From our President: First let me thank
everyone who attended this year’s Reunion. Doug and Kathy Hauser once
again, did an excellent job of putting it together. I’d also like to thank
Mark Rucker for being the Association Chaplin and performing the Honor
Ceremony, the Invocation at the Annual Business Meeting as well as the
Also I would like to thank Joe Theisen for being the Boatswain Mate of
the Watch and ringing the Ship’s Bell during the Honor Ceremony; and Ben
Jarish for leading the group in the Pledge of Allegiance at the opening of
the Annual Business Meeting.
During the Annual Business meeting several items were voted on. These
included a dues increase (see Doug’s article later in the newsletter) and
the separation of the Secretary and Treasurer’s jobs. With that, I would
like to welcome Don McClane to the Executive Board as your new Secretary
for the year; 1 September 2002 to 31 August 2003.
Don will also take over from me, the job of Editor of the Association
Elections were also held and your present board members were all
reelected for another term. Their names are listed in the first column and
are also listed on the web site. Feel free to contact anyone of us at
anytime with your comments, concerns, or suggestions.
Membership Dues : I want to thank all
who have paid their 2003 dues. There are still a little over 80
that are paid up through 2002 but have not renewed for 2003. I
would appreciate it if you could get it in by the end of the year.
At the Annual Business Meeting it was voted by the men present to raise
the dues to $20.00 per year starting in the 2003 - 2004
cycle. The reason for the increase is due to rising cost of printing and
postage as well as maintenance of the web site. For those of you who had
already paid for the years 2004 and beyond, there will be no extra charge.
This is covered under our Grandfather Law so you are all good to go.
In the past year the membership has risen by over 200% but there are
still over 600 shipmates that are still not paying members. Who knows,
maybe we will increase the membership by a hundred more next year. We did
have a couple of crew members become active for the first time just since
the reunion, so the word is out.
Some of our new members found us on the internet. Ron Zimmerman has
helped a lot by getting links to our site added to many other related
Thank you all for your participation. I hope to see you in Virginia
Beach, VA. in 2003.
Vice President and
Reunion 2003 : Those present at the reunion in Omaha, NE
know that the reunion site for 2003 will be held in Virginia Beach. VA.
Plans are well under way for signing with the Hotel. My wife and I will
have been there and back by the time you receive this newsletter. I will
work with the hotel and make arrangements for the Dinner Banquet, and I
might also try to set up a Farewell Breakfast for all on Sunday, even
though there will be those who do not leave until Monday. Just a little
something different to say our good-byes to old and new friends alike.
I am also meeting with a tour director while I am there. We will look
over tours that might be appealing to all so we can set up a reunion
package that will be fun and affordable. We will also look into some
optional tours. There is much to do there as a group. We will always
have the Hospitality Room where we can meet and review our old tales.
Have a great winter, until we meet again in the March newsletter with
more information and Reunion 2003 Registration forms.
New Finds: Nine more shipmates have been
located. They are:
Herbert Friese, LT, ‘52, William Winder, BT3, ‘64,
William Carroll, SN, ‘57
John Stevens, Phm1c, ‘45, Richard Berge, MGSN, ‘71, R. Allen
Smith, ETN3, ‘61, Richard Brown, MMFA, ‘61, Ronald Eberhart,
SA, ‘61 and Fred Malone, BT2, ‘70
Found - Now Lost: We have a few more
names to add to the list of guys with whom we have recently lost contact.
If anyone knows where they moved or what happened to them, please let us
know. They are: Romulo Quintos, George Drummond and Elbert English.
Sorta Lost: The following is the list of
shipmates who have had e-mail messages returned as bad addresses: Henry
Homicz, Howard Townsend, Gerald Wolff, David Terwilliger,
Charles King, Gary Lipinski, John Neely, Jesse Kellum,
Tyrone Patrick, Gary Westbrook, James Palmer,
Ron Verborg, John Gheesling, Larry Merwarth,
Robert Rosia, Larry Dulin
Please e-mail your correct address to; Don McClane
or Ron Zimmerman email@example.com
Honor Roll: We have been notified
that five more of our shipmates have passed on. All have been added to the
Honor Roll. They are:
Carlton Huff, BTC, ‘62
Richard Waddell, BT3, ‘45
Raymond Smith, YN3, ‘54 Walter Regan, EM3,
Andrew Chartier, S2c, ’47
We wish to express our deepest sympathy and most sincere
condolences to their family and friends.
Reunion 2002: With the 2002 Reunion
behind us let’s take a few minutes to reflect. All of the people who
signed up for the reunion were in attendance, and we had no cancellations.
Thirty eight shipmates came with their wives providing a total of sixty
nine. From the compliments we received it was a great success.
The Double Tree Hotel really did spoil us with their prompt and
courteous service. They went above and beyond.
We all want to thank Garcie Roberts for bringing Norma Frankenbach to the
reunion. She brought many items that were important to the association. We
would like to thank her very much. Also in attendance was one of the
skippers who was on board in the 70’s, Paul W. Rohrer, and it was my
pleasure to greet him.
