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
Shipmates and Ladies,
Normally at this time I would be promoting the upcoming reunion. However, that will not be the case this time. As you all know by now, with deep regrets, I had to cancel the Nashville reunion this year because of the devastating flood that they experienced this past April. Many of the locations that had been on our list to visit have been completely destroyed, severely damaged or the condition is unknown. We had information that it was going to take at least six months for some of the venues to come back on line. However, seeing what other localities, that have experienced events of this nature, six months is just wishful thinking for the most part. We also had some concern about exposing the attendees to unhealthy conditions such as molds and possible diseases. Not having a host on scene complicated our decision process and we had to make the cancellation decision based on the best information that was available. Information on the condition of the Nashville infrastructure was not and still not available at this time. We needed to know what was available now so contracts could be negotiated and signed and the information with the cost on each event could be provided to you in a timely fashion so you could decide what events you wanted to attend. Also, what played on my mind was the longer we waited more members would possibly obligate themselves to a cost which could not be refunded. For those of you who have already made reservations for Nashville, please insure that you cancel your reservations before the cutoff date of 31 August so you will not incur any fees. You should receive a ‘cancellation notice/number’, please keep this in your records for future reference if needed. I know many of you are wondering why we just didn’t go somewhere else. Well, I contemplated doing just that but, time was not on our side. Even if we had started the day the decision was made to cancel the reunion there just was not sufficient time to put together a reunion of the caliber that we are accustom to and get the information to you so you could make your plans. I hope all of you understand how hard it was for me to make this decision but this is what you pay me to do.
We will continue our normal reunion schedule with Albuquerque, NM next year hosted by John O’malia and Rapid City, SD in 2012 hosted by Bill Beard and his “A” school classmates. The 2013 reunion will be held in the Eastern Region. Nashville will be considered along with any other locations that are suggested by any member.
Even though we cancelled this year’s reunion, the Association must complete certain business matters to be in compliance with the Bylaws. Delaware corporation law authorizes the Board to conduct meetings electronically which we do on a normal basis and will continue to do until our next business meeting. Business matters such as; nominations and election of Directors, amendment of Bylaws and other old/ new business, which requires membership approval will be conducted by U.S. Mail. The Board will be developing the necessary information and ballot(s) to be mailed to each member in good standing to accomplish the required business matters. Your patience and participation are solicited while we proceed to conduct the Association’s business until our next reunion. In this bulletin you will find a call for nominations to fill five positions on the Board of Directors. I would suggest that those desiring to serve let it be known to me or Chuck Weber, the Nomination and Election Committee Chairman.
From the Desk of the NNWA Vice President
Well another six months has flown by and as usually I want to get on my favorite subject “MEMBERSHIP”. We all know that we are a last man standing club, i.e., we will all die out some day. With that in mind we want the organization to continue as long as possible so people will know of our participation in the Nuclear Weapons Program. Now how do we do that? We have to recruit more people. How do we do that? The Historian has asked everyone to search in the old files to see if they have any copies of orders with other individual’s names on them. If you can get this information we can then try to find people and inform them of us and who knows maybe we can hook you up with an old shipmate. In some cases if you look at cruise books and have a full name, not an initial for the first name and if you can remember what state they come from we may be able to track them down that way. Most people in the US never move more than 50 miles from where they grew up, so the more information you can provide the easier it is to find them. Sorry I didn’t get to meet all of you new members in Nashville this year, but I will see you in the home of our program "Albuquerque" next year.
Larry J. Sneide
Navy Nuclear Weapons Association
Hello Shipmates. It is hard to believe that we will not be seeing each other in person this year. So I hope that we will see each other in Albuquerque. The work of the organization must go on however. Several things that are done at the annual Business Meeting need to be accomplished. We, as a Board, will keep you informed on each requirement that needs to be accomplished. The Board works hard for you, now we must ask your assistance in mailing in responses to such items as Elections, By-Law changes and anything else you would have normally brought up/voted on at the business meeting in Nashville. I hope to see a lot of new members in Albuquerque in 2011.
