The attendance for the March 2014 meeting was 101.

Opening Ceremonies: The meeting was called to order by Base Vice-Commander Jerry Stout. A quorum was present and the meeting started at 1901. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Invocation and Tolling of the Boats lost in March was given by Base Chaplain Nick Nichols. The USSVI Creed was read by Base Secretary Rick Wise. Jerry welcomed the members and guests to the meeting.

Guest Speaker: State Representative Joe Daning of the Goose Creek area was introduced and talked about the legislation that had been introduced to try to save USS Clamagore SS-343. A concurrent resolution has been submitted and is in the House Ways and Means Committee. This type of legislation was chosen since the path to approval is not as strenuous and it can go into effect sooner. The limitation is that is only good of one year from the date of passage. Since the previous week was budget week it was not taken up by the committee but Joe has been assured by the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee that they will act on it quickly.

Introductions: The following were new attendees to Charleston Base meetings: MM1(SS) Chris Gatlia, Qual Boat USS Henry M. Jackson SSBN 730; MMCS(SS) James McDonald, Qual Boat USS Daniel Boone SSBN 629, MTC(SS) Luke Murphy Qual Boat USS Nathan Hale SSBN 623 and Richard (Dick) Rein brother of base member Dave Rein who worked for the Department of the Navy as a civilian employee.

Secretary/Little David: Base Secretary Rick Wise reported that the February meeting minutes had published in the newsletter ands on the base website. Ken Curtis made a motion to approve the February meeting minutes as published. The motion was seconded and carried on a voice vote. Rick also reported to the base that motions passed at base meetings are now included in the bylaws as Standing Rules. This provides a way to quickly find them. As for the Little David Project, working parties are currently planned for March 28 and 29. The March 28 working party will be preparation work and he only needs 3 volunteers. The March 29 working party will be painting the David. The COB will send out the information on the working parties the week of the working parties.

Treasurer/Newsletter: Base Treasurer Steve Morawiec gave a report on the Charleston Base finances. He reported that the annual report had been submitted to USSVI National and had been acknowledged. He also reported that the base had spent $96 more than we received in 2013. The March Newsletter has been sent out.

Vice Commander: Base Vice Commander Jerry Stout told the base that the Submarine Birthday/Amberjack Memorial Ceremonies will be held at the Cold War Submarine Memorial, Mt. Pleasant, SC of Saturday, April 12 at 1100.

Chaplain and Webmaster: Base Chaplain and Webmaster Nick Nichols gave the following report: Chaplain’s March Report:

Each month I hope to highlight one of the lost boats. This month: USS TRITON (SS-201) was commissioned in August 1940 and sunk on March 15, 1943 north of the Admiralty Islands during a fight with 3 Japanese Destroyers. Triton was the 1st boat to engage the enemy in December 1941 off Wake Island, having sunk 9 ships, 1 submarine and a destroyer during her brief career.

Historic date: March 13, 1895: Award of first submarine building contract to John P. Holland Torpedo Boat Co.

MSC(SS) Benny McDonald departed on Eternal Patrol March 7th. Benny’s service was this past Tuesday. Shirley and Benny’s family thanks everyone for their support during Benny’s sickness and sends a very special thank you to those who attended the funeral.

STCM(SS) Al Lammers departed on Eternal Patrol January 11th. Al’s memorial service was held on Saturday, February 22nd at 1500 at the Goose Creek American Legion. Read card from Shelagh Lammers.

Three funerals in a month. The family truly appreciates looking at a sea of SUBVET vests at the services. I really appreciate you being there to support the family and each other.

There are many ongoing issues with our members. Keep remembering them in your prayers and thoughts.

AB Campbell’s father-in-law passed away on March 2nd in Oklahoma.

Larry Cox is in Trident Hospital Rm 318 waiting on an MRI on his neck. His blood pressure dropped dangerously low.

Clyde Peters is still in Mt. Pleasant Manor Nursing Home, 921 Bowman Rd, Rm 323. Visitors would be appreciated. His memory and abilities are getting worse.

Several follow-ups were made on those who’ve had surgery or illnesses in the last couple of months along with the base sending additional cards.

If you know of shipmates or spouses from other bases who are having a difficult time, had surgery, etc. and would like for USSVI Charleston Base to send them a card please send their name and address to the Chaplain via email or phone call.

WEBMASTER REPORT: The website is being updated frequently. Keep the inputs coming and I’ll get them posted. There is a section on the website to announce boat reunions.

Membership: Membership Chairman Don Mook reported we now have 319 members.

Storekeeper/Election Coordinator: Base Storekeeper Ken Hutchison reported as Election Coordinator he reported he has two nominations for Base Vice Commander – Don Mook and Jerry Stout and that Rick Wise is running unopposed for Base Secretary.

