“KEEPERS of the DRAGON”ÓÔ
JUNE 2012 SUMMER ISSUE
ÓÔCopyright 2000-2012 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.
In case you haven’t heard our “Gray Dragon” Ed Doss has joined the Staff of the Supreme Commander. The Board is actively searching for our next “Gray Dragon” and I need all of our members who served in the NSWU 471st, 802nd or the 1233rd to submit their assignment date to one of those units with a brief summary of their Naval career. If you have a copy of your orders or other document which substantiates the date it would be welcomed but not necessary. Forward the information to our Treasurer Frank Kelly at 1087 Frank Kelly Road, Society Hill, SC 29593 or e-mail to: email@example.com ASAP.
The President’s message:
Shipmates and Ladies,
We are fast approaching our next Reunion in Rapid City, SD. Bill Beard and his crew is putting together another great experience. You can find all the information in this bulletin.
I am still looking for a couple of volunteers to host the 2013 and 2014 Reunions to be held in the Eastern and Western Regions respectively. Please let me or one of the Board Members know if you will take on the task.
As I mention in my message in the last Bulletin we are in need of a volunteer to help Mike Snyder with the Association’s Memorabilia. The task would entail taking custody of the Memorabilia for storage and transportation to and from reunions. If there is any member who is interested please contact Mike Snyder for further information.
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in Rapid City.
From the desk of the Vice-President:
I regret to inform you early that I will not be running for the board again in 2013. I have taken on a position with the South Atlantic Shrine Association Legions of Honor that will have me traveling extensively for the next four years. Because of when the Conventions fall for the SASA LOH and NNWA I will not be able to make many of the upcoming reunions and would thus miss annual board meetings, which I feel I should be present at as a board member. I will give any input that I can when requested. Joan and I will try to make reunions when we can but we will not be attending in Rapid City.
Larry J. Sneide
Navy Nuclear Weapons Association
Every organization has a symbol of that organization. In our case, that symbol that embodies all the Navy Nuclear Weapons Association stands for is our ‘Gray Dragon’. We show that in our mascot (Albert) as well as the member who has been in the program the longest. Sadly to say, we lost our ‘Gray Dragon’ when Ed Doss passed to the staff of the Supreme Commander. We now need your help in recognizing our new ‘Gray Dragon’. You can help us discover the next ‘Gray Dragon’, by letting Frank Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) know of your entry date into the Navy Nuclear Weapons Program or of someone you may know of who entered before you.
And finally, an organization such as ours can only survive if we are willing to ‘lend a hand’ to keep the NNWA running smoothly. Please help us by volunteering your time as a Board Member when vacancies come up.
Let’s all welcome our new and reinstated members who have joined our organization since the last newsletter.
We now have 723 members listed on the membership roster, 320 members in good standing, 123 members with dues in arrears, 53 life members (spouses of deceased members), 223 Past members ( members that have not paid their dues for the past three years or longer), and one Honorary member ( President of the (NAAV). Past memberships continue to grow. Members in good standing are declining steadily. If you know the status of any of our past members please encourage them to rejoin the organization. Past members will not be notified of newsletters or reunion information until dues are brought up to date. Again 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 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 electronic and wish to know your dues date, log onto (navynucweps.com). The dues date will be listed in the dues 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 board members lots of time.
The current membership roster is posted on our website. Members 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 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 $17,782.30 on deposit with Wells Fargo. A $500.00 Deposit has been made to the Grand Gateway Hotel in Rapid city, South Dakota. A $500.00 Deposit is due 5/30/12 for our Rapid City Tours.
Frank M. Kelly
Treasurer and Keeper of the Roster
2012 Board of Directors Nominations Notice
The NNWA Bylaws require that half of our Board of Directors positions must stand for election each year.
For the past several years I have written you in this bulletin article and advised of the need for new members to step forth and serve as Directors and Officers of our Association. And year after year no one has stepped forward. This year we WILL lose several of our Directors who are stepping down. More are known to be leaving next year.
Unless some of you step forward, there will be no one to run the business of NNWA and to prepare for reunions. NNWA is a corporation with many legal requirements placed on it. The Directors ensure that these are done. Continuous communications flow among the Directors and many resolutions are passed by them each year. All of this requires that a Director must have, and know well how to use, email communications. Also, there will need to be significant pass down from outgoing officers to their incoming replacements.