Treasurer Report (May 2010)
First let me welcome our new and reinstated members who have joined our organization since the last news letter.
Burris, Harry P
Pirie, David C
Redeford, Jimmie L
Matich, Michael V
Hohe, Joseph D
Urbin, Steven C
Mcdermott, James M.
Hyatt, Kenneth R
Allen, James D
Whitfield, George C
Clairmont, Donald J
Monstrud, Mervin C.
Fite, Patrica A
Rogers, Douglas. S
Gearon, Richard L
Bregenzer, David N
Gillen, Richard D.
Waugh, Gary M
Moody, Wiliam (Bill) E
Ray, Walter S.
We now have 655 members listed on the membership roster. 437 Members in good standing 42 life Members (spouses of deceased members) 176 past members (members that have not paid their dues in the past three years) one Honorary member (NAAV). If you know the Status of any of these Past Members, Telephone #, Mailing or E-Mail addresses, please inform any member of the board. Past members will not receive newsletters or reunion information until dues are brought up to date. This is an effective policy due to the cost of mailing newsletters and reunion information. If you are unsure that your dues are up to date and receive your newsletters by mail, the date on the upper right corner of the mailing label shows the month and year to which your dues are paid. If you receive your newsletter electronically and wish to know your dues date log onto our website (navynucweps.com). The dues date will be listed in the dues date column on the right of your name on the membership roster. Some of our members find it convenient to pay several years in advance. This can save you postage and the members of the board lots of time. Membership Dues notices are being sent out to members who dues are in the arrears, if you receive a notice in error, Go ahead and send me more money.
The current membership roster in posted on our website. Member not on line may request a hard copy of the roster by calling or writing Frank M. Kelly, 1087 frank Kelly Road, Society Hill, SC 29593 PH# 843-378-4026. For our Survival it is imperative that we keep our roster and dues up to date. Please review the roster and notify the Treasurer or any member of the board of any changes to your current Status.
We have $14329.98 on deposit with Wells Fargo and no outstanding Debt.
Frank M. Kelly,
Treasurer and Keeper of the Roster.
Spalling and Exudate
The NNWA Historians Report of May 2010
It was just three years ago that the often debated existence of the "Q" clearance was positively put to rest with the donation of Lt. Lindberg's historical documents by a friend of the NNWA, Paul Roales. The August 1948 record proved that Lt. Lindberg was granted a "Q" clearance by Headquarters, Sandia Base Albuquerque, NM.
Now a second myth has been put to rest! My reading of many documents, articles, books, and histories on the Navy nuclear weapons program and many conversations with first generation nuclear weapons men had led me and, I think I can safely say, many of my peers to believe that inductees into the early program were selected exclusively from the ranks of officers, warrant officers, and senior petty officers with only a few lower ranked, but certainly rated, petty officers thrown into the mix. Perhaps I never thought to ask the question; perhaps no one thought enough of it to bring it up. None-the-less, I believed it was a common knowledge that non-rated was not selected for nuclear weapons duties until many years into the program. NOT SO!!! This month I thoroughly enjoyed two lengthy phone conversations with one of our newest NNWA shipmates, Fred Wacha. Mr. Wacha first joined the Navy in June 1946 and was ordered aboard USS Schmidt (APD-76) where, as a Fireman, he struck for the Water Tender rate. He was discharged in March 1948, reenlisted a year later, and immediately received orders to Albuquerque to join Navy Special Weapons Unit 1233. Mr. Wacha deployed with this team to USS Midway, USS Coral Sea, and USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was discharged for the second time in March 1953, still a Fireman. He said it was difficult to advance because there was no opportunity to train in his rate.
