NOUS Northwest Well-Represented at 2018 Congress in San Antonio!

The 2019 NOUS National Congress week concluded on Saturday evening,  27 October in San Antonio with the NOUS Northwest Commandery well-represented by John and Cricket Laible; Harry and Nancy Stengele; Gil and Sherry Beyer; and Joe and Cindy Valenta.  (See photo below)

L-R John & Cricket Laible, Nancy & Harry Stengele, Cindy & Joe Valenta, and Sherry & Gil Beyer

An overall attendee count of 55 companions and 25 spouses took part in this annual event, hosted by the Texas Commandery, with the theme of “Come and Take It”  The meeting was filled with four days of presentations, discussions, awards and camaraderie in remembrance of the “Persistent, Dedicated, and Defiant Fighting Spirit of the Nation’s Sea Services.”

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 2.46.17 PM
The 2018 Congress was hosted by the Texas Commandery

Friday’s luncheon recognized Sgt Maj Angela Maness, USMC (Ret.) as the recipient of the Senior Enlisted Distinguished Sea Service Award.

During Saturday’s luncheon ceremonies, the Admiral of the Navy George Dewey Award was presented to Mr. Marshall Cloyd.  Additionally, RADM Douglas Moore, USN (Ret.) received the Distinguished Alumnus Award, presented by the Navy Supply Corps Foundation.

On Saturday evening, the Distinguished Sea Service Award (DSSA) was presented to Admiral James Winnefeld, USN (Ret.) as the recipient of the Senior Officer DSSA.

All of the National Officers elected last year continue into the second year of their terms so CAPT Paul Crissy, USCG (Ret.) will continue as our Commander General (CG).


Our own companion and Commander, CAPT Joe Valenta, USN (Ret.)  was elected to fill the vacant national office of Vice Commander General-Project Director to a 2-year term.  In this role he will be providing project management guidance to new and several current projects in addition to making a quarterly progress report of this work to the CG.

Next year’s Congress will convene on 23 October 2019 in Boston, the birthplace of the Naval Order as well as the homeport of the USS Constitution.  For your travel plans, more details will be provided in this blog as they are received in early 2019.

A full debrief of the 2018 Congress will be provided by Joe and our other delegates on 10 November during the Historic Celebration Brunch at Everett Naval Station.

NOUS Commander Joe and Cindy Valenta in formal dress for the final evening’s dinner and presentation of the Distinguished Sea Service Award

Companions will certainly want to participate in the final two NOUS Northwest meetings of 2018, including the Everett brunch (10 November) which will focus on the history of the US Navy and Marines leading up to and including the Spanish American War.  On 7 December, we will have our final gathering for the year at Arnie’s Restaurant in Mukilteo.

NOUS Northwest Commander (Sel) John Laible at Closing Dinner of the 2018 Congress

At that dinner, Joe will pass the NOUS Northwest baton to CAPT John Laible, USN (Ret.), pictured above, at our Change of Command ceremony.  A remembrance of Pearl Harbor will also be included in the evening’s agenda led by John.

Companion Harry Stengele (background) in a final gathering on Saturday night
John and Cricket Laible all set for the dinner and the presentation of the Distinguished Sea Service Award
Sherry and Companion Gil Beyer enjoying the reception prior to the closing dinner
Companion Treasurer and Recorder Harry and Nancy Stengele all set for the closing dinner
Robert 'Pete' Peterson & Paul Crissy
CAPT Robert “Pete” Peterson, USN (Ret.), (l) Navy SEAL and author of “A SEAL Plank Owner’s Vietnam Experience, 1964 – 1975” with (r) NOUS Commander General CAPT Paul Crissy, USCG (Ret.)
Paul Crissy & Marc Liebman
NOUS Commander General CAPT Paul Crissy, USCG (Ret.) (l) with CAPT Marc Liebman, USN (Ret.), author of “Navy Combat SAR in Vietnam – An Untold Story”.  Gil Beyer reported that Marc was particularly happy to get a pen made with “Old Ironsides” wood!
Chuck & Diane Paskersian
Gil and Sherry Beyer (r) enjoying the evening with Chuck and Diane Paskerian
A great evening for all!

The weather at the congress was beautiful, including an 80-degree afternoon which was perfect for touring the Alamo.  Below (right) are Joe and Cindy Valenta in front of the Alamo along with images of a monument (top left) dedicated to the fallen, including Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie.  Also below (left bottom) is a tour guide describing a steel model of the original fort layout.

Additional photos (below) provide further evidence of the festive setting and active participants who attended the San Antonio gathering.  If you can fit it into your 2019 calendar, be sure to include the Boston Congress in your plans for October!


Texas Commandery logo image taken from Texas Commandery website

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