Thursday, May 29, 2014

Memorial Day at Tahoma National Cemetary

Several of our members participated in honor guard duties at the May 26th Tahoma Memorial Day Service. The ceremony was moving as it always in its splendid setting and sacred ground.
USSVI Flag Bearers

Seattle Base members (and a friendly skimmer) at Tahoma

The Memorial Day program highlighted several guest speakers but most notable was Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A Petry, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.
Ric Hedman and Patti Lynn with Sgt Leroy Petry CMOH
His speech was inspirational as one might expect from one of our country’s finest.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Commander's Corner for May 2014

May was an active month for our Base and culminated with the Tahoma Memorial Day Service, a day of Remembrance and the greatest of all American Holiday’s.

The service was inspirational and included a few words of gratitude for Robbie Robertson’s service as a member of the “Veterans Support Group.”

Robbie was a part of a small group of veterans that formed this organization at the inception of Tahoma Memorial and was the treasure for many years. Robbie was the catalyst for raising funds to purchase the carillon near the ceremonial center, what better place for him to rest than in the sacred ground he helped to preserve?

We remember Robbie for his remarkable naval career but also his dedicated service to our country up to the last days of his life. As former submariners we take pause to honor those shipmates who have gone before us, those now serving, and those who have embarked on “Eternal Patrol.”

Also, we also just got word about the memorial service for Ervin Schmidt. The service will be on Saturday June 7 at 1:00 PM and will be held at:
     First Baptist Church
     22800 56th Ave. W
     Mountlake Terrace, WA

As Base Commander, may I extend my wish to everyone for a happy and eventful summer.

Dick Gonzalez
 USSVI Seattle Base Cmdr.

May 2014 Meeting Notes

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

Old and New Business:
South Sound Boating Opening Day – We had the base float at the Des Moines yacht club opening day of boating season festivities on May 10. You can see some photos from the event at a previous blog entry. Don Masero thanked us for showing up and invited us to participate in the Des Moines Waterland Festival Parade on July 12 (this is one of the SeaFair parades).
Earl Greening with the Seattle Base Float at Cabela's
Cabela’s Armed Forces Weekend – We had the base float at Cabela’s May 17 and 18 for Armed Forces weekend. We had a good time talking with everyone at the store, including some prospective members. We also picked up over $250 in donations. It was a fun time and we are well treated by everyone at Cabela’s. We are planning some other weekends there and hope you will come out too.

Memorial Day – We will have Base members at the ceremony at Tahoma National Cemetery and at the Cruzin to Colby car show on Memorial Day.

Summer Picnic Update – After looking for suitable locations for a late summer picnic, we found that all the spots were already reserved. So we are going to table the picnic idea for this year, Base Commander Dick Gonzales has promised to start looking into doing this for next year.

Smokey Point Rest Stop Event – We are going to be back at Smokey Point Rest stop this year. We are scheduled to cover the north bound rest stop on June 27, 28, 29, and 30. We need volunteers to man the coffee booth and donations of cookies to hand out. If you are interested in in lending a hand, you can sign up at the next meeting or contact Steve Shelton.

Independence Day Parade – We are planning on participating in the Kirkland parade on July 4. This is becoming a tradition with our group and we hope we can count on you to be there too.

Seattle Base Tolling the Boats Ceremony – This is set for August 16 at the Kirkland Marina Park. We will have more information on the start time as we get closer to the event, but be sure to mark it on your calendar.

Good of the Order:
Western District 4 Commander Al Durkee was at the meeting. He passed along a few memories about Robbie Robertson and Ervin Schmidt. He also wanted to remind us about the upcoming USSVI National elections and to get out and vote. More information about the election will be posted shortly.

May Program: 
Dick Gonzales thanks Pete Wallingford with a certificate of appreciation from the Seattle Base
Our speaker for May was Peter Wallingford, CEO and President of Diamond Reef Systems. Pete is an experienced scuba diver and started out by talking how he became a diver in the Florida Keys after he finished college. He told us about his experiences diving for lobster in the Bahamas and as a tour guide. After that he moved to Washington to work as a commercial diver in Lake Washington, Hood Canal, and at various dams around the northwest. Pete then told about his part in the recovery of a Navy Corsair fighter plane from Lake Washington. He told us the details of how they found the plane, including how it looked like another salvage group had tried to move the plane before they got there, and the final recovery of the plane. Pete had wonderful photos from his diving exploits and of the fully restored Corsair that is now at the Museum of Flight.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tolling the Boats at Naval Undersea Museum

The Naval Undersea Museum will host its annual Tolling the Boats Ceremony on May 22, 2014 at 10:00am to honor all submariners who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

This year's principal speaker is CDR Brian P. Elkowitz, Commanding Officer, USS Jimmy Carter (SSN-23). The master of ceremonies this year is EMC John Clear (SS) USN (Ret), who will also induct three new members into the Holland Club. The Holland Club is made up of American submarine Sailors who have been designated qualified in submarines for 50 or more years.

We hope you can make it to this moving ceremony as Memorial Day nears.

