15 March 2019 – Annual Vietnam Veterans’ Dinner, Arnie’s Restaurant, Mukilteo, WA
The meeting was called to order by Captain John C. Laible at Arnie’s restaurant, Mukilteo, Wa. at 1945. Present were Captain John Laible, Captain Joe Valenta, Commander Dan Limberg, Chief John Gertin, PO3 Mark Thompson, Floyd Kershner, Janine Whitaker and Cricket Laible.
Captain Laible expressed a special Thank You to Floyd Kershner for his fantastic extra effort setting up our detailed membership list and the many hours setting up the NOUS PNW Skype and Evite programs. Great job Floyd.
A hearty Thank You to Captain Joe Valenta for setting up this year’s Discussion Group subjects and meetings. When you attend, you would believe that you were a student back at the Naval War College. Another Great Job Joe.
Floyd and Mark are now working on our next step to educate the PNW about our NOUS organization. Floyd is now working on the script and technical procedures for presentations to all of the service organizations in the Greater Seattle area and to see if we can be spotlighted by our local TV stations for the “local interest” segments.
Mark will work on arranging the presentations to the service organizations and finding a better meeting environment at hopefully $0 cost or very minimum at locations convenient to our area members. Our outlying members can participate via Skype.
Since the theme for the nights dinner meeting was “Remembering our Viet Nam Veterans”, several of our members shared their stories of their service during that time. Captain Joe Valenta also shared about his time as the Gunnery Officer on the Cruiser Oklahoma City. He was on board when Life Magazine did a cover story with awesome pictures of the ship firing in the 8/6/65 issue. In addition he shared a picture of himself with the Oklahoma City in the back ground just before it became a “Reef”.
PO3 Mark Thompson shared his experience attending the commissioning of the USS Tulsa (LCS-16) in San Francisco on 16 February 2019 and showed us the special commissioning challenge coins he received.
Our next meeting will be our second Discussion Group this year conducted by Captain Valenta at address to be advised. The meeting is scheduled from 5:30 pm until 8:00 pm, with the first 30 minutes devoted to setting up the Skype connections. And there will be an Administrative meeting to be held on May 6, location and time to be announced shortly. At that time, we will work on more special field trips and lectures for this year in addition to the schedule already organized.