USS Perry reunion 2001 highlights

To all Perry Shipmates:

October 22, 2001

Bravo Zulu to everyone attending the reunion. This display of courage and patriotism during these troubled times made us proud to be Perry shipmates and above all, Americans. The spirit of our Perry was truly alive and ‘kickin’ as we shared sea stories, discussed current events and made plans for our future reunion. The cheers at our hospitality suite could be heard throughout the Hotel when we were told our Navy boys were kickin terrorist ass. It couldn’t get any better.

The weather was beautiful for the entire stay of our Reunion, making our brunch Cruise on the Johns River and St Augustine events especially enjoyable. However, not being able to visit the Mayport Naval Base was a bummer. This tour was replaced with the Princess Yacht cruise, which kept everyone busy throughout the Reunion. Our Banquet was the highlight of our Reunion. The Banquet started with Chief Mike Vanderschaaf piping Rear Admiral David Pruett aboard and the Admiral returning a salute to the Perry Honor guard. After a few laughs and introductions, Will Pruett then gave the invocation, thanking God for all we have and asking that our Association shipmates who passed on be especially remembered. Martin Deeney then continued the invocation with a very heart moving video presentation of the USS Cole, which culminated in crescendo fashion with everyone singing God Bless America. The galley was soon busy with good food and grog. Upon completion of dinner, Rear Admiral David Pruett delivered an exciting and informative presentation of the Fighting Seabees. It spanned the time of John Wayne to where we are today. The Seabees are a special bunch of guys and tough in a clutch. All of a sudden our party was over and no one wanted to leave. It may have been the ambiance of the event or the grog, or simply the good company that may have inspired the ladies toward a bit of music and dance. Maybe at the next reunion there will be something extra for the young at heart. All in all our Reunion was just wonderful and the Hilton Staff should be recognized for their outstanding effort. They couldn’t do enough for us.


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At our business meeting we discussed possible locations for our next Reunion. April 2003 was selected as our target date. Since we had two reunions on the East Coast we voted to go a bit closer to Ernie Peterson who traveled 3100 miles from Bow Washington. He said his trip was not as costly as he expected after learning he had won a $10.00 gift certificate from the Tin Can Sailor. With that much good luck I hope he bought a lottery ticket. Several shipmates volunteered to do the necessary reconnaissance work of gathering information for the proposed cities of Las Vegas, Reno, Biloxi, Newport, Annapolis and Pensacola. The details of the meeting will be more fully explained when the minutes of our meeting are published.  We also approved our Bylaws, reviewed our financial position and elected the Officers and Board members of our Association. My special thanks to the lady who contributed her Mayport Tour refund check back to the Perry. Many other shipmates soon followed this gesture. Needless to say, the Perry has a very sound cash position. Please refresh my memory with the name of this lovely philanthropist.

In closing, let’s extend a special thank you to Sid Brown, he earned it for a job well done. I also promised Sid I would send his personal thanks to all of you. After all, without all the beautiful Perry people who showed up to frolic we would not have a Reunion. What a bunch of party animals.

Stay well and smooth sailing. See you soon,

Steve Silk

Some photos of the reunion are already posted to our web site. Just click the reunion button to view the photos. I ask everyone to send at least one photo so we may have total representation of our Reunion 2001 participants. Who was it that said a picture is worth a thousand words? Photos brought by Grant Cummings to the reunion have been set up in his personal album. Clicking the photo button and clicking the associated name in the index can view all personal albums. Everyone is invited to send photos for their personal album.

New shipmates continue to find the Perry web site. We currently have 408 shipmates in our database. This number is up from our last posting of 389. After several discussions at our reunion meetings we concluded the Perry probably had less than 3,000 who served aboard her during the 27 years of active duty. I would say this is an excellent percentage of our total shipmates. Our ships log can be viewed to see our new shipmates.