P.O.D.
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Churchhill Pirates Religion T.S. Eliot Quote - Going too far Home Address Brotherhood

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.

One year out from REGROUPEX 20, and there already isn’t a moment to lose!

A reunion is only as successful as the efforts of volunteers make it. Without your effort, REGROUPEX 09 and REGROUPEX 17 would not have been possible. REGROUPEX 20 depends on those of you that can step forward and pick up the load.

This is our first call for the volunteers that will form the REGROUPEX 20 Tiger Team. I have attached a list of responsibilities that we will need to address in order to successfully pull off REGROUPEX 20. Somebody, either me or you, has to take on these activities for others to enjoy the privilege of sitting around trading sea stories, memories, and bad jokes with shipmates from decades past, which, interestingly enough, turns out to be a lot of fun!

These positions/responsibilities form the REGROUPEX 20 Tiger Team. If you want to have some input into REGROUPEX 20, taking on one or more of these responsibilities guarantees it!

Time to update your calendars - REGROUPEX 20 is nailed down!

Sorting through the feedback from the REGROUPEX 20 planning survey, the 19th - 21st of June, 2020, seems the way to go. Hotels in the Silverdale/Kitsap/Bremerton area are available and interested and the only critical issue remaining is getting a commitment from the USN for a tour of an operational boat that weekend. Mark your calendar now.

We’ll have a window before and after for hotel reservations if you want to extend your stay. I’ll plan on arriving Thursday evening, and departing Tuesday AM, as has become my practice, unless one of you can convince me otherwise.

Speaking of tours, I need a volunteer to be responsible for arranging said event, a genuine Boat Tour Coordinator.

Amoeba Races! For those in the know, Amoeba Races are the grand-daddy of SSN-680 reunions. The first known Amoeba Race was held at Ocean Shores, WA, on August 29, 1998. Attended by crew members from the late 70’s (and Ted Mercure) the festivities of the day charted the course for USS William H. Bates reunions to come.

For those of you that dream of simpler times, when a group of shipmates could gather and reminisce (OK, lie their way through dozens of sea stories) without much advance notice, cost, or effort, your time has come. For those of you that can’t wait to reconnect until June of next year and REGROUPEX 20, this may be just the thing.

Terry Stanley has thrown out the invitation to all of us to join him on his farm in Theodosia, Missouri, on September 21st of this year for another of the much-heralded Amoeba Races. He has offered to smoke 4 or 5 slabs of ribs, chickens, brats, hot dogs, etc., and whip up a batch of beans for anyone who wants to spend the day on the farm with all the similarly inclined shipmates willing to muster.

The Master Sailing List Research Project was started at the beginning of March last year with the intent of identifying all officers and enlisted that have been assigned to the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) and incorporating them into the Master Sailing List.

To do so, it would be necessary to obtain all of the boat’s muster official muster reports, known as Officer and Enlisted Personnel Diaries, from the National Archives and Records Administration. Using these documents, as well as Enlisted Distribution Verification Reports and Officer Control and Distribution Reports, it was anticipated that we would be able to verify all existing members and identify all personnel that had been assigned to the USS William H. Bates (SSN 680) then incorporated them into our Master Sailing List.

At the time, I naively estimated the project could be completed by the end of 2018, but, as they say, little did I know!

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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