Fred was kind enough to contribute to the NNWA memorabilia collection his written history, graduation certificate from "The Assemblyman Course" at Sandia Base and three photographs of the 1233rd. The oldest photo, dated November, 1949 is of a signal flag-draped auditorium with a five-piece band in the background. About 100 very attractive, very happy young men and women in civilian clothes are together in an informal pose at a unit party. Only four people are identified in this picture; a man named "Rice", Capt. Oscar Dreier (unit CO), Fred Wacha lighting a cigar (despite very large signs admonishing the contrary) and Ed Doss, our recently designated "Grey Dragon". Second is a hangar deck photo of 29 men in dress blues; officers and chiefs in blue combination caps, enlisted in white hats. At least two and possibly three non-rated men can be seen with this group. There are no names associated with this photo. The third picture was taken on the flight deck of USS Midway in February 1951. There are 32 men assembled in two ranks; officers and chiefs in the rear, first class and below in the foreground. They are also in dress blues with officers and chiefs wearing dark hats, first class and below wearing flat hats. Mr. Wacha identifies the following in this photo; CPO Stanley Eliott, Lt. Jack Hayes, (officer) U. Settle, Lt. Phillips, CPO Ashland, CPO Manuel Cuellar, CPO Monze, CPO Walton, PO1 Gustavson, (rank?) Nick Padilla, (rank?) Britain, (rank?) Reid, FN Fred Wacha, PO1 Tatum, PO1 Elm, PO3 Wilson, PO1 Mallory, SN or FN Pendergast.
This is a wonderful collection! Thank you Fred. With one sweep you have identified more men of the early Special Weapons Units than we have ever had the privilege of knowing. And you've exploded the persistent myth; there were no non-rated men in the SWU's.
Shipmates, remember to write your histories. If you don't your special weapons experiences will be lost forever. You'll enjoy it and so will your kids and grand kids. And please send us a copy. Also remember to send photos or copies of photos of SWU's and W Divisions with as many names as possible identified. Group orders and roster lists from your memories are a big help in identifying the men and woman of the Navy Nuclear Weapons Program.
Mike Snyder, NNWA Historian
NNWA Service Officer Report
Fellow Dragon Keepers,
VA PRESUMPTIVE VN VET DISEASES The VA has published a long awaited proposed regulations which, when finalized, will allow presumptive service connection for three new conditions under the Agent Orange Act of 1991. The new disabilities are B-cell leukemia, Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD).
COLA 2011 Congressional economists are estimating the 1 DEC 2010 pay adjustment is going to be just 0.1%. That is a $1 increase for each $1,000 received. It applies to all federal retired pays, social security payments, and VA benefits.
US NAVY VETERANS ASSOCIATION A six-month investigation into the US Navy Veterans Association says it is "steeped in secrecy" and whose management, money and records are "all but invisible." Do not join this. (Note – This is not the Navy Club USA, which is okay.)
VA CLAIMS BACKLOG The VA announced an aggressive new initiative to solicit private-sector input on a proposed "fast track" Veterans' claims process for service-connected presumptive illnesses due to Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam War. VA hopes to migrate the manual processing of these claims to an automated process that meets the needs of today's Veterans in a timelier manner.
PTSD Injured service members who receive morphine during trauma care are about half as likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder as those who are not administered the drug, a Navy study has revealed.
DISABLED VETERANS MEMORIAL The U S Mint has released the 2010 American Veterans Disabled for Life Silver Dollar. Proceeds from the sales benefit private funds to construct the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial in the nation’s capital.
MILITARY DISCOUNTS Lowe's Companies, Inc. recently announced that it is has joined many other companies by expanding its support of the military by offering a 10% discount 24/7 to all military, reservists, retirees and veterans.
DFAS PAY INQUIRIES Two recent changes to the Internal Revenue Service tax tables have a lot of military retirees and annuitants asking questions. If you noticed a reduction in your net pay on a recent retirement paycheck it most likely is because of either: (1) New Tax Tables for 2010 or (2) The 2009 Tax Credit. It is each taxpayer's responsibility to ensure enough wages are withheld to cover their tax liability. For more information regarding how to calculate the appropriate income tax withholding, please contact your tax advisor or review one of the following IRS publications:
· IRS Withholding Calculator at www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96196,00.html?portlet=2
· IRS Publication 919 at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p919.pdf
DFAS WEBSITE On 1 FEB 2010 the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) launched new and improved web pages for their retired military and annuitant customers. Updates included a review of all of the information they were providing and removal of outdated or irrelevant material, reducing the number of web pages in the Retired Pay section of the site from 88 to 26. You can find all of this information and more by clicking "Retired Pay" on the yellow bar at the top of the DFAS website www.dfas.mil.