This year there are six positions up for election and there are not six incumbent Directors seeking re-election. If you wish to be nominated for the Board, please let me know by Email at NNWASO@PTD.NET. Please advise not later than 15 August 2012.
Nominations will be re-opened at the annual business meeting and additional nominations may be made from the floor then. In order to be elected, a nominee will need to be present at the meeting OR they may submit a letter in advance to the Board stating that they are willing to accept the nomination for a position on the Board if they are unable to attend the meeting. Voting will occur under new business at the business meeting. Following the business meeting, the Board then meets to elect its open officer positions.
I have contacted our current Board members regarding their interest in remaining on the Board, and as I wrote above, several are not interested in continuing. The Nominations Committee may make nominations for the continuance of the others at the annual Business meeting.
Again, 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 the electronic voting requirements of our incorporating State).
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 to serve our association, please do not hesitate to contact me.
For planning purposes, I will need to receive this contact by August 15th.
Chairman, Nominations & Elections
SERVICE OFFICER REPORT
Fellow Dragon Keepers:
Tricare Increases – below is a simplified explanation of the situation on Tricare increases and proposed legislation to reduce or eliminate them.
The Budget Control Act of 2011 requires a two percent, across the board, automatic reduction in all government spending. This is known as sequestration. For FY 2013 the President’s budget suggests that DOD increase Tricare pharmacy copays and Tricare enrollment fees. This is proposed since there have been no Tricare fee increases for 10 years while the Tricare costs have more than doubled just from 2001 to 2006. They are expected to double again from 2006 to 2015 to $64 billion or more than 12% of the DOD budget.
To protect Tricare, House Resolution (H.R.) 1092 was introduced on 15 Mar 2011. It currently is languishing in the House Armed Services Committee’s Military Personnel subcommittee. To prevent an even worse situation for Tricare, H.R. 3662 was introduced on 14 Dec 2011. It proposes the reduction in federal employees by attrition, wherein only one hire could be made for each three retirements/resignations. This would save enough money to prevent the first year’s DOD sequestration cuts.
If you want to see Tricare cost increases minimized, you may wish to contact your local U.S. Representative and ask them to support or con-sponsor these two bills. To send a message to your elected officials on the proposed TRICARE increases using the NAUS Cap Wiz system, go to http://capwiz.com/naus/issues/ and click on the item listed in the Current Action Alert list titled, “Pentagon Demands TRICARE Fee Increase“.
VA Budget Exemption
If federal budget cuts go into effect automatically next January, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) programs will be exempt, according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
In an April 23 letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), OMB made it clear that "all programs administered by the VA, including Veterans’ Medical Care, are exempt from sequestration" under provisions of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985.
Last year’s failure of the "supercommittee" means that automatic spending cuts, known as sequestration, are scheduled to take effect in January 2013 unless Congress finds other options for federal budget reduction.
OMB also determined that VA’s exemption was unaffected by subsequent provisions in the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, which failed to include Veterans’ Medical Care in its list of VA accounts exempted from sequestration.
VHA's patient-scheduling system 'broken' (reported by The American Legion - April 25, 2012)
Nearly seven years after problems with wait-time data were uncovered; the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) still has a patient-scheduling system that is "broken," according to Linda Halliday of the VA Office of Inspector General. On April 25, she testified before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee at a hearing that focused on VA health care.
Sen. Patty Murray opened the hearing and quickly drew attention to an OIG report released April 23 that found VHA’s data on waiting times for patients was grossly inaccurate. Murray said the OIG findings "show some serious discrepancies in what VA has been telling this committee" and that "the existing scheduling system is hopelessly insufficient and needs to be replaced." She said VA "is failing to meet its own mandates for timeliness, and instead is finding ways to make the date look like they are complying."
While VHA reported, for fiscal year 2011, that 95 % of first-time patients received evaluations within 14 days, Halliday testified that OIG’s analysis "projected that VHA provided only 49 percent of first-time patients their evaluations within 14 days." The report also noted that VHA completed only 64 percent of new patient appointments within 14 days of their desired date.
We found VHA’s performance data is not accurate or reliable," said Halliday. "VHA’s measures do not adequately reflect critical dimensions of mental health-care access." She said that inaccuracies in data collected by VHA on mental-health staffing and productivity made it less useful for VHA decision-makers to "evaluate productivity across the system, and establish mental-health staffing and productivity standards."
