“KEEPERS of the DRAGON”ÓÔ
JUNE 2006 SUMMER ISSUE
ÓÔCopyright 2000-2006 and Trademark of the Navy Nuclear Weapons Association. All rights reserved worldwide.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Navy Nuclear Weapons Bulletin is produced by the Association’s Board of Directors and is distributed free to NNWA members. Edited by: Dave Cobb
The Presidents Message
Ladies and Shipmates,
We are fast approaching the time for our Reunion in Wisconsin Dells and from what I have heard from our host Bill Beard we are going to have another fantastic reunion. You will find all of the information in this bulletin. So look it over there is plenty for all to do and plan on attending for a great time in an area where we have not held a reunion in the past.
As everyone is aware we will be having an election of members in good standing to the Board of Directors. I have appointed Chuck Weber as the Nominations and Election Chairman. He will be addressing the election and nomination procedures in his report in this bulletin.
Next year Ray and Mary Margeson will be hosting the 2007 Reunion in Niagara Falls and I know they are working hard getting it all together for us.
Looking forward to seeing everyone in Wisconsin Dells in September.
The Vice-Presidents Message
Ladies and Shipmates,
This year we completed the Reunion Guide, which lives!! We welcome suggestions and comments which we will add (or delete) with Board approval. We had a great time in San Diego and look forward to an exciting time in Wisconsin Dells. Hope everyone who can possibly make it. See you there.
SPALLING and EXUDATE
(NNWA HISTORIAN REPORT)
It has taken Jean and me the major portion of 9 months to move from Maryland and resettle in Northern California but, as of this writing, it finally seems done. We had a wonderful trip across the northern section of the country followed by a tour of the West Coast while waiting for our home near San Francisco to be vacated. The NNWA memorabilia collection fared well in transit and moved into new, more durable shipping containers at the close of the San Diego reunion. These should last considerably longer than the earlier cardboard boxes. The Association received several new items for display, primarily ships cruise books. As I thumbed through a recent donation I was forced to wonder why there is a GMTSN listed in the deck force during the USS Independence 1982 Med Cruise.
For your interest, the following is an excerpt from correspondence I received. This and much more is contained in the NNWA Memorabilia Collection that you can review at your leisure during our reunions.
For your interest, the following is taken from the personal history of LCDR Roy Norman It could be entitled, “How I Became an NW”. He was assigned to NSWU 471. This and much more is available for review in the NNWA Memorabilia Collection during our reunions.
I was stationed on Guam helping get rid of surplus electronic equipment by throwing it over a cliff into the ocean. Broke my heart a few times and I helped the Hams (private radio operators) on the Island as much as I could. I heard in late October that I was going to be transferred back to the states for duty and finally got my orders on 26 Dec. Was also told there would be no transportation back for at least two months. I went down to the harbor and visited each ship until I found one where the captain said he would take me back if I worked on his long range RADAR and got it running.
Left Guam on 7 Jan. and took the great circle route to Seattle. Arrived on 20 Jan. and I had his RADAR going. Had some leave so spent two weeks with a girl friend in San Francisco, a week with relatives in Fresno and arrived in Albuquerque on the 14th of Feb. A very cold morning after Guam.
Open jeep transportation out to Sandia Base. At this time all of the buildings were the old wooden CCC type and a huge number of airplanes parked in the desert south of the base. I checked in to the office, was assigned a barracks and spent the next few hours filling out the forms for my "Q" clearance. The barracks were cold, coal stove heated and water for the shower was heated by a stove also. The Army, who ran the base treated us well and the chow was good. With no duties and every night liberty, it was a big change.
Until my clearance came in I went back to electronics school run by the Army. Found out the Navy schools were a lot better than what the Army had to offer.
It was during this period that I noticed that a lot of the men reporting from the fleet could not adjust to the relaxed duties and lots of liberty. Several of them got into trouble and were shipped back out.
My mother wrote a couple of times and wanted to know what kind of trouble I was in as several of the relatives had mentioned that the FBI was around asking questions about me. My clearance came in on 21 May and that afternoon I was taken out to our assembly building and show a partially assembled "FAT MAN". It seemed so simple in construction considering the millions spent to get it to this point.
For the next two days my division officer, Lt Williams, explained what my duties were going to be. I was responsible for the electronics equipment associated with the nuclear components of the weapon and would assist him during assembly, and would do the insertions myself when he was not available. It seemed that there was always a weapon in some stage of assembly or disassembly in the weapons bay. My part took less than 30 minutes.
Our model collection is slowly deteriorating with some items in need of maintenance or replacement. My workshop is not yet in commission and I need assistance in restoring some of the basket cases. If you’re a carver, model maker or wood worker please consider donating your time to help bring our models back to shipshape condition.