TRICARE USER FEE Tricare beneficiaries will not be asked to accept fee increases in their military health care benefits unless lawmakers believe the Defense Department has exhausted all other cost-cutting measures according to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee’s military personnel panel. However, he believes Tricare fees, unchanged since 1995, probably need to increase as part of an effort to control health care costs. “I do not see how we can do this forever,” Graham said.
HEALTH CARE REFORM Here are the effective dates of major provisions of the health care overhaul legislation:
90 days after enactment:
· Provide immediate access to high-risk pools for people with no insurance for at least six months because of pre-existing conditions.
· Impose a 10% excise tax on indoor tanning for services provided on or after 1 JUL 2010
Six months after enactment:
· Bar insurers from denying people coverage when they get sick.
· Bar insurers from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.
· Bar insurers from imposing lifetime caps on coverage.
· Require insurers to allow people to stay on their parents' policies until they turn 26.
Nine months after enactment: 50% of the donut hole will be covered. Eventually, the health care reform bill will close the donut hole entirely
Within A Year:
· Provide a $250 rebate this year to Medicare prescription drug beneficiaries whose initial benefits run out when they enter the donut hole.
· Require new insurance policies to cover certain preventive-care measures with no out-of-pocket cost to the consumer.
· Require Insurance companies to stop imposing lifetime coverage limits on your insurance.
· Sharply limit annual caps on your insurance.
· Require Insurers with unusually high administrative costs to offer rebates to their customers, and every insurance company has to reveal how much it spends on overhead.
· Require individual and small group market plans to spend 80% of premium dollars on medical services. Large group plans would have to spend at least 85%.
· Taxes begin being levied on drug manufacturers.
· Physicians' Medicare fees will be cut more than 25% unless the sustainable growth rate is permanently repealed by Congress; -
· Initiate Medicare bonus of 10%over five years for primary care and general surgery (family medicine, internal medicine, geriatrics and pediatrics)
2012: Businesses must file Form 1099s for all business-to- business transactions of $600 or more.
· Increase the Medicare payroll tax and expand it to dividend, interest and other unearned income for singles earning more than $200,000 and joint filers making more than $250,000.
· Require public reporting of physician performance to begin.
· Begin testing Medicare pilot programs care payments based on "quality over quantity" of services rendered.
· Make fewer medical expenses tax deductible.
· Raise wage taxes from 1.45% to 2.35%; - New tax of 3.8 percent levied on unearned income streams like interest and dividends; - New tax of 2.9 percent on medical device sales.
· Provide subsidies for families earning up to 400% of poverty level, currently about $88,000 a year, to purchase health insurance.
· Require most employers to provide coverage or face penalties.
· Require most people to obtain coverage or face penalties for noncompliance.
· Create state insurance exchanges for individuals and small businesses to purchase coverage.
· Prohibit Insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.
· Expand Medicaid to all Americans under age 65 earning up to 133% of the federal poverty level.
· Increase Subsidies for some small business providing coverage to employees.
2015: Initiate independent Payment Advisory to make recommendations for cutting Medicare costs.
· Penalties for individuals refusing to purchase insurance rise to 2.5% of taxable income or $695, whichever is greater.
· Multi-state compacts allowed to sell policies across state lines
SBP DIC OFFSET Representative Walter B. Jones, Jr. (R-MC-03) has dropped a Discharge Petition for H.R.775, which calls for the elimination of the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) offset to the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuity. Ending this offset would correct an inequity that has existed for many years.
Registered Veterans Service Officer
2010 Board of Directors Nominations Notice
The NNWA Bylaws require that half of our Board of Directors positions must stand for Election each year.
