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We are conducting a short survey to assist us in making hotel arrangements for REGROUPEX 20, the next major reunion scheduled for crew-members of the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680).

Scheduled for June 22-25, 2020, we need your input to negotiate the best rate with our target hotel, the Best Western Silverdale Beach, in Silverdale, Washington.

It is expected this survey will take about 2 minutes, and you can only take it one time. You are encouraged to reach out to other Bates shipmates and invite them to log in to the website and take the survey for themselves.

Take a few minutes to complete it right now - I was hoping to have this to the hotel by 1 October, but that depends on the response. I’ll extend it if necessary, but each day puts our window at risk, so take the few minutes necessary to log in and let me know if you are going to attend.

If that’s too much work, send me an IM, email, text, or contact me thru Facebook! I need to know!

If you know someone who does not have internet access, or would rather complete the survey using pen and paper, printed copies are available on request.

Please contact Brad Williamson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 269.426.1880 if you have trouble or questions.

Click the link below to go to go to the survey page. You will need to be already logged in, or navigate to:

REUNIONS >> REGROUPEX 20 >> REGROUPEX 20 ATTENDANCE PLANS

Confidentiality Notice: This is NOT an anonymous survey. Your identification details are captured during this survey response. The details may be used in the future to contact you or for statistical purposes. Your responses will be kept confidential from general public and are available only to the manager(s) of this survey.

REGROUPEX 20 - June 22-25, 2020 in Silverdale, Washington, is a go. You can put it on your schedule, and as soon as we sign a contract with the hotel, start making your travel arrangements.

At this point, it looks like we will be contracting with the Best Western Silverdale Beach to host REGROUPEX 20. As soon as we have a contract signed, we will know the final room cost and be able to start making reservations. That should happen the first week of October, but it does depend on you!

You need to complete the survey on the www.ssn-680.org website so we have an idea about how many rooms we need to block out at the Best Western. There will be details about the survey in the Familygram that will be mailed to everyone on the 23rd or 24th of September.

Some of you may have noticed I haven’t been around much the last two months, and if you have, I’m grateful.

If you missed the updates on Facebook (about all I’ve had the time or strength to do), the second of August brought horrific news. At the time, Margaret and I were headed into Canada to celebrate our 35th anniversary, when a phone call turned our world upside down.

At lunchtime that day, my sister Melissa, her husband Bob, their 22 year-old daughter Landyn, and my youngest brother Kent were killed instantly in a collision with a drunk driver here in Michigan. In that moment, five children lost their parents, my sister-in-law Karen lost her husband, her six children lost their father, and I lost two of my three siblings.

Chris Pipkin, ET2(SS), Nav ET - Operations/Electronics, served with us on the Bates from 79-83. I was just informed by his step-son, Christopher Radke, that Chris passed away on the evening of September 22, succumbing to injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident earlier that morning.

Fair winds and following seas, Chris. You were our brother. You will be missed.

————-

I will post funeral service information for those of you in SoCal that might want to attend, and Chris’ Honors page will go up shortly.

If you have photos or or information that we can use, please email them directly to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

More to follow…

Last night many of you received the first text message sent from the www.ssn-680.org website and the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association.

This feature works hand-in-hand with our Familygram newsletter emailing system, and creates a new way to stay connected with you, especially in the case where your email address or mailing address has not been updated.

What do I need to know, you ask?

First, we protect your privacy. You will not receive advertising or nuisance texts. The system can only be used by administrators of the website, and for now, that means me!

Second, all texts will come to you through this phone number: 269.234.1751. This is the text phone number for the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association, so create a contact on your phone with this number, and then you will see who the text is from immediately.

I know I keep ragging on you to keep your profiles on the website up-to-date, but there is method to my madness. Your profile is the mechanism by which the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association keeps you informed using the Familygram newsletter, and now, by text message.

We have just upgraded the website to allow us to send you periodic SMS text messages for notifications of major events or to track you down when your email no longer works.

Don’t expect many - it does cost us about 3/4 of a cent for each message that goes out, so don’t expect more than one or two a month.

Once everybody has a few days to update their profiles, I’ll send a couple of texts. One will allow you to opt out, if you desire to not be bothered, but I’d encourage you to stay with it and let me use texts to keep you in the loop. After that, they’ll be relatively infrequent, unless your Familygram bounces, and of course, your phone numbers, like your street address, are never revealed to anyone without your permission.

All this means that it is more important than ever to keep your profile information up-to-date. So get hot, or get dink, and watch your phone for text messages from the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association.

Robert Burns, Scottish poet and lyricist, may have known something when he wrote those oft quoted words, “The best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry!”. Those of us that served in the boats were more than aware that “no plan survives first contact with the enemy.”

So it should come as no surprise to you when I tell you we have to change the dates of REGROUPEX 20.

What!!! I can hear it now. I hope that nobody has purchased plane tickets that can’t be rescheduled, because believe me, if there was any other way to deal with this, I’d take it. But there’s not, or so it seems, so here we are.

It turns out that today’s Navy is not the Navy we left years ago. Today’s Navy doesn’t work weekends, at least when it comes to providing tours of in-port submarines. I recently got off the phone with the Kitsap Naval Base Public Affairs Office, and they politely reminded me that boat tours at Kitsap are only scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays! I understand the scheduling concerns, but I’m highly suspicious that the Saturday and Sunday duty sections just want to sleep in!

So, that means we have to adjust. To improvise, to adapt, to overcome.

REGROUPEX 20 Countdown

Fund Sailing List Research!

Help fund SSN–680.org research and recover Personnel Diaries and Quarterly Muster Reports from the National Archives, helping us in our goal to identify every sailor that sailed on the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) and add them to the Master Sailing List.

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© 2019 Brad Williamson
and/or the
USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) Association
or respective image owners
 
All Rights Reserved
 
Permission is granted for not-for-profit reproduction of text and images under the condition that all attribution as to owner and source is included,
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