Ron Zimmerman Sr.
474 SW Prater Ave.
Port St. Lucie, FL 34953
272 Stone Hedge Row
Johnstown, OH 43031
2386 SE Patio Circle
Port St. Lucie, FL 34952
311 W. Oak Lane
Glenolden, PA 19036
From Our President:
I hope everyone had a happy and joyful
holiday this year. I know we did. Our son Jason got home
from his 2nd tour in Iraq in time for Thanksgiving. Their
tour was shortened to 1 year instead of the 15 months we had
expected. The support of our troops remains steadfast with
the Association so please let us know if you have a family
member that has returned from or has deployed to the middle
east in support of war on terrorism. Keeping these young
men and women in our thoughts and prayers is important and
very much appreciated by them.
Ronald Seal, YN3, ‘67 ~ Michael
Houck, MMFN, ‘71 ~ Thomas Dever, SA, ‘56.
Welcome back aboard shipmates.
Found - now Lost:
When we 1st went to the “Bulk Mail” system, we stopped
getting mailings back with good ole the “return to sender -
address unknown” marked on it. With the recent change we
had to make to our mailings, we also had to add “return
service requested” due to the change in Postal Regulations.
That has one again provided us with names of shipmates who
were “found” and are now considered “lost” as we no longer
have a valid postal address for them. If any of you know
the whereabouts of the following shipmates, please let us
know, or get them to contact us with their updated
Harry Kamman; Henry
Blizzard; Albert Henzl; Richard Steege; Robert Cameron;
Walter Schaefer; Russell Roll; Lawrence Merwarth, Ralph
Knoerr, Kenneth Bagarella and Robin Grieves.
The company that “hosts” our web site on
their servers recently offered us an upgrade for renewing
our contract. Besides a great price of only $4.95 a month
the offer included unlimited storage space and unlimited
access. We took them up on the offer and renewed the
contract for 36 months. This was a savings to us of about
Got lots of new stuff added this time like
over 280 pictures from the 2008 Reunion; the list of ships
we have UNREPED that I had at the reunion - about 213 ships
listed and pictures of most every ship; a couple of new
shipmate pictures and a new link on the links page. This
last item needs a little explanation about what the link
In doing some research for my day job, I have obtained
almost all of the Monthly Summary Reports from Commander
Naval Forces Vietnam for the period 1965 through 1973 from
the US Navy Historic Branch (on-line freebee - wish the Deck
Logs were available like this). They are in PDF format. I
decided to add them to our links page for our shipmates who
pulled a tour of duty there also. Several Vietnam era
veterans I have worked with have used information contained
in these reports to help them substantiate claims for
service connected disabilities with the VA. The amount of
information in these reports is amazing....
A word from the Vice-President: “HAPPY
NEW YEAR”! I hope everyone’s New Year has started out on the
right foot and you are looking forward to a brighter and
better year. Joy and I have just about recovered from the
reunion and are looking forward to what Jack and Ron have in
store for us in Boston.
It looks like there will be plenty to do in Boston. The last
time I visited the Boston area was about 37 years ago, all I
can recall is copious amounts of draft beer and
tequila-----but that’s another story and we will leave it at
Since the last issue of our newsletter the 2009 membership
has risen to 106 paid, with over 40 paid for 2010 and
beyond. I guess that last article asking you to check the
date on your cards must have worked; keep up the good job
I now have a new spread sheet made to keep track of award
pins for consecutive years in a row for paying dues. So far
I have mailed out 21-2 year pins, 34-5 year pins and 15-10
year pins and as soon as I can get the 15 year pins there
are at least 7 of you who will be receiving them.
On a lighter note, I received a very nice letter and picture
from the Pendleton County Class of 1978. For those of you
who were not at the reunion it seems that the music from the
band we had for entertainment drew a large crowd of on
lookers from 2 separate reunions going on at the same time.
Being the gracious group that we are, we invited them all in
and everybody had a great time. I will bring the picture and
letter to Boston for everyone to read.
That about wraps things up for me; again if anybody needs to
know where they stand or think I have made a mistake with
your dues, call or email me anytime.
Vice-President & Membership Chairman
Hello Shipmates! Hope you all like the new
look to the newsletter. Ron really does a fantastic job,
not only with the newsletter preparation but also with the
web site and all of the computer interactions.
What a shame that the newsletter had to go from a
distribution of over 900 to around 250 now. In fact we had
at least 20 returned from the 250 because of change of
address or not deliverable. (Actually it makes my job
easier because it takes a lot less time to get the
newsletters out, but I feel bad that so many people that
were receiving the newsletter no longer do). We could not
continue the way it was because of new Post Office
Requirements. If you have contact with some of your old
shipmates, please encourage them to join us and become
Also just a reminder to all of the shipmates, we would
love to hear some of your sea stories for possible printing
in the newsletter. Also a reminder, if you have a change in
address, even if it is temporary, please let us know.
Nominations for Office:
Nomination for the Executive board positions are now open.
All positions are up for election each year and officers may
be reelected. Only active members who have annual dues
current are eligible to serve. All nominations for office
must be received by the Association's secretary no later
than April 15, 2009. All nominations received by that date
will be published in the May edition of the newsletter.
Nominations must be in writing and may be sent either by
postal service or e-mail. Nominees will be contacted by the
Secretary to insure their acceptance of the nomination and
willingness to serve. If you have any further questions
regarding nominations or serving as an officer please feel
free to contact me by phone or mail.