As always, I appeal to you for copies of pages from cruise books, group orders, school listings, listings from memory, etc that will help in compiling as complete a roster as possible of the people who participated in the Navy Nuclear Weapons Program. We’re trying to list people by Name, Rate, Rank, Station, and Date if at all possible. This is a long-term goal of the NNWA Board. Please help.
58 West Crescent Drive
San Rafael, CA 94901
Navy Nuclear Weapons Association
Service Officer’s Report June 2006
Fellow Dragon Keepers,
Please find below a few current issues that I think you may find of interest.
Yours in service,
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Thank you if you are one of the hundreds of thousands of veterans and retirees who contacted their elected representatives to stop the Bush Administration’s attempts to charge Tricare fees and increase Tricare copays, to increase VA copays, require enrollment fees and to reduce Veterans’ benefits. You were successful in blocking these actions. Keep steady tension on that line, sailor, and don’t let our representatives forget that we are here.
VA Personal Information Debacle: I am certain that by now you are aware that lax VA information security, and the absolutely inexcusable actions of one of its employees, has compromised personal information of 26.5 million veterans. (Note – there are only 24 million living military veterans). Then, the VA did not disclose the compromise for 17 days. The quick scan reveals that it mostly affects those who were discharged/retired in 1975 and later. We now know that the compromised info includes: Name, DOB, SSN, Address, Telephone and VA disability rating. Despite VA’s statements that the theft of the info was inadvertent, the thieves certainly have learned from the media attention that they now have a gold mine to use for identity theft. And this is on the heels of computer hackers obtaining similar information on active duty and retiree service members from the TRICARE data base this past April. YOU ARE NOT SAFE unless you take action to protect your identity. What do you do?
1. Don’t bother calling the VA Hot Line for this incident – it is a waste to time.
2. Call one of the credit reporting agencies and put a temporary (90 day) fraud alert on your identity. It does not matter which one you call, but you only need to contact one. It will pass the alert on to the other two agencies.
The phone messages at the above numbers will give you instructions on how to place a seven (7) year fraud alert on your credit file.
3. Continuously monitor your regular bills and make sure you are still receiving them (if not, the thieves have changed your address as a first stage in stealing your identity). Look for suspicious charges and any new accounts that you did not create.
4. Obtain your one free annual credit report from the above and scrutinize it.
5. Your information was permanently compromised; therefore, this will be a life long endeavor. From now on you will always have to assume that your information is available to someone to use illegally. Protect yourself accordingly.
6. If you detect unauthorized use of your personal information, any of the above credit agencies can give you instructions on what to do.
Do this now - do not delay.
US Flag Desecration: In 1989 the US Supreme Court ruled that physical desecration of our national flag was a protected activity under the freedom of speech provisions of the First Amendment to our Constitution. The various veterans’ organizations have been active ever since to pass another Amendment to the Constitution to prohibit this activity. How this works is that the Senate has to pass a resolution for the Amendment by a two-thirds vote (or 67 votes). The matter is then sent to the various States for ratification. Three-quarters (38 of 50) of the States then have to ratify the resolution and the Constitution is thereby amended.
The Amendment resolution reads simply – “The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.” While this does not make flag desecration illegal, it does take the power away from the Supreme Court and returns it to the people. Please urge your US Senators and your State Senators and Representatives to support this action.
Tricare Drug Cost Increases Detrol, Oxytrol, Sanctura, Lexxel, Tarka and Lyrica have been recommended to move to tier three drug status, thereby increasing their per prescription cost to you from $9 to $22. The list is growing.
Current Legislative Proposals: Let your senators and representatives know your position.
H.R. 4949 would remove DOD’s current authority to increase some Tricare fees/copays
S. 2617 would restrict DOD’s current authority to increase some Tricare fees/copays
H.R. 4727 allows disabled retirees more then 3 yrs to recover taxes due to disability offsets
S.2503 Identical to H.R. 4727
H.R. 1366 would give eligibility for CSRC to those medically retired with less than 20 years of active service.
S. 2385 Identical to H.R. 1366
Radiation Exposure: I have become aware of the introduction of House Resolution 2962 to amend Title 38 of the US Code – Veterans Benefits. With 51 House co-sponsors, it proposes to give Atomic Veterans –
As you may recall, Atomic Veterans are defined as those who witnessed the various nuclear test conducted by our government, those US POWs in Japan affected during the detonations over Hiroshima and Nagasaki and those occupational forces in the affected areas after the war. I can only hope that if this legislation is passed, it will vicariously help those who are in our community who suffer from similar exposures. If my memory of nuclear physics is intact, residual/fallout radiation is primarily alpha particles. I believe that our primary on-the-job exposures were alpha sourced as well. This presumptive connection (or nexus) could be substantiation encased in law. We also currently have to perform “dose reconstruction” to prove that our exposures were sufficient to cause the claimed illness.