This year there are again five positions up for election. Due to cancellation of the reunion and annual meeting, nominations will be made by the Board and by the Membership by email. 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. Voting will occur this Fall by mailed ballot.
I have contacted our current Board members regarding their interest in remaining on the Board. The Board may make nominations for their continuance and this will be announced in the mailed ballot.
There are two conditions precedent to being elected to the Board of Directors:
1) the nominee must be a regular member in good standing with currently paid dues, and
2) the nominee must have email capability (due to electronic voting requirements of our incorporating State).
Again, the strength of our association lies in the strength of our members who are willing to volunteer their time to further our association’s goals. If you are personally willing (or know another member who may be willing) to serve our association, please do not hesitate to contact me.
For planning and mailing purposes, I will need to receive nominations by email by the end of August.
Chairman, Nominations & Elections
Proposal for Amendment of Bylaws
Navy Nuclear Weapons Association
Abstract: Since its incorporation in 2002 the Association has evolved in the handling of membership dues, delinquencies, renewals and reinstatement fees. After lengthy discussions since 2006, and subsequent decisions, the Board of Directors proposes the following change to the Bylaws:
To rewrite Bylaws, Article VI, Section 8 to clarify Dues and Delinquencies policy.
Proposed Bylaws Amendment:
WHEREAS, the membership of Navy Nuclear Weapons Association desires to clarify the Membership Dues and Delinquencies policy of the Association, and
WHEREAS, such change need be effected in the Bylaws of the Association, and
WHEREAS, the Bylaws requires amendment per its Article VII, therefore
BE IT PROPOSED to the membership of Navy Nuclear Weapons Association in its annual meeting in October, 2010 that the following Bylaws change be adopted:
Article VI, SECTION 8 is rewritten in its entirety to read:
SECTION 8 DUES AND DELINQUENCIES. Dues shall be determined by the Board and paid annually by Regular Members. If a Regular Member’s dues are not paid by that Member’s dues/membership anniversary date each year, the member will be dropped from membership. Reinstatement fees and dues in arrears policy shall be determined by the Board.
End of proposal.
FURTHER, per Article VII, announcement of this proposal shall be published in the Association’s Bulletin not later than 90 days prior to its submission to the membership for vote on its 2010 ballot.
For: Bylaws Committee, Navy Nuclear Weapons Association
By: ________//S//______________ Date: April 8, 2010
Navy Nuclear Weapons Association
There continues to be an increase in the number of hits to our website. Our average number of hits per day, over the last seven years, is 35.7. I think that this is a respectable number for a site that is specialized as ours. I hope that when you view the web site that you have a good trip down Memory Lane and remember fondly those “Good Old Days” of our youth.
If you have any suggestions for our web site, please pass them on. And keep the stuff coming. We welcome photos of patches, cruise books for W-Divisions and other memorabilia.
If you have physical items you wish to contribute, check with Mike Snyder, our erstwhile Historian.
Ray C. Margeson
The Chaplain’s Corner
This is the first ‘Chaplain’s Corner’ column for the NNWA newsletter. I’m not a writer, just an ordinary seaman like most of you, so just a little advanced warning.
Our Association By-Laws describes the duties of the Chaplain:
Those of you who have attended reunions have seen me and previous Chaplains saying prayers at the business meetings and the reunion banquets and conducting the Two Bell Ceremony. I consider it an honor to serve on the board of directors and as Chaplain for the NNWA. The Two Bell Ceremony is a sad duty to perform, but when done with reverence, as ours is, it brings honor to those who have passed and becomes a memorial to their service to our country and our families.
The NNWA is always looking to add new members. We should be also trying to keep up with the members we have and those on our roster who we haven’t been in contact with lately. If you know of a member who is running into hard times or may be having health issues, please let the Board or me know about them. We can contact that member and let them know that they are not forgotten.
The 2010 Reunion has been cancelled because of the flood in Nashville. The Supreme Commander’s list for the Two Bell Ceremony will be published in our next newsletter along with the words that the Chaplain reads during the ceremony.