The Chaplain’s Corner:
Day” to all of you this New Year. What a marvelous time of
the year. What lies ahead beyond the horizon? What new
adventure will we encounter? I was thinking of a scripture
in Joshua 3:4 when the children of Israel were getting ready
to cross over the Jordan river into Canaan. God gave them
instructions not to follow the ark to closely. He then said,
“for ye have not passed this way heretofore”. We are sailing
into “Uncharted Waters”, a road we have not traveled before.
None of us can predict the future but we can know who holds
the future. Let us keep our hand in God’s hand and let him
lead us this year.
As I sit here in Ohio and the cold I think of many of
you around the country and the states you live in. There’s
Charlie in CA, Jack and Ron in FL, Don in TX, all of you
suffering from global warming. I think all of you in the
south and west could ship us a few buckets of warm weather.
There is one thing that we all have in common no matter
where we live and that is our memories of the “Great
Sitkin”, good or bad. For all of you who haven’t come to a
reunion let me encourage you to attend and give us a chance
to touch your lives. My wife Patsy and I have been truly
blessed to meet so many of you and to share wonderful times
together and to see places that we probably would not have
Honor Roll Update:
keep these families in our prayers that have lost a loved
one who sailed aboard the Great Sitkin. May the Lord Bless
and Keep You.
Peter Gaedeke, FTG3, '66 ~ Ronald McIlhenny,
QMSN, '51 ~ Gerald Berry, SN, '52 ~
Ernest Ellis, PhmC, Plank Owner
Donald Taylor, RM2, ‘58 ~ Michael Culpepper,
2009 Reunion update:
to Ron who has been staying in full contact with all of the
planning and contacts for the Sept 9 - 13 Boston Reunion.
All planning, places to visit, transportation, functions and
lodging are complete. The only item not finalized is the
music for the banquet. We are in touch with people
responsible for functions in the Boston area that know
groups who can meet our requirements for this event. This
will be finalized real soon.
This Reunion hopefully will be as fantastic as the one in
Cincinnati. We are hoping all of the shipmates in the
Boston Area, and in fact the Northeast, will get out and
support this Reunion, Sept 9 - 13. We know that all of the
regulars will be there but we sure would like to have all of
those North Easterners who do not want to fly, will drive to
the Boston Reunion. There is plenty of parking and we are
attempting to make this a truly memorable reunion. From the
special wine and cheese Reception, tours of Boston including
the USS Constitution visit, the trip to Fall River and the
USS Massachusetts and other ships, the picnic, “optional”
tour of the Kennedy Library, Annual Dinner Banquet and
finally the Farewell Breakfast there is plenty to do and
see. Please, all North Eastern shipmates, contact any of
the shipmates that you know and plan to attend this reunion.
Thanks again to Ron and Sally who have been keeping
everything moving for the reunion while I was still
recuperating. I am about there, feeling great and looking
forward to Boston and seeing all of our friends and
Jack & Pat Norton
I’m going to do this issues report a little
different. Rather than taking us on a walk down memory
passageway, I’m going to reflect on the present a little,
and how it pertains to our Great Sitkin past, so indulge me
My Great Sitkin Shipmates neither may or may nor be aware of
the 4 distinct tracks my life travels on: Home &
family, church, the fire service, and the Great Sitkin
In the past 2 months, my fire service track has been dealt 4
untimely deaths, 2 of which were much unexpected to 2 very
young guys. Young as in my age, 58 + or - . And just days
before Thanksgiving, a very good friend and Brother from the
New York Fire Department was killed at a house fire on
Staten Island. All of their funerals were full fire
department spectacles, and I don’t know about you, but these
kinds of things always cause me to dwell on my own
mortality, if only for a few moments. Having just come off
a very successful reunion of Great Sitkin shipmates only a
month prior, it made me think of just how fortunate I am to
have the friends I’ve made on my “Great Sitkin track” and
how much I will miss them as we all get longer in the tooth
and we start to transfer to the Staff of the Supreme
Commander, to use a Fleet Reserve Association parlance.
Maybe that sounds a little morbid, but like I said, after 3
friends passing, it makes you think. What’s the moral of my
story? Beats me, except to say, if you haven’t ever been to
a reunion, or have missed the past few, plan on being in
Boston next September. Maybe a crewmember from your era
might be there that you didn’t particularly like, maybe a
officer that busted your, uh, chops. Hey people, that was
over at least 36 years ago! Get over it, ok? I can sit here
right now and know this newsletter is going into the homes
of 4 of my R Division shipmates, only 1 of which is a
reunion regular. Hey guys, this will be in your backyard! Be
there! Someday, you’ll go to bed and wake up dead and then
it will be too late for me to see you.
Ok, soapbox put away. The other thing I want, or need, to
cover is the ships store. Have you looked at the stuff we
have lately? Golf shirts, 2 kinds of coffee cups, 3 kinds of
ball caps, we even have a red ball cap for those of you that
are on the same “fire service track” I am.
Ok, to leave you all on a lighter note this edition, some
points to ponder: No
piece of paper can be folded in half more that 7 times.
You burn more calories sleeping than you do
watching television. ~
Apples, not caffeine, are a more beneficial
way of waking up in the morning. ~
Most dust particles in your home are from
dead skin. ~
product to have a barcode was Wrigley's gum.
And now…YOU know!