William Schoenhard, testifying for VA, agreed with OIG’s assessment that the patient-scheduling system needs to be revised. He also said mental-health services must continue to be further integrated into primary care, and that stigmas associated with mental health care need to be addressed.
VA has been working to develop a new scheduling system for its patients
Cell Phone ICE
Car accidents and medical emergencies happen all the time too. If you were unconscious, would first responders know how to contact your family? Could paramedics find out about your medications, allergies, or health conditions? Fortunately, it takes five minutes and zero dollars to make sure those first responders can reach your emergency contacts if you’re the one unconscious. You just have to “ICE” your cell phone. “ICE” stands for “in case of emergency.” If you add the prefix “ICE” to your emergency contacts in your phone’s contact list, first responders will know to call them first. So if Jane Doe is your emergency contact, simply change her entry in your contact list from “Jane Doe” to “ICE: Jane Doe.”
Military ID Cards for Retirees
Under a new initiative, ID card customers can schedule an individual appointment and circumvent the waiting line. Walk-in customers at ID card facilities can experience wait times of two hours or more during periods of peak demand. Now, civil servants and contractors are now filling customer service roles previously handled by active-duty personnel at Personnel Support Detachments (PSD) and other sites throughout the US. Making appointments is fast and easy via the online appointment scheduler located at: https://rapids-appointments.dmdc.osd.mil/?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1
A researcher at the Greater Los Angeles VA Healthcare System has pinpointed how vitamin D3 works with some of the body's cells to help clear the brain of amyloid beta, the main component of plaques that are seen in Alzheimer's disease. Vitamin D3 may activate certain genes and cellular networks to trigger the immune system to clear amyloid beta.
VA Claims Processing Initiatives
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced 22 Mar 2012 the release of 68 new forms that will help speed the processing of Veterans’ disability compensation and pension claims. “VA employees will be able to more quickly process disability claims, since disability benefits questionnaires capture important medical information needed to accurately evaluate Veterans’ claims,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.
Camp Lejeune MCB Contaminated Water
Veterans stationed here between Nov 1957 and Feb 1987 were probably exposed to PCE/TCE contamination of the drinking water from wells which absorbed toxic chemicals that were illegally dumped near them. There is some evidence that chronic exposure to PCE/TCE could result in:
- Kidney cancer - Bladder cancer - Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer - Lung cancer
Also, children of mothers who were exposed are at greater risk for:
- Spina bifida - Anencephaly - Cleft lip
- Cleft palate -Leukemia - non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
There are no current screenings associated with these exposures. Veterans are encouraged to file with the VA for service-connected disability for any condition they think may be caused by their military service.
Call (877) 261-9782, 0830-1700, Mon-Fri for more info on the contaminated water.
COLA 2013 The Veterans' Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment Act of 2012 (H.R.4114) introduced 29 FEB 12 would increase the amounts paid to veterans for disability compensation and to their survivors for dependency and indemnity compensation by the same cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) payable to Social Security recipients
TRICARE User Fees The House armed services subcommittee on military personnel has declined to give the Obama administration new authority it sought to phase in higher TRICARE fees on military retirees over the next four years and to peg future TRICARE fee hikes to medical inflation nationwide. But in marking up its version of the fiscal 2013 defense authorization bill, the subcommittee did not adopt discreet language, as it has in the past years that would block any TRICARE fee increases. It also did not include language, as it has previously, that would prohibit the Department of Defense from using existing authority to raise co-payments on prescription drugs for dependents and retirees who use neighborhood pharmacies or the TRICARE mail order pharmacy program. Senator Lindsey Graham, the ranking Republican member of the House armed services subcommittee on military personnel, was asked on 25 APR 2012 if he was sympathetic to the view that imposing an annual enrollment fee on elderly beneficiaries using Tricare for Life would break faith with a generation promised free lifetime military health care. His response was “I don’t believe anybody was promised free lifetime medical care. That’s a popular myth,” Graham said. “I think we have an obligation to the retired force to be generous and to be compassionate to help recruiting and retention. But, you know, there was never any contract with anybody that, for the rest of your life, you will get free medical care. That’s not part of the deal and was never part of the deal.” If you’d like to help Senator Graham understand just what was promised to you, you can call his Washington office at 202-224-5972. You can also call one of his district offices in South Carolina at: 864-250-1417; or 843-849-3887; or 803-933-0112; or 843-669-1505; or 803-366-2828; or 864-646-4090. It appears he was not aware of nor could his staff locate and advise him of the below excerpts from documents going back as far as 1962.
