Sunday, November 30, 2014

Seattle Base visits Children's Hospital during Kap(SS) 4 Kid(SS) Week

Seattle Base Kap(SS) for Kid(SS) members at Children's Hospital
Veterans Week was busy for the Seattle Base. With our participation in the annual Auburn Veterans Parade on Saturday, a Kap(SS) 4 Kid(SS) visit to Children’s Hospital on Monday, and Honor Guard duties at Tahoma National Cemetery on Tuesday, we barely had time to catch our breath. As with last year, the visit to the kids was a highlight. On Monday, November 10th, Base Commander Dick Gonzalez, Senior Vice Commander and K4K Chairman John Roberts, and COB Ralph Sterley, a WWII SubVet, visited with some special friends at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

We were warmly invited to return this year by the Director of Child Life Services, Lina Lewis. Her staff escorted us to each child’s room where we were privileged to interact with them and their parents or other care givers.

In all, 12 children were recipients of Honorary Submariner Certificates, K4K caps in pink or blue, coloring books, submarine photos, “tattoos”, and sea stories of a gentler nature.

In addition, we entertained another 9 children in the Playroom where the patients can visit with their brothers, sisters and friends. Again, the Child Life Services staff was enthusiastic about our visit and very helpful in assisting us to interact with the younger children.

One young child, Madeline, was especially engaging. We helped her mother apply one of our “tattoos” on her arm which she proudly pointed out to all of her visitors and care providers for the rest of the day.

Over cups of coffee after the visit, we all agreed that once again we probably received a lot more joy than we gave. We’ve rotated 6 of our members through the program so far and there’s a long line of eager participants waiting for the next visit.

Commander's Corner for December 2014


As we celebrate this special time of year with families and friends it is well to remember our fellow shipmates who embarked on Eternal Patrol; to their families we pledge they will not be forgotten.

It is also a time to reflect and celebrate our heritage; the story of our brotherhood is one we must continue to perpetuate: In my opinion and most importantly, we need to share our legacy as US Submariners with those who count the most, our families. They are the ones that will insure your “Patriotic Service” is remembered.

As we slide into home plate we can look back at an eventful year of public appearances, fund raising activities, and charitable programs highlighted by a superbly managed Tolling of Boats in Kirkland.

To all that participated and those who took ownership for these events we say; “Thanks for a job well done!”

We are anticipating a great Christmas lunch at the Meydenbauer Yacht Club. Hopefully we will have a record turnout. It will be a perfect venue us to share sea stories. I know your wives and friends will appreciate the atmosphere and privacy it affords, we will have fun and to hopefully rekindle friendships.

If you have not yet signed up and sent your form to Jim Harper you have time. We encourage you to attend as this type of event is for you and no other. It is an opportunity to light a candle for this most special of all holidays.

Finally, on behalf of the Board members and myself we wish every one of the Seattle Base USSVI members a special Christmas Holiday and a happy New Year. Hope to see you at Meydenbauer and remember:


Dick Gonzalez
Seattle Base Commander

November 2014 Meeting Notes

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

Our Storekeeper let us know there are still a few 2015 USSVI calendars are available for $10 and he has Golden Anchor Award patches, which can be purchased from the Base Storekeeper for $4. Money from items purchased through the Base Storekeeper go to fund Seattle Base events throughout the year.

We also want to remind everyone that annual memberships run out at the end of the year and Seattle Base and USSVI National dues for next year are due at this time.

Old and New Business:
Seattle Base Holiday Luncheon – The Seattle Base Holiday Luncheon is set for Saturday December 20 at the Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club. Registration has been extended to December 2, so get your registration in now! You can get download and print a registration form from this link or you can get a copy from the most recent version of our newsletter. The doors will open at 10 am and we will finish up at 2 pm. The Meydenbauer Bay Yacht Club is located at 9927 Meydenbauer Way SE, Bellevue WA and there will be ample parking in the lower parking lot near the club. There will be plenty of table space to display submarine memorabilia and everyone is encouraged to bring along some items to show off.

Kaps 4 Kids update – On November 10 John Roberts, Ralph Sterley, and Dick Gonzalez went to Children’s Hospital on a Kaps 4 Kids visit. They gave out hats and temporary tattoos to the children there. We will post a recap of the event shortly.

Seattle Base Visibility and Membership – In an effort to help increase the Base membership, we would like to get more information about USSVI and Seattle Base out into the public. We are currently looking into some volunteer opportunities with the Compass Housing Alliance. If you would like to help out with this or have other ideas of ways to increase membership and improve retention, please contact Base Commander Dick Gonzalez or bring them up at the next meeting.

