United States Submarine Veterans, Inc.
Pocono Base – Meeting Minutes
Wednesday, 17 May 2006

Meeting called to order at 1905 by Base Commander Rich Holmes at the American Legion Wilson-Fisher Post in Pocono Pines, PA. The Purpose of the Organization was read. The Base Bell was tolled once for each of the following Boats and their crewmembers that were lost during the Month of May:

23 May 1939     USS Squalus        SS 192        26 Men
12 May 1944     USS Gudgeon    SS 211        78 Men
04 May 1945      USS Lagarto        SS 371        85 Men
27 May 1968     USS Scorpion    SSN 589          99 Men
01 May 1988      USS Bonefish    SS 582          3 Men

A moment of silence followed and an invocation was given by Bob Vaughan. The COB led the members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Roll Call: Members present were: Rich Holmes, Mike Smith, Bob Vaughan, Bill Hannon, Bill Klose, Bob Smith, Tom Shields and Jeff Owens. Membership introduction was skipped due to members present knowing each other.
Guests: None

The secretary confirmed that a quorum was present.

The Minutes: the secretary read the minutes for the April meeting with the following corrections. The new secretary has been misspelling Bob Vaughan’s’ last name since the November Minutes by omitting the ‘a’ after the ‘h’. John Saeli was the 2nd motion to adjourning the April meeting.
Motion to accept the minutes as corrected made by: Jeff Owens.      2nd by: Bob Smith.
All in favor to accept.

Treasurer’s Report: Bill Klose’s reported an ending balance $3340.48 on 30 April 2006 after $53.00 in deposits and $208.83 in expenses and outstanding checks.

Motion to accept the treasurers report was made by: Jeff Owens      2nd by: Bob Smith

Committee Reports:

    Membership:  No Report, John Saeli is attending his boat reunion. John did send an e-mail that stated that we have 41 members.

    Correspondence: Jeff forwarded information concerning the Armed Forces Day Parade in Scranton.

    Rich Holmes stated that he got an e-mail that said that Jack Ensminger is going to be the new D2 commander. Jack was a former commander of the Tri-State base and a former National Commander.

    We received a couple of belated awards from the 2005 Awards Announcement. They were for the website and newsletter. The awards were ‘Class II Letter of the Year for 2005’ and the ‘Class II Base Website Award for 2005’. We are also in competition this year for the newsletter and the website.

John Saeli also sent in his e-mail about the membership that there is a possibility of obtaining a MK 14 torpedo for a memorial from some storage facility.  We need to act on this and find out if we could get a hold of one for a future memorial.

Parades: The Armed Forces Day Parade will be held on Saturday 20 May 2006. The parade is scheduled to step off at 1045 hrs. They would like the groups to arrive no earlier than 0900 and no later than 1000. We will be in division 2 and will line up behind the VA Hospital. A map was included with the e-mail and there is information available at the meeting. We have 6 members committed to go.  We were given vehicle passes if anyone is going to ride instead of march. We will be using the Ensign and the base flag.

The Memorial Day Parade in Pocono Pines will be held on Monday, 29 May 2006 at 1000 hrs promptly. We are to meet at the Tobyhanna Elementary School by 0930 on Monday morning. We welcome all those members who are able to attend.

Publicity: Jeff Owens stated that he remade the base brochure and has posted it on the base website. The secretary (Mike Smith) will work on printing out some brochures.

Memorial: We discussed the possibility of adding to the memorial area on the Tobyhanna Army Depot. Bill Hannon voiced his concern about the location of the memorial on the base and that it may not be able to be expanded. There is also the concern that unless you an employee or a retiree, you cannot get on the base, so the memorial would unlikely be seen by outsiders.
    Another option would be to get in touch with Mario Scarvello. We could tell him we would like to do a memorial and let him give us a suggestion for a location, maybe even in Stroudsburg. If we wanted to try for one in Scranton, we could try to get a hold of Frank Tyson.

Old Business:

The secretary has been tasked with writing a letter to the American Legion in regards to having a locker installed for our property. We would like our own locker, but if we can find a bank of three at a reasonable price we would donate two of the lockers to the legion while keeping one for our use. The concern about getting a set of lockers is the amount of space required. Would the legion be able to fit a bank of three lockers in the storage room or not?
    The letter would at least go on the record of having made the attempt to place a locker at the legion hall.

    Last month the discussion came up about the license plate issue. We would wait until the May meeting to see if there was any response to Jeff about the letter that was sent out. Rich Holmes basically feels that this is a dead issue. Jeff reported that he has not received any feedback about it from anyone.

    John Saeli has not had the time to look into getting a ceremonial bugle, as he has been busy since last months’ meeting. Jeff Owens voiced his concern, that if we get one, our name will be sent out to the various funeral homes for services. Rich says that would be ok. He feels that this would be a way of getting some publicity.

    Tom Shields said that the Coolbaugh Day Fair should be the same as last year. We
are also hoping to get something closer to the front this year instead of being tucked in the back. Tom said we made some money on it, but think that we could do better. Tom was thinking that if we could change our menu if it is allowed he would look into it. We do not know the date yet, but we have time to work on this.

New Business:

There was no new business.

Good of the Order:

    Our newest member (Jim Dickson) has had a plaque made up for us to hang. It is a set of Dolphins set on a wood plaque, with our base name engraved onto label plates. Part of tonight’s     issue of what to do with it also falls into play with our liaison to the legion. Do we need to request a place to mount it, or place it into a locker?    We were given a section of wall space in the bingo hall side to put up what we want. The legion will do the hanging. The gentleman that usually hangs things up on the walls was on duty during tonight’s meeting. It was agreed to talk to him about hanging the plaque up tonight after our meeting.
    We joked about our newest member having some interesting connections after having worked at Tobyhanna for the last thirty years and how he had the plaque made there for us.    
    The secretary has worked on getting our minutes and other paperwork into order and has created the Pocono Base Deck Log for anyone to see at the meetings. The secretary will also be sending the minutes to Jeff Owens in the form of a PDF file. If done this way it should keep the graphics intact instead of being lost when Jeff converts the DOC file to the HTML web file.     

    Rich stated that a couple of months ago, and would like to continue this. He asked the bartender tonight to light off the grill and order food