- ARMY RECRUITING BROCHURE, "Superb Health Care. Health care is provided to you and your family members while you are in the Army, and for your life if you serve a minimum of 20 years of active Federal service to earn your retirement." (RPI 909, November 1991 U.S.G.P.O. 1992 643-711)
- LIFE in the Marine Corps, p. 36 "Benefits...should you decide to make a career of the Corps, the benefits don't stop when you retire. In addition to medical and commissary privileges, you'll receive excellent retired pay..."
- Guide for Educators and Advisors of Student Marines, p. 35. "Retired Marines are generally eligible to receive any type of health and dental care at those facilities provided for active duty personnel."
- Navy Guide for Retired Personnel and Their Families, p. 51 "Covered under the Uniformed Services Health Benefits Program (USHBP) are retired members, dependents of retired members and survivors of deceased active duty or retired members. This care is available anywhere in the world either in uniformed services medical facilities or under the part of USHBP called CHAMPUS." (NAVPERS 15891D November 1974)
- The Bluejackets Manual, p 257. "What Navy Retirement means to you - pay. Continued medical care for you and your dependents in government facilities." (1969)
- Air Force Preretirement Counseling Guide, Chapter 5 Medical Care 5-2f."One very important point, you never lose your eligibility for treatment in military hospitals and clinics." 1 April 1986.
- Air Force Guide for Retired Personal, Chapter 1. "Treatment authorized. Eligible members will be furnished required medical and dental care." (1 April 1962).
- United States Coast Guard Career Information Guide, USGPO. "Retirement...You continue to receive free medical and dental treatment for yourself plus medical care for dependents." (1991).
- U.S. Coast Guard Pamphlet Be Part of the action, "Reap the Rewards...you can earn retirement benefits - like retirement income...Plus medical, dental care..." (1993).
- Hearings on CHAMPUS and Military Health Care, HASC No. 93-70, 93rd Congress "...the government has a clear moral obligation to provide medical care to retired personnel and their dependents...this Committee has found numerous examples of recruitment and retention literature which pledged...medical care for the man and his family following retirement." (Oct-Nov 1974).
Little Bits of Info
- Vet Loans. Effective 1 DEC 2011 The WI Dept. of Veteran Affairs will no longer offers any loans of any type to qualifying state veterans. The moratorium will last indefinitely.
- Mil Retirement. Eighty-three percent of veterans don’t serve 20 years and, therefore, leave with no retirement benefits.
- COLA. For the month of March, the CPI was 226.304 – up 0.9 percent from February, and almost 1.4 percent above COLA baseline figure of 223.233.
- Stolen Valor. John Spodofora, the mayor of Stafford Township, NJ. under fire for embellishing his service in the Navy during the Vietnam War, has again changed his mind and decided to run for reelection.
- Florida Fees. Effective OCT 2012 new law waives the initial license fee, initial application fee and initial unlicensed activity fee for many State board licenses for veterans returning from service, provided the veteran applies for licensure within 24 months of being honorably discharged. For more information, visit the Florida Department of Business Regulation website. http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/dbprmilitary.html.
- Okinawa. U.S. and Japanese officials agreed to move 9,000 U.S. Marines off Okinawa to other locations in the Pacific. About 5,000 Marines will head to Guam, with the rest to Hawaii, Australia and possibly California.
- Tax Loophole. Check out http://www.wthr.com/video?clipId=7054149&autostart=true and then ask your legislator why Congress allows $4B+ in preventable known tax fraud annually yet wants military retirees to make up this amount by raising TRICARE fees.
- Nostalgia. VJ Day, Honolulu Hawaii, August 14, 1945 spontaneous celebrations. Check out http://vimeo.com/5645171
- Arlington. A methodical tally of graves this year revealed that 400,000 Americans are buried there - 20% more than previously thought. An exact count will be completed later this year.
- PTSD. The APA is meeting in Philadelphia this week; a panel will discuss the name change from disorder to injury (PTSI) under consideration for the updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Now-retired Army Gen. Peter Chiarelli says, “No 19-year-old kid wants to be told he’s got a disorder.”
- Windows 8. Microsoft announced last week that its soon-to-be-released Windows 8 operating system won’t play DVDs unless you pay to upgrade the Media Center component.