November Program:
Angus McDonald talking about his time at the Pentagon
The November program was by Base member Captain Angus McDonald. Angus gave us a brief history of his career, but the program focused on stories from his time at the Pentagon in the late-60s. Angus talked about the different people he met or worked with, including Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and acoustics expert Dr. Robert Frost. Angus was at the Pentagon when USS Scorpion was lost and he talked about how they used acoustics to determine where the sub had gone down. He told us that while he was at the Pentagon there were no guards during the day and that people could come in off the street and look through the artwork in the building. He also let us know that when the Pentagon was built, toward the end of World War 2, that no steel was used in the original construction. It has been added into the structure now, but the part of the building that was damaged during the Sept 11, 2001 attack had recently been refurbished, which was why they was so little damage and loss of life. Angus provided some interesting stories and details about life at the Pentagon and in Washington DC during the height of the Cold War.

Good of the Order:
Due to the holiday luncheon, we will not have a business meeting in December. We hope to see you at the luncheon and the January meeting.

Dick Gonzalez shared some Veterans Day cards made by school children. The kids wrote some funny comments and it was nice to see the effort they put into making the cards.

Remember that efforts to move the USS Clamagore to Knoxville Tennessee are moving forward and you can follow developments on Facebook at:

Binnacle List: Art Thompson had a bad fall and is recovering. We hope to see him back at the meetings soon.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Binnacle List: Ken Murray

Seattle Base member Ken Murray had surgery last week to remove a brain tumor.

The surgery went well and Ken is currently recovering.

Please keep Ken in your thoughts and prayers during his recovery, and cards would be appreciated.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

November 2014 Meeting Reminder


The next Seattle Base meeting is this coming Wednesday, November 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.

This is our last meeting of 2014. In December we will hold our holiday luncheon at the Meydenbaur Bay Yacht Club in Bellevue. You can find a copy of the registration form in the most recent issue of the Dolphin Brotherhood newsletter on page 11 or at this link. Don’t forget to get your registration form in before November 20.
Angus McDonald at the Tolling the Boats ceremony
Unfortunately, our scheduled speaker, Mrs. Rebecca Harrison, had to cancel her trip. However, Seattle Base member Captain Angus McDonald has agreed to step up and offer us a glimpse of his long and distinguished career as a US Submarine Commander followed by his service in the Pentagon and Pearl Harbor. We know you will want to hear Captain McDonald's account of US Submarine history during the years from 1951-1967 and beyond.

USSVI Seattle Base Commander
Dick Gonzales

Monday, November 10, 2014

2014 Auburn Veterans Day Parade Photos

It was a beautiful day for the Auburn Veterans Day Parade. The morning fog burned off well before the start time and it was warm out (unless you were sitting in the shade). We had a good turnout for the parade with members from Seattle, Bremerton, South Sound Bases, and Silent Service Motorcycle Club showing up. The crowd was enthusiastic and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Here are some photos from the event.

This year we took the group photo before the parade and it was lot easier to get everyone together
Because we have to get in place early, there was plenty of time to talk with everyone before the parade.
Bonefish float before the parade.
Some pre-parade chatter.
SSMC comparing notes about their bikes
Getting closer to parade time
Our newest Submariner Wife Marilyn Harper
Riders aboard the Seattle Base float
Other groups were getting ready too.
U.S. Army Color Guard and state flag group lining up.
Gold Star families
Then it was time for the parade to start.
A helicopter fly-over kicks off the parade
Bremerton Base led off the SubVet group
Then the Bonefish float
Followed by SubVets on foot
Then the Seattle Base float
With the SSMC bring up the rear
Here are a couple photos of the crowd along Auburn's Main Street.

Thanks to everyone that came out for the parade!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Reminder for 2014 Veterans Day Events

 Auburn Veterans Day Parade 

Saturday, November 8th, is the Auburn Parade Veterans Day. Auburn has hosted the Veterans Day Parade since 1965 and the parade has grown into one of the largest Veterans Day parades in the United States.

Seattle Base is joining members from Silent Service Motorcycle Club, Bremerton Base, and South Sound Base. In addition to the Bonefish and Seattle Base floats, there will be a couple cars for people to ride in. There is plenty of parking available at the parking garage on 2nd St. in Auburn (near the Transit Center). Check-in starts at 9:30 and we expect to meet at the staging area near L St. SE and Main St by 10:00 AM. The parade starts at 11:00.

There are lots of other events going on in and around Auburn, be sure to check the Auburn website for more information about the other events.

Tahoma National Cemetery Veterans Day Ceremony 
For those of you not participating in other events on Veterans Day, Tuesday November 11th, plan on attending the Veterans Day ceremony at Tahoma Cemetery at 11:00. Be a member of the Color Guard, or be a spectator and enjoy meeting other Veterans and grateful civilians. We need 4 sub vets to carry the flags, contact Karl 'Dutch' Kromholz if you would like to help out.

The Keynote Speaker for the ceremony will be Col. Anthony J. Davit, Commander 627th ABG, JBLM. The main speaker will be State Rep. Mark Hargrove (47th District)

Tahoma Nation Cemetery is located at 18600 SE 240th St, Kent, WA 98042