On Thursday morning we were invited to a Service that included a large US
flag that was found by a retired Policeman in the rubble of WTC. We were
recognized and given a standing ovation. The flag had flown on the USS
John D. Stennis, one of the first to go to Afghanistan.
Thanks to Mark & Patsy Rucker for helping us arrange the Hospitality
On Friday morning Kathy lead a tour to The Durham Western Heritage
Museum, in an old Train Station. Friday evening we boarded buses
for a trip to Fremont, NE for a 3 hour tour on the Fremont Dinner Train.
We had 2 cars reserved for us and an outstanding dinner, with Big Band Era
music. We returned to the hotel around 11PM after having a grand time.
Saturday morning we again boarded buses and headed to Ashland, NE and
toured the SAC Museum. Their tour guides were quite knowledgeable
and shared some of their war stories about the aircraft on display. I was
impressed by the size of the refueling tanker planes. Then we proceeded to
Mahoney State Park Lodge for a buffet lunch in a private dining
room, then returning to the hotel for our Business Meeting. I want
personally to thank Mark Rucker for his moving Memorial Service.
Of the 5 possible reunion sites for 2003, Virginia Beach, VA, was
selected by ballot, and again will be hosted by Doug & Kathy Hauser.
The banquet started with a Cocktail hour and then a sit-down dinner at
7PM, and enjoyed by all. We were entertained by Walter Graham, a Magician.
We really liked his act. Then we did a little dancing. There was a
photographer present taking individual pictures and some candid photos
which will be in the 2002 Reunion Book. (If there is anyone who still
wishes to purchase a copy please contact me and I will see that you get
one, they are $20.00 each and pictures are in black/white).
Sunday was a free day for all who stayed over. There was a good tour
of The Henry Doorly Zoo led by Ron Zimmerman.
Hi from Kathy Hauser - I just want to put my 2 cents
in for a minute. I really enjoyed seeing many of the old faces and also
meeting a few new ones. We attended our first reunion in Las Vegas and we
got the bug. Even if we are not hosting, hope to attend all. I am looking
forward to hosting the Virginia Beach reunion. Thank you all for making
Omaha a success. We hope to make Virginia Beach as great an experience. We
hope to see many more shipmates so set your vacation time now and join us
next September. Thank y’all.
Web Site Update: Just a few changes to the web
pages this time. Besides the updates to the crew lists, some more Sea
Stories have been added, a few pictures to the Cruise Books, and a revamp
has been started on the Reunion Pictures with a different layout and a
lot more pictures added to the earlier Reunions.
If anyone has pictures of cruises, themselves, or of shipmates that they
would like to submit. Please let me know. We would like to get as many
different pictures as possible. Contact me at
From The Fantail: How lucky can ya get? We belong to a
great organization, made up of some of the finest people I know. Doug and
Kathy Hauser deserve all of the appreciation we can muster. Their work in
putting together the reunion package in Omaha was 4.0. Doug and
Kathy are also planning the Virginia Beach 2003 Reunion. They deserve our
gratitude and appreciation.
All of us should do our best to help with the “Membership Drive”.
Not all of our shipmates know of the association. Every member I know
wishes they had known and joined earlier. Do your part and contact an old
buddy. You will get the warm-fuzzes.
Ron (fearless leader) Zimmerman has put up an outstanding website for us.
If you don’t have access to the internet, use a friend’s computer or go to
your public library. Ron has gone to a great deal of effort to master this
thing for us. Check it out. www.greatsitkin.org There are pictures
of the ship, crew, cruses, retiree profiles and too much more to mention
here. My favorite (and what keeps me going back), is the “Guest Log”. You
can check out the shipmates that sign it and leave messages for all to
read. You will enjoy some of the comments and its fun to look for old
shipmates names in the Log.
At the next reunion in Virginia Beach, we will have a “Reunion Photo
Album Contest”. Our President, Ron Zimmerman has decreed this event and
will preside as sole Judge. He is thinking up some items for prizes. I’m
sure they will be something grand, like a bumper sticker or something. So
collect your pictures of the Omaha event, put them in an album and bring
it to Virginia Beach in 2003.
I think that everyone that attended the Reunion in Omaha was able to pay
their respects and hopefully chat with Norma Frankenbach.
What a delightful lady. Thanks for coming Norma. I’d like to give a
personal Bravo Zulu to Admiral Paul Rohrer for showing up in Omaha.
All of us, and especially those of us that served with him, got a very
special feeling just seeing him there. Thanks, “Skipper”. See ya next
Mail Call: Okay Shipmates, how about those “Letters
to the Editor”? Since I’m pretty new I guess patience is in order. If you
have any comments or words you would like to share. You can e-mail them to
me; firstname.lastname@example.org or write me a regulation ole letter.
2613 Dalgreen Ct.
Plano, TX 75075