Yours in service,
Proposal for Amendment of NNWA Bylaws
WHEREAS, the membership of the NNWA in its 2011 regular meeting in Albuquerque , NM on October 15, 2011 did approve the addition of two new positions to its Board of Directors resulting in a new total of twelve Directors, and
WHEREAS, the Force Majeure cancellation of the 2010 NNWA reunion and associated regular membership meeting did not provide a venue for election of Directors, and
WHEREAS, the NNWA Bylaws at Article VIII, Section 1 are silent on the issue of term schedule for more than ten Directors, and
WHEREAS, the NNWA Bylaws at Article VIII, Section 1 are also silent on election of Directors if no regular membership meeting can be held, therefore be it
RESOLVED, at the NNWA regular membership meeting held on September 22, 2012 in Rapid City, SD that the sentences “In the event that any additional Director(s) is/are added to the Board, they shall be added to the schedule first as an even year term and then as an odd year term. Similarly, if there are reductions in the number of Directors, the actions shall be done to maintain a balance of odd and even year terms. Elections of Directors shall be conducted at the annual regular membership meeting. In the event that such a meeting cannot be held, the election of Directors shall be conducted by the Board of Directors by mailed ballot to the regular membership using rules established in “Roberts Rules of Order” in its current edition. The President shall appoint at least two Directors who are not standing for election and they shall receive, count, verify and publish the results of all returned ballots.” shall be added to the very end of Article VIII, Section 1.
The thus amended Article VIII, Section 1 shall read as follows (with the additions in red):
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SECTION 1. ELECTION AND INITIAL MEETING. A Board of Directors consisting of at least Eight (8) members in good standing shall be elected by a majority of Regular Members present at the Annual Meeting held by the Corporation. Immediately following the election meeting the newly elected Board shall meet for the purpose of electing its officers and conducting any business that may be necessary. Election of the Board of Directors shall be on the following schedule:
Even Years Odd Years
Service Officer Secretary
Master at Arms Historian
and so forth
In the event that any additional Director(s) is/are added to the Board, they shall be added to the schedule first as an even year term and then as an odd year term. Similarly, if there are reductions in the number of Directors, the actions shall be done to maintain a balance of odd and even year terms. Elections of Directors shall be conducted at the annual regular membership meeting. In the event that such a meeting cannot be held, the election of Directors shall be conducted by the Board of Directors by mailed ballot to the regular membership using rules established in “Roberts Rules of Order” in its current edition. The President shall appoint at least two Directors who are not standing for election and they shall receive, count, verify and publish the results of all returned ballots.”
Charles J. Weber
Chair, Bylaws 2012
It has been my honor and privilege to serve as Chaplain and a member of the Board of Directors of the Navy Nuclear Weapons Association for 6 years. It is time for me to leave those positions and let someone else assume those duties. The Director position is a responsible duty that helps steer the NNWA in the right direction to keep the members informed and keep the association alive and well.
The Chaplain duties are simple and solemn. The simple duties include the prayers before the business meeting and the annual dinner dance. The solemn part is conducting the Two Bell Ceremony. Before my wife passed away she said that the Two Bell Ceremony put a lump in her throat and tears in her eyes. I am the same way while conducting the Ceremony.
The NNWA By-Laws outlines the duties of the Chaplain. Article IX, Section 3, Paragraph F in the By-Laws reads as follows: “Chaplain. Shall perform nonsectarian devotional services at the annual business meeting and such other duties as the President or the Board of Directors assigns.”
Lonnie O. Cucinitti
For ten years I have been running records on the daily hits on our website, www.navynucweps.com, and we have been steadily inching (well, fractional inching) up in the number of hits. We are now at an average of 37 hits a day for ten years plus – or a total of 139,991 hits as of 5:50 EDT on May 17th. We are trying to keep the site up-to-date and there is a section on the front page that indicates what changes were done. Also, we have a black-bordered section on the home page that lists those members and others who were in the program who have reported to the Supreme Commander. Unfortunately, those entries happen all too often – we are truly a Last Man’s Club.
Make sure you check the roster to make sure your dues are up-to-date. I am not perfect and if you look at the lower right section of the home page you will see the statement "We put something in our website for everyone---even those who are only looking for mistakes." (Thanks to Ellamae Weaver for that gem).
If you see any mistakes on the web site, please let me know – I want this to be a site that fulfills your needs and desires.