Veterans Affairs/ DAV: Ken Curtis warned the base of a new VA scam that started in the Northeast. The scam starts with a phone call from someone claiming to be with the VA and wanting to verify your information. DO NOT GIVE YOUR INFORMATION OUT OVER THE PHONE.

FRA: Rick Sparger told the base that the FRA was looking at opening the kitchen on some Sundays that were NASCAR race days. They will have hot dogs and chili every Sunday and are looking for volunteers to cook a meal. The FRA picnic is May 16 & 17 at Short Stay. The menu Friday evening (May 16) is Barbequed Leg Quarters and is free for FRA members and family. The menu Saturday afternoon is hamburgers and hot dogs and all the trimmings and is free. The menu Saturday night is Barbeque, rice, hash and slaw and is $5 a head. Provide your own beverages. Come out and enjoy a good picnic!

Scholarship: Chairman Julian Villegas reminded the base that he had Charleston Base Challenge Coins for sale at $12 each to support the Scholarship Fund. The new applications are available on-line. The deadline for applications is April 15th. The Scholarship Committee has been filled by Gary Williams.

Holland Club: Holland Club Chairman John Kratz reminded the base that the Holland Club inductions this year will be held at the next base meeting and there are 30 members to induct into the Holland Club. Members being inducted are encouraged to invite friends and family to attend.

Nuclear Historian: Rick Carlson reported that the Navy is now evaluating new safety boots. These have composite toes instead of steel toes. The purpose is so that LPOs will no longer demean the sailors when the kick them in the ass! He also related the following story: Vern was employed out at Nuclear Power School but spends two nights a week bowling and plays golf every Saturday. Vern’s wife thought he was putting too much effort into his work and wanted to do something to help him relax so she took him to a local strip club. The doorman at the club and greeted them with “Hi Vern. How ya doin’!” The wife was puzzled and asked “Have you been to this club before?” “No. No.” replied Vern “He’s in my bowling league.” Once they were seated the waitress came by and asked Vern if he wanted his usual and brought a Budweiser. “How did she know you drank Budweiser?” asked his wife. “She’s waitress at the golf club and that’s how she knows that.” The stripper comes over and gives Vern a hug rubbing he body all over him and saying “Hey Vern. You want the usual table dance, Big Boy?” Vern’s wife, now furious, grabs her purse and storms out of the club. Norm hauls ass after her and when he catches up and tries to explain, once they’re in the cab, the stripper must have mistaken him for someone else, but his wife is having none of it. She starts to call him every four-lettered word in the book. The cabbie turns around and says “You really picked a bitch this time, Vern!” Vern’s funeral is Monday.

The After Battery: The annual Hog Roast is 1-6 April, with the actual hog roast on 5 April. People will be arriving from up and down the East Coast, Canada and one from Arizona. All SubVets are welcome. There is no charge for the event but donations are encouraged. There will be a lot of campers out there. If you want to bring a camper contact John Kratz. Last names A-M, bring a side; N-Z, bring a dessert.

Chief of the Boat: Rick Sparger reported the Charlie Hudson and Gary Wilson have volunteered to serve on the Recreation Committee. Rick talked about the Hunley-Housatonic Memorial Service held on Feb. 17. There was the biggest turn-out for the event that he can remember. Events coming up in April: Apr 7-11 the SouthEast Regional Convention in Cary, NC.; Apr 11 Submarine Birthday Ball, Apr. 12 the Submarine Birthday/Amberjack Memorial Service. Chris Gatlia was there to sell tickets to the Submarine Birthday Ball. Tickets are available at the website . At the February meeting someone left a Submarine Veterans of WWII hat and two books. If you left them contact the COB.

Base Commander: As acting Commander Jerry Stout had no report.

Old Business: Marty Sessler gave an update on the new float trailer. Construction should start next week and we are still working on getting the old trailer ready for local parades.

New Business: None.

Good of the Order: Rodney McKanna reminded the membership if anyone is a member of VFW Post 3433 (Ladson Post) that the election are April 1. Rick Wise stated that the dynamics of a organization is that 10% of the members do the heavy lifting of the organization. Charleston Base is about 10 members short of the 10%. Please, if you can help, join us in keeping the base operating. The following Boat Reunions are coming up: USS Andrew Jackson is having a Reunion Cruise leaving from Charleston 4-9 April, USS Simon Bolivar at the old Sheraton in North Charleston 30 March – 3 Apr and the USS Sea Poacher 29 April – 2 May in Mt. Pleasant, SC. USS Nathaniel Greene has a reunion coming up.

Depth Charge: The depth charge was won by Richard Rein who contributed the winnings to the Scholarship Fund.

Meeting Adjourned: Following the benediction by Base Chaplain Nick Nichols, the Base Vice-Commander adjourned the meeting at 1958.

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