2007 Reunion: Tales, NTINS, thoughts and remarks!

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ELT627
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2007 Reunion: Tales, NTINS, thoughts and remarks!

Post by ELT627 » Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:02 pm

I have been to reunions and conventions of all kinds, but I can honestly say I never have had as much fun as I did at this Madison Reunion. I would first like to thank Grady, Fred and Charline for their great efforts in putting it all together. When Grady became overloaded at work, Charline and Fred pulled it all together in such a way that it was a wonderful and memorial reunion. Everyone enjoyed the tours of the Sub Base and the Museum and the participation in the Tolling of the Boats was outstanding. Our gracious appreciation goes to the outgoing Commander of Groton Base of USSVI, John (Gumba) Carciapollo who understands the significance of remembering our shipmates who have paid the ultimate cost for their country.

We were so honored to have Dan and Vickie Ashley as our Honored Guests and to stand at the tolling of the Boats in their presence, understanding their loss and sharing it with them was a time I will never forget. How proud we are of them and of Joseph.

Dan and Vickie told some of their story and shared some of their loss with us at the banquet and I don't know when I have ever heard 70 submariners and their wives sit in such rapt silence. It touched every heart there and few tears were dry, but it was a testimony of the closeness of shipmates and demonstrated why we go to these reunions. Because in the past it could have been any one of us.

Grady's introduction of the Ashley's was more profound than I knew he was capable of and it really set the tone for the Ashley's to speak. He did a wonderful job and helped us to focus on the reality of the loss of another submariner and the way we always draw together to support one another.

On a personal side, I got to meet some of the wives who took care of my wife, who took her in, gave her rides to the hospital and supported her after I had been hit by the car in Port Canaveral. They are still the same caring, supportive wonderful people they were then and I am so happy to have gotten to know them.

After 23 days in intensive care in Cocoa Beach, the Navy had med-evaced me to Charleston and except for a pink lady volunteer, Sue Thompson, I had not seen any of my shipmates for 30 years and had not met most of the wives who helped during that time until this reunion.

The hospitality room flowed with no-shitters, the stories and the responses were typical submarine, but more poignant because many of them happened while you were there. It was a reunion to keep tucked in the memory banks and I am already looking forward to the next one.

If you have not noticed it, there is a poll posted for a location on the next reunion. While it seems a long time away, it is important to select a location soon and to begin to make the arrangements so we can obtain the best rates and venues while they are available.


DON'T MISS ANOTHER REUNION, YOU OR YOUR FRIEND YOU WANT TO SEE MAY NOT BE THERE IF YOU WAIT TOO LONG.

Gil
ELT627

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