Ray C. Margeson
Spalling and Exudate
The NNWA Historians Report of June 2012
As you know, on 15 March 2012 we lost our first Gray Dragon, Ed Doss, when he executed orders to Staff, Supreme Commander. A short while later our President, Jim Hambley, asked me to review what records I had to assist in identifying our next Gray Dragon. “Sure Jim, no problem”, I naively replied. After reviewing hundreds upon hundreds of records and many boxes, envelopes, and folders assembled by Don Micco, Ellamae Weaver, Frank Kelly, and a number of “Association” secretaries I surfaced with a vetted list to present to the Board of Directors. What I really learned, though, is that we haven’t been asking the right questions of our membership, at least not for this purpose. Some personal narratives are exquisitely detailed, as though the information had been recorded each day of their career, while others are mere sketches at best. I now know a lot about when so-and-so joined the Navy but somewhat less about when and how they were absorbed into the Special Weapons Program. But that’s OK. By deduction and sleuthing I was able to produce a pretty good list of our senior members. Now the Board of Directors has to fine tune it to make a selection. As a follow-on to that effort, Jim has asked that I reinforce his note on the Gray Dragon inquiry by asking our senior members, those in NSWU’s 471, 802 and 1233 to kindly search your memories for the dates, as best as you can remember, when you joined the Special Weapons Program. Please get that info to Frank Kelly by any means you deem appropriate; e-mail, snail mail, phone or other. Thank you all.
As a by-product of my research, I found a lot of personal histories, narratives, anecdotes, and notes that have been hidden from view for years. Once again I am in wonder at the depth and variety of careers of the people in our program. There are far too many to begin to recount here, but I promise there will be many new personal histories to review at the Rapid City, SD reunion. I will highlight those so they can be singled out for reading. There are, however, several brief stories I must pass on to you.
Related to me by LCDR Roy Norman in a September, 2000 e-mail. He wrote, “When the new headquarters building (at Sandia Base) was built, the mast for the flag and a small saluting gun were placed on the parade ground. At 8:00 every morning colors were held and the cannon was fired. Every once in a while some of the kids on the base would place a handful of gravel in the barrel and it would land over in officers housing. One morning, the gun was fired and a dead cat came flying out. I’m sure the sergeant in charge caught hell about that.”
From the personal history of CWO-3 Robert L. Woods. (I) “remember once a bunch of us slept in a car (at Eagle’s Nest Lake, NM). Hamilton slept on a cot, but awoke in the morning with a skunk under his cot licking the sweat off his shoes. He stayed the stlllest I had ever seen him.” . . . He continued, “One trip on the Forrestal, on the way back to the States, we put a brand new Carmen Gia coupe on the aft elevator one night and dropped it into the magazine. The officer who owned it thought someone had pushed it over the side till we brought it up a couple nights later.” (by explanation, years ago carriers coming off Med deployment took new automobiles from Europe to the U.S. for crew members. I don’t know if that practice still exists: MdS)
Finally, this verbal narrative by AOC Richard Severance to me and others of the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) commissioning crew in 1962. He said, We were returning to the US aboard military aircraft from a deployment to Port Lyautey, Morocco (at a time when the SWU’s were still extant). We had a MK-7 Type 3 trainer with us on its roadable with security covers in place. We flew into LaGuardia and had to clear customs there. The customs inspector told us he wanted to see inside the skin of the weapon. He was told he couldn’t for security reasons. A stand-off ensued and for more than 24 hours the team was held at the airport, unable to clear customs. Finally, “Washington” told the team to open the weapon for inspection. They were unwilling to do so, but reluctantly complied revealing the several cases of wine that had been taped inside the cavernous space beneath the IFI (in flight insertion) and in the tail assembly.
Fun stories, hunh? Every one of them true! We know that because Navy nuclear weapons techs do not lie! But which of them has more of a ring of truth? The first hand narratives, of course. That second hand, 50 year old story leaves one wondering doesn’t it?.?.? Shipmates, get busy writing your personal recollections of life in the Navy Special Weapons Program. When you check-out it all goes with you and that would be a shame. You have so much to say. Get it on paper! If you don’t, it doesn’t exist for anyone but yourself. Your kids and grandkids will thank you and you will enjoy the experience. Don’t forget to share your story with the NNWA Historian, whoever he or she may be.
Please keep the photo copies of W Division cruise book pages coming, along with group orders and lists of shipmates culled from your memories. We’re trying to record as many of the people who participated in the Navy Special Weapons Program as possible.
I’m looking forward to your written submissions and additional gifts to the memorabilia collection.
Stay safe and live life to the fullest.