Navy Log is an online service of the US Navy Memorial to record your info. It used to be associated with fees but is now free. To record your service info go to www.lonesailor.org .
18 VA Hospitals May Close - Determinations will be made within the month. At stake are:
AL – Montgomery; CA – Livermore, West LA; KY – Lexington, Louisville; MD – Perry Point;
MA – Boston; MS – Gulfport; MO – Poplar Bluff; NY – Brooklyn, Canandaigua, Montrose/Castle Point, St Albans; OK – Muskogee; OR – White City; TX – Big Spring, Waco; WA – Walla Walla.
VA Supplemental Funding for this FY of $430M was provided by Senate Amend.3642.
2006 Board of Directors Nominations
The NNWA Bylaws require that certain Board positions must stand for election each year. This year there are five positions up for election. If you wish to nominate someone for the Board, please submit the nomination to me by email at NNWASO@PTD.NET and I will contact the individual to confirm their acceptance of the nomination.
Nominations will again be open at the annual business meeting. The nominee will need to be present at the meeting. Voting will occur under new business at the business meeting. Following the business meeting, the Board meets to elect open officer positions.
I have contacted our current Board members regarding their interest in remaining on the Board. The Board will make nominations for continuance at the annual business meeting.
There are conditions precedent to being elected to the Board of Directors:
Chairman, Nominations & Elections
Navy Nuclear Weapons Association
Here we are, just a couple of months over four years with our website and we have average about 33 hits a day. Not too bad for a site with such limited appeal (no good news about J-Lo or American Idol here).
The Board has decided that whenever a person who was in the Navy’s Nuclear Weapons Program passes, I will place such notice on the home page of the web site. We will still be maintaining the two separate Memorial pages, one for members and the other for non-members.
The Guest Book accessed from our web site is becoming a problem and I am soliciting input from our membership. Every day I remove up to 50 (and sometimes more) ads posing and valid posting on the Guest Book. We do have about 153 valid entries but when someone opens the Guest Book, they only see the last ten postings. There is a good chance they will see nothing but ads. If I were to go to such a guest book I probably wouldn’t bother to leave a message. My question to the membership is “Shall we continue the Guest Book or should we drop it?” Drop me (or any of the Board Members) an e-mail and let us know what you think
As always, we solicit your input on any changes we can make to the website. www.navynucweps.com belongs to all of us; your assistance can help to ensure that it is a positive asset.
Ray C. Margeson
Navy Nuclear Weapons Association
Hello Shipmates. This has been a very active and interesting year for me. I have finished converting our records to computer disks as Sam had started. As an additional piece of information, for those of you who receive this bulletin by snail-mail, your dues are paid through the date shown after your name on the mailing label (LIFE Time Members will not show a date on their label) all others may check your dues status at our website. This brings us into the 21st Century. We now have the capability of retrieving data and sending out info to our members very quickly, as was evidenced by the Service Officer’s Report we sent to the membership in about 3 days (this included printing and snail-mailing). We, as a board, are here to assist members in any way we can to make your association one of the best. In light of the above, do not hesitate to call or email any board member if you need assistance with association matters. I for one enjoy the phone calls from anyone seeking information about our association. I am looking forward to seeing everyone at Wisconsin Dells this year.
As the keeper of the membership roster and the treasurer let me welcome our new members that have joined our organization since the last newsletter.
Moody Ryan Triry Robert Koerber Ralph Haynes Steven
McCavey Samuel Slaby Frank Dillon III Donald Reuman Scott
We now have 546 members on our membership roster. Many are in arrears with their dues. If you are unsure if your dues are up to date and receive the bulletin by mail, the date on the colored sticker shows you the month and year through which your dues are paid. If you receive your bulletin electronically and wish to know if your dues are due, log onto our web site wwwnavynucweps.com the last column on the right of the membership roster by your name tells you your dues due date. Some of our members find it convenient to pay several years in advance. This can save you postage and the treasurer lots of time. Past policy has been to drop members that are three or more years in arrears. This is an effective policy due to the mailing bulletins and reunion information. A current membership roster is posted on our web site. Members who are not on line may request a hard copy of the membership roster by calling or writing Frank M. Kelly, 1087 Frank Kelly Road, Society Hill, SC 29593 843-378-4026
We now have $16,365.56 on Deposit with all Bills Paid.
The 22nd Annual Reunion will be in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, September 20-23, 2006.
January 01, 2014