You can find direction to the museum and more information about what you can see there at the museum's website.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A new blog to watch

This summer, Seattle Base member Bob Opple and his dog Roscoe are traveling the US on his Harley Davidson Road King with attached Liberty sidecar.
Bob and Roscoe ready for an adventure
Bob has started a blog to document the trip with pictures, videos, and write ups. I've added a link to the blog in the blog list on the right side of the page, which will show Bob's latest post.

You can also go directly to the blog at:

Bob and Roscoe's trip has just begun. Be sure to check it out.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

May 2014 Meeting Reminder


The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, May 21. 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.

We are pleased to feature an excellent speaker, Mr. Peter Wallingford President of Diamond Reef Systems.

Peter carries the distinction as a scuba diver who while on an underwater search pattern in August of 1983 and at the depth of 150’ swam into the cockpit of a vintage WWII Gull Wing Corsair a half-mile from Sand Point in Lake Washington.

Corsair being raised from Lake Washington
Peter and his team salvaged the airplane; it is now beautifully restored and can be seen at the Seattle Museum of Flight located in the “Personal Courage Wing” Peter will provide a photo journey with fascinating stories highlighting some of his most interesting commercial dives.

You will want to attend and are always welcome to bring guests.

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Armed Forces Day/Weekend Events

Seattle Base will be celebrating "Armed Forces Day" at the Cabella's Tulalip store (9810 Quil Ceda Blvd Tulalip WA 98271) with another "Meet and Greet" fund raiser. Saturday and Sunday, May 17 / 18, 08:00 to 16:00. Doug Abramson is bringing our float, so come join us for as much time as you can spare.

Another option to consider would include a scenic drive to Bremerton for their annual Armed Forces Day Parade. Bremerton USSVI Base and the USSVI Motorcycle club will be attending the Bremerton parade. Bremerton Base will be in slot B18, located on 11th Street between Warren Ave and Park Ave facing east, and would be happy to have you join them.You can see more information on the Gertrude Check.

Or you could march with the Bremerton group on Saturday and then join us at Cabella's on Sunday.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

May Update

Here are a few updates for Seattle Base.

First up, a few photos from the South Sound Opening Day festivities on May 10.

Dick Gonzales, Karl Krompholz, Ralph Sterley, Ric Hedman, Patti Lynn, John Roberts, Roy Burt, Don Masoero and Pat Householder all participated with the Sub float in the 'Meet and Greet' at the Des Moines Yacht Club.

A Note from Bob Opple
Bob Opple wanted to express his appreciation for the outpouring of sentiment by his friends and shipmates. The calls, cards, letters, and especially the members of our Base that attended Chris’s service where inspiring. His friends and family took notice of our Submarine Veterans contiguity and made positive comments to Bob. Bob also mentioned Chris is resting at Tahoma.

Bob is planning an extended bike trip with his trusty mate Roscoe through the East and other points of interest. He made an investment in a new vintage sidecar to accommodate Roscoe comfort including earmutt protectors to mitigate the noise of the Harley muffler’s. The final touch is a Dolphin image on the sidecar that might catch the interest of fellow Brothers of the Phinn as he makes his way through this great country. In order to provide real-time updates a friend is creating a blog we can follow his progress with.

Finally, Bob asked me to remind you about the 4th of July Kirkland parade. The bikes will roll and require you to be ready by 10AM. Bob will follow up with details later on.
Lets wish Bob a safe trip and Godspeed.

Seattle Base Picnic Update
I regret plans to hold our first annual picnic will be scuttled for this year. After personally inspecting the sites chosen we came to the conclusion Lake Sammamish offered all of the requirements, amenities, and ease of access for our senior shipmates.

Unfortunately Washington State Parks are booked solid into the fall. Evidently the general public secures premium locations early the year prior to planned events, especially corporate interests as I discovered. During our meeting next week I intend propose reserving a site of our choosing before the end of summer, we just have to solidify a suitable date.

Considering our agenda this year including the Tolling Ceremony, Parades, and the USSVI Convention in September it is probably just as well.

Dick Gonzalez
Seattle Base Commander

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Des Moines Yacht Club Reminder

On Saturday, May 10 the Seattle Base float will be at the Des Moines Yacht Club’s South Sound Opening Day festivities.
We are looking for some members to spend a few hours ‘showing the flag’ at the event.

The gates will open at 11 AM and the ceremony starts at noon. There will be boat tours, food, music, and other displays. If you are interested in helping out or would like a little more information, please contact Base Commander Dick Gonzales (click Dick's name to send an email or check page 10 of the newsletter for his phone) or Don Masero.

Thanks to Don Masero for organizing this event with the Des Moines Yacht Club.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May - June Dolphin Brotherhood Posted

The May - June issue of the Dolphin Brotherhood has been posted to the Seattle Base website

This issue has announcements about upcoming events (South Sound Boating Opening Day, Smokey Point Rest Stop Event, and Armed Forces Weekend at Cabela’s), the usual base news, upcoming events, and other submarine related articles.
(click on the image to see it full-size)

Hardcopies of the newsletter are going out over the weekend. I hope you all enjoy it.

As always, don't forget to check back here on the blog for base updates and other articles of interest. You can find old issues of the newsletter at: Dolphin Brotherhood Archives, which is also a link on the right side of the blog. 

Dave Schueler
Seattle Base Newsletter Editor