Mike Snyder, NNWA Historian
September 17-23, 2012
This will be the longest reunion to date, with so much to do we have spread it out so there wouldn’t be such long days away from the hotel and all your friends. The Grand Gateway Hotel in Rapid City, SD will be reunion central. Reservation can be made by calling the hotel directly at (605)342-1300 or toll free at 1-866-742-1300. Fax request for reservations should be sent to the attention of the reservation department at (605) 342-0663. The room rate is $79.00 per night.
There will be live entertainment at the dinner dance by Elvis (Jake Beard).
Tours schedule for the Reunion are:
Monday, September 17, 2012 –
Explore Rapid City: $19.00 p/person inclusive.
Meet group at motel at 5:00 pm, dept. 5:15 pm for downtown Rapid City and off load at Prairie Edge Galleries. Unearthing the beauty of the past while embracing the unique mark of the individual artist, Contemporary Native art collection embodies the spirituality of the Lakota people and reveals the heart of the amazing culture. Stroll around downtown to take in the City of Presidents, a series of life-size Bronze statues of our nation’s past presidents along the city’s streets and sidewalks. Dine on your own at any of the many restaurant options such as Firehouse Brewery, Tally’s Silver Spoon, Corn Exchange, and more. Reload at the side street beside Prairie Edge Galleries at 8:00 pm for return to motel.
*Includes transportation, narration, sales tax and based on 30 passenger min.
Some suggestions for restaurants within a block:
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 –
Badlands National Park: $38.00 p/person inclusive.
Meet group at motel at 9:00 AM, dept. 9:15 AM for the Minuteman Missile Silo for touring. Travel to the Cactus Flats entrance of Badlands National Park with a short stop at the Ben Reifel visitor Center.Reload for a scenic drive in the park with stops for photos and short walks. This scenic adventure takes you through the magnificent area where rain, wind and frost have carved steep canyons, sharp ridges, gullies and pinnacles, providing a glimpse into the relentless pace of geologic change. A lunch break on your own will be planned as well at the Cedar Pass Lodge. Exit Badlands National Park for some free time at the world famous Wall Drug. This unique shopping emporium is filled with fun activities, displays and more. Return in Rapid City est. at 3:45-4:00 pm.
*Includes transportation, narration, Badlands fee, sales tax and based on 35 passenger min.
** Group on own for meal, HOWEVER, groups need to make menu selections in advance. Cost is $13 for entree (hamburger, Indian Taco, buffalo burger or chicken salad with drink (coffee, tea, soda, water) and includes tax and tip)
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 –
Hill City/Mt. Rushmore: $74.00 p/person inclusive.
Meet group at motel at 1:00 pm, dept. 1:15 pm travel to Keystone. Board the 1880 Train for a vintage ride through history which will depart at 2:30 pm. Group arrival in the town of Hill City; take some time to explore downtown Hill City known for their art galleries such as Jon Crane, jewelry shops to geological history. Stop at Prairie Berry Winery with South Dakota wines since 1876. They currently offer more than 15 grape, fruit and honey wines to taste and purchase, all completely made onsite. Enjoy BBQ Pork, House Potato Salad, and Beans. Reload 6:30 pm and travel to Mt. Rushmore National Memorial via Hwy 385/244 with a short stop at Washington’s profile, then free time to explore Mt. Rushmore. Tour, photos, then prepare for the Patriotic nightly Lighting Ceremony program which begins at 8:00 pm. Return in Rapid City est. 9:45-10:00 pm.
*Includes transportation, narration, Mt. Rushmore parking fee, 1880 Train tickets, and meal at Prairie Berry Winery, sales tax and based on a 35 passenger minimum.
Thursday, September 20, 2012 –
Crazy Horse/Custer State Park: $56.00 p/person.
Meet at the motel at 9:00 am, dept. 9:15 AM for Custer State Park. Travel down scenic Iron Mountain Road known for its pig-tail bridges and tunnels that frame Mt. Rushmore in the distance. Arrive at a gracious stone and wood lodge set in a beautiful mountain valley, surrounded by ponderosa pine forest known as the State Game Lodge. While at this “Summer White House”, enjoy an included lunch buffet. On the menu: fresh greens and an array of fresh fruit and vegetables. Delicious prepared salads followed by Chef’s hot bar selections, soup, genuine Custer State Park buffalo stew, carving station and dessert table. Includes choice of soft drink, ice tea or coffee. Travel to Crazy Horse Memorial, another awe-inspiring rock carving over 50 years in the process. Return to Rapid City est. 3:15 – 3:30 pm.
