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Our countdown clock indicates 30 days and 8 hours until the official start of REGROUPEX 17. Time to get moving, and get registered!

The soft deadline for registration is 21 August 2017, marked by a total eclipse of the sun over much of the United States! Don’t let the skies go dark without completing your registration and making payment for REGROUPEX 17.

This deadline is important. Your registration tells us you’ll be there, which lets us plan for refreshments, make name tags, arrange the REGROUPEX 17 dinner, and pay for all those last minute details that need to be resolved before you can walk into the SSN 680 Hospitality Suite and start reconnecting!

Some of you have been asking, “What’s up with REGROUPEX 17? Is there a schedule of events? Is there anything to do besides sit around and trade sea stories with old shipmates? What’s up when we get tired of reminiscing with old friends?" (As if that would ever happen!)

Finally, after many delays that are solely my responsibility, I am pleased to announce, thanks in large part to our very own Event Coordinator, Ron Squiers, we have a Schedule of Events. It can be found on the www.ssn-680.org website under REUNIONS >> REGROUPEX 17 >> SCHEDULE OF EVENTS.

Chuck Phillippe (TM1/SS/DV - 4/78 to 1/80) jumped in, or should I say “dove in” to help with REGROUPEX 17 on the ground in Orlando because he spends so much time there. Here are his recommendations for those who want to RV/trailer/cabin/camp their way through REGROUPEX 17.

In Chuck's words, more or less...

20 regroupex 17Curious as to what the REGROUPEX 17 digs will look like?

Is the Hospitality Suite up to your standards?

How does it compare to all the exotic resort locations we experienced on those Pacific cruises, traveling in all the style a 300+ foot, multi-million dollar pleasure liner could afford?

You remember those bastions of genteel tranquility such as only could be found in the tropical paradises of Pattaya Beach, Grande Island, Diego Garcia and other similarly storied locations?

All I can say is feast your eyes upon this, my shipmates. Look at that spacious floorpan, almost twice what we had in San Diego. Imagine yourself comfortably ensconced in the understated comfort of Rosen’s Shingle Creek Resort, a snifter of Grand Marnier, the Great Mariner in your hand, enveloped in the relaxing atmosphere you see pictured here, sharing stories with your brothers in arms.

Just a quick tease for all of you registering for REGROUPEX 17! The ball caps are in, thanks to Donna and Miles Bradley, Scott Elder, and Ron Squiers. Donna did all the heavy lifting with the vendor, with Miles, Scott, and Ron providing ‘supervisory oversight’, as well as the financial support.

These four are your generous sponsors contributing the ball caps to every shipmate attending REGROUPEX 17 in Orlando, FL, this September 1-4 at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort.

They look similar to the ones we had for REGROUPEX 09, with gold stitching on a solid blue, heavy duty ball cap. We did have the foresight to order both silver and gold dolphins to correspond with the dishes you ate off of on the boat so nobody feels left out!

If you haven’t yet registered, get hot, and go to the www.ssn-680.org website, and register using the appropriate button in the right hand column of the website.

If you are not able to attend, but still want a snazzy Bates ball cap, or you are attending, and just want an extra one, let me know directly, or you can wait a few days and I’ll have an order form up for you in the ship’s store.

Independence Day, 2017

Lost in a day of celebration, tailgate parties, horseshoes and bean-bag toss, sparklers and fireworks, and a thousand other enjoyable and well-earned distractions, is the underlying truth that our foundling nation’s freedom from an oppressive monarchy, now our staunchest ally, came at great cost for those that made the decision that those simple colonies, now these United States, strike out on their own.

These men, and the women that stood with them, pledged much more than allegiance. They staked their fortunes, their sacred honor, and their very lives on the slim chance that success at independence might make the world a better place, at least for those who occupied this small fraction of the North American continent.

How it pains me, that while many lived to see their new-found freedom celebrated in the streets of places like Boston, Philadelphia, New York, these new American patriots did not live to see what a simple, honest, commitment to the rights of man, and an unrelenting pursuit of these freedoms, even unto death, would do to change an entire world.

It’s time! REGROUPEX 17 is now officially less than two months away, so it’s time to step up and put your money where your mouth is. You guessed it! Registration time!

It’s not enough to say you want to be there, it’s now time to commit.

The way you commit is easy. Simply visit the www.ssn-680.org website. On every page, that’s right, you don’t even have to log in, but on every page you’ll see a series of four or five modules (like those shown above) in the right hand column that start with the words “REGROUPEX 17.

Choose the desired module, and click REGISTER. You will be taken off-site to the secure “SSN 680” Paypal page where you can pay your registration fee with Paypal if you have an account, or with any credit or debit card if you don’t. Couldn’t be easier.

Current Watchsection

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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