closer.

We discussed coordinating with the local VFW chapters for activities, promotional ideas, and membership ideas.

After the business we did normal introductions and a Binnacle List update.
Bob Haslan, who was in the hospital in January was at the meeting and looked well. Chris Opple has entered a hospice and our thoughts are with her and Bob during this difficult time.

February Program 
Our guest speaker for February program was Peter Metzelaar. Peter is an active member of the Museum of Flight, a nationally recognized speaker and a Holocaust historian. He spoke to us about his childhood in occupied Holland and his experiences hiding from the Nazis around his home country. He talked about the ‘Underground’ organization that helped out Jews with clothing, food, and shelter. He told us about immigrating with his mother to the United States after the war and shared some stories about his service in the U.S Army. He also told about his later return to Europe, where he visited Holland (and found out he could still speak and understand Dutch), returned to areas where he hid during the war, and how he was able to connect with the daughter of a family that helped he and his mother. Finally, Peter talked about his visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp. He talked about what happened to the people that were brought to the camp. It was a fascinating presentation and we want to thank Peter for speaking to us.

We will have more interesting speakers in the coming months and we hope to see you at the next meeting.

One last note, I've added a link to Bremerton Base's Gertrude Check web page in the Seattle Base Links section on the right of the page (it is just under the link to the Seattle Base Home page). It is a great page and will help you keep up on USSVI and submarine news for the region.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Eternal Patrol: Robbie Robertson

World War II submarine veteran, Holland Club, and Seattle Base member Robbie Robertson departed on Eternal Patrol on February 21.

Robbie joined the Navy in 1943, and became part of the commissioning crew of and qualified on USS Tirante (SS-420). Robbie served on all of Tirante’s war patrols, including that patrol when Lt. Commander George Street earned the Medal of Honor. Robbie also served on USS Amberjack (SS-522) and USS Odax (SS-484). He went on to earn his commission, go to nuclear power school, and qualified for gold dolphins on USS Seawolf (SSN-575). Robbie went on to work with Admiral Rickover and several shipyard and engineering billets. He was promoted to Commander before retiring in 1974.

Robbie was an active member of many veterans groups and was a fixture at Seattle USSVI base meetings. He will be missed.

Please remember Robbie’s family in your thought and prayers.

Sailor, Rest Your Oar.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

February Meeting Reminder


The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, February 19.

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.

Base Commander Dick Gonzales said he wanted to provide our members with the opportunity to enjoy notable, and in some cases world class, speakers. We will have the opportunity to hear one of these speakers at our February meeting, where Mr. Peter Metzelaar will be our guest speaker.
Peter as a boy
Peter will talk is about a young boy (himself) who was born in Amsterdam in 1935. In 1942, when Peter was only seven, the Nazis seized his entire family except for him and his mother Eli. His story is a compelling account of courage, compassion, bravery, and determination against all odds.

Peter is an active member of the Museum of Flight, a nationally recognized speaker and a Holocaust historian.

Please feel free to bring friends and family to the meeting and let others know about the opportunity to hear this fascinating speaker.

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Binncale List Updates: Robbie Robertson and Ervin Schmidt

We’ve gotten updates on the conditions of Robbie Robertson and Ervin Schmidt.

Robbie Robertson
Robbie is doing better. His therapy schedule was changed, so he is resting better and is able to welcome visitors in the afternoon. Pat Householder and John Roberts had the opportunity to visit with Robbie recently. There is some discussion going on about Robbie going home with assisted care so that he gets all the help he needs and Terri doesn’t wear herself out. Robbie and Terri want to thank everyone for the cards and phone calls.

Ervin Schmidt
Ervin’s condition is improving and he was able to go home on Tuesday. Ervin was evaluated by a physical therapist, who said he is still slumping a little too much to start using a walker, but the overall prognosis seems good. Ervin’s family is looking at nearby rehab facilities. They want to thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers.

The family also wanted to pass along that Monday, February10th, is Ervin's 98th Birthday and while he probably won't be up for a party, cards would certainly be appreciated. You can find his address in the Members section of the Seattle Base website (or the national USSVI website) or just drop me an email if you can't find it.