*Includes transportation, narration, admissions for Crazy Horse & Custer State Park, lunch buffet, sales tax and based on a minimum of 35 passengers.
Friday, September 21, 2012 –
Northern Hills: $66.00 p/person inclusive.
Meet group at motel at 2:00 pm, dept. 2:15 PM for Deadwood. Long before the modern day gaming halls were built, Deadwood was known as a lawless town run by infamous gamblers and gunslingers and home to legendary characters like Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock. Depart at 3:30 pm on Deadwood’s finest journey through time. As you travel down Deadwood’s cobblestone streets, you will hear about an era gone by. Arrive at Mt. Moriah Cemetery where you will learn about all the characters who contributed to Deadwood’s history. Enjoy free time in Deadwood to explore the casinos and more. Gather at the Silverado for your evening Crab buffet included (time est. 6:30 pm). Reload at 8:00 pm for return to Rapid City at 9:00 pm.
*Includes transportation, narration, Mt. Moriah tickets, Silverado Buffet, sales tax and based on a 35 passenger minimum.
2012 Reunion Schedule of Events
Monday, 17 Sept.
1000-1600 Registration in the lobby
1200 - ? Hospitality room open
1700 -2000 Rapid City Tour (dinner on your own).
Tuesday, 18 Sept
0800 - ? Hospitality room open
0900-1630 Badlands, Wall Drug, Minuteman Silo, and lunch on your own at Cedar
Wednesday, 19 Sept.
0800 - ? Hospitality room open
1300 Train ride/ Hill City/Mt Rushmore lighting Ceremony.
Lunch at Prairie Berry Winery
Thursday, 20 Sept.
0800 - ? Hospitality room open
0900- 1530 Crazy Horse/Custer State Park. Lunch Buffet at State Game Lodge
Friday, 21 Sept.
0800 - ? Hospitality room open
1400-2100 Deadwood, Mt. Moriah tour and Silverado’s Crab Buffet
Saturday, 22 Sept.
0900-1100 Business meeting.
(Hospitality room closed during business meeting)
1100-1600 Hospitality Room open
(Closes at 1600 to set up for Dinner Dance)
1800-1900 Social Hour
1900 - ? Dinner Dance in Hospitality room, Music
Entertainment provided by Jake Beard
Sunday, 23 Sept.
0800-1200 Check out and departure
(Help will be needed packing up the Hospitality room and museum)
Navy Nuclear Weapons Association 27th Annual Reunion
17 – 23 September, 2012 Rapid City, South Dakota
Fully complete this form and submit to Treasurer at the address below. If you have any questions, please contact:
Host names: Bill Beard (608) 393- 1079 Bill Melby (406)- 431-1572
You can make your Hotel Room Reservations by calling the following number and mentioning the Navy Nuclear Weapons Association: 1-866-742-1300. The deadline for room reservations is August 31st.
Tour 1: Rapid City, Sept. 17 Number attending _____ @$19.00 p/person $_______
Tour 2: Badlands, Sept. 18 Number attending _____ @$38.00 p/person $_______
Lunch on your own (must select one) Hamburger___ Indian taco___ Buffalo burger___ Chicken___
Tour 3: Hill City/Mt. Rushmore, Sept. 19 Number attending _____ @$74.00 p/person $______
Tour 4: Crazy Horse/Custer State Park, Sept. 20 Number attending _____ @$56.00 p/person $______
Tour 5 Northern Hills, Sept. 21 Number attending _____ @$66.00 p/person $______
Saturday dinner dance Number Attending______@$34.50 p/person $______
Chicken Breast Picata #____
Salmon with Lemon Champagne Sauce, #____
10oz Prime Rib of Beef #____
Grand Total $_____
How many reunions have you attended? _____
Making this reunion more successful requires volunteers to help in the areas below:
Running the Hospitality Suite Yes ____
Help at the Registration desk. Yes ___
Running Errands for supplies Yes ____
Members Name ______________________________
Address _________________________________ City __________________________ State ___ ZIP _______
Phone Number (_____) ____-_______
Do you or your guest require any assistance due to a disability? Yes_____
Complete this form and send your Grand Total Check by mail no later than August 15 2011 to:
1087 Frank Kelly Rd,
Society Hill, SC 29593