On Tuesday morning we car-and van-shuttled our way to the Mine Warfare Training Center base and what a day we had! We were escorted (having supplied our full names and social security numbers the day before for clearance) onto the base and directly to the training center. Captain Gary Belcher welcomed the group. A few of the sailors then demonstrated how to put out a fire below decks. It was very hot. From there we reboarded our vehicles and went to the docks, where we were escorted in smaller groups onto the mine ship U.S.S. Defender. Imagine, we actually were aboard THE working ship. Of course, all the video screens were turned off for security reasons, but we had a nice lecture on how everything works in the CIC room and we all came away feeling so much better about national security. From the docks we went to the "mess hall" - HA. Not what any of our men remembered. There was a health food line, a hot meal line, a sandwich line, ice cream and desserts, etc. And all for $3.50 -, again our kind Association picked up the tab. The tour ended with a shopping spree at the PX -- and most of us found something that we could not live without.
Please send me all your news! Birthdays, vacations, anniversaries, new children & grandchildren - just anything you would like to share with your Association. We would love to include it in the next newsletter. And, if you have any suggestions on how to improve your newsletter, don't hesitate to let me know (just don't hurt my feelings 'cause I don't get paid very much). Send all info to PO Box 674, Seabrook, TX 77586 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Tuesday evening we had a buffet at the hotel. Our host had a nice surprise in store for the attendees but he was the one surprised when the mariachis he had invited did not show up. It would have been a nice touch for everyone and he meant well. But as all who have ever attended these reunions is aware, we really can make our own entertainment!
Unfortunately, there were not enough golfers in the crowd to have a tournament, but a van full did manage to scramble! We'll hold on to the trophy until next year. AND, Hurricane Isadore brought 14' waves into the Gulf, so the Texas
Treasure (gaming) Cruise was cancelled. We couldn't tell that it was so bad out in the Gulf by the way it looked at the hotel, just another sunny day there. Thursday we visited the King Ranch - 800,000 acres, big as Rhode Island. It was awesome. We saw a movie at the museum and learned all the history about it (the original King came from New York). We had real Texas barbecue for lunch and an hour to shop and browse in Kingsville (where there was a real old-fashioned drugstore with an ice cream parlor).
The business meetings and our famous auction were Thursday evening. For a smaller crowd, we didn't do badly - $768.50. There were a lot of neat donations - GI Joe collectors items (Navy/Army/Marine statues) and an electric American Flag, to mention a few items brought by the Brandts, a golf club, teddy bears, a homemade wall hanging, a Mardi Gras mask, GARLIC, and many many more. A special thanks to all of you who take the time to cart things from home and to all who have so much fun bidding on the items!
This was announced at the Reunion, but want to include now because it may rerun; Jerry did record it-if you want to borrow the tape, let him know. From Charles P. Rozier: October Fury Air Date: Oct 13 10pm EST The History Channel (No word on the Discovery Channel date.) OCTOBER FURY: the Cuban Missile Crisis had brought the world to the brink of nuclear catastrophe but how close did we really come? October Fury presents for the first time interviews with senior officers who served aboard the Russian submarines and they tell us how they came within seconds of firing their weapons and starting the first nuclear war. The Cecil was there.
The memorial service was held on Friday aboard the Lexington. The ceremony was partially taped by some of the local television stations and Christine Anderson has kindly offered to see if she can get a copy for us.
Part of the ceremony was the reading of The Thirteen Folds of the Flag - as the flag was refolded by the Color Guard. A tour of the Lexington followed, including an IMAX movie.
Captain Belcher was our speaker at the banquet Friday evening. He told us his personal history (including captains masts) and related well with the members since he started out like all of them. When he finally decided to get serious, he went on to graduate from North Carolina State with a degree in electrical engineering and has progressed well as a "Mustang". He gave an interesting speech, which included assuring us that we are well protected even though we keep hearing we have fewer naval ships in service. The technology we have today is so far advanced we no longer need the quantity of yesteryear. The speed and fire power on our seas is amazing and Captain Belcher said he is looking forward to the time he will be in the audience as we are, listening to someone younger tell him about the current Naval power! Awards were given to the outgoing officers, and a few tears were shed. Jules and Anne, Bruce and Margie, Warren and Joan, and Dick and Ann Gallo will be very hard acts to follow. They have set such a good example of leadership. They have all asked me to let you know in this newsletter how much they have enjoyed working and playing with all of you. They want to thank each of you for all the help and support you have given them through the years. The one shining star is that they will be around for advice and help in the future. And, they can hopefully start to enjoy the reunions and not have to do all the work they have so diligently put in the previous years.
The general business meeting minutes are being posted on the Cecil Website. For those of you who missed the reunion, the new officers and board members to begin the fiscal year (January 1, 2003) are:
President - Jerry Berard New Board Members: Warren Brandt, Frank Cauley and Ira Riley Treasurer - Rich Sayers New Auditor: Dale Halvorson
Elroy Nelson: email@example.com (150 Sunnyview Drive, Milltown, WI wrote Jules in September "Yesterday a CT scan was performed on the back of my head. It was read and my doctor informed me that he had to discuss this tumor-like growth with another doctor. He thinks that an operation is needed. It has been 2 1/2 years since I've had an operation, so it must be time again to have another. I'll keep you informed on what action is to be taken. Wish me luck!"
"GUS": JeanGus@cs.com: "circumstances prevent me from attending the reunion as my wife is currently taking interferon cancer treatments". He further asks that if anyone remembers "Gus" (on board with DESDIV 202 from 4/25/67 to 12/16/68) to contact him. And, "To everyone may you all have calm seas and a fair wind. Take Care, and May God Bless Everyone." GUS YN1 USN (Ret.)
FOLD#1: We fold to the left as an emblem of life, and again to the
FOLD #2: Left as an emblem of our belief in the eternal life.
FOLD #3: We fold to the left for that is where our hearts are and it is through our hearts that we pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
FOLD #4: We fold again to the left representing our weaker nature for we Americans trust in God, and it is to him we look for guidance at all times.
FOLD #5: We fold to right as a symbol of our sword arms, for it is with our swords we protect this flag and its institutions against all enemies what so ever, whether they be within the boundaries of our nation or without.
FOLD #6: We fold again to the right as a tribute to our country. In the words of the immortal Stephen Decatur, "Our country, in her intercourse with other nations may she be right, but our country right or wrong".
FOLD #7: We fold to the left in tribute to one who entered the valley of the shadow in order that we might find life, and this fold is made to honor Mother for whom this flag flies on Mothers Day.
FOLD #8: We fold again to the left as a tribute to our womanhood for it has been through their loyalty, love, and devotion that the characters of the men who have made this nation great have been molded.
FOLD #9: We fold to the right as a tribute to Father, for he too gave of his sons to this nation since the days the Republic was born.
FOLD #10: We fold from the stripes toward the stars for the stripes symbolize the thirteen original colonies that founded our Republic, now embodies in the fifty sovereign states of the nation so when the flag is secured the stars cover the stripes.
FOLD #11: We fold to the left as a triangle. This represents to the Hebrew citizens the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in their eyes, God the father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.
FOLDS #12 & #13: are done and the end is tucked in. The flag is then passed to the Color Guard member who is to present it. Each time the flag is turned over, and when released, a hand salute is given.
Charles P. Cecil DD/DDR 835 Newsletter c/o Jerry and Judy Berard P O Box 674 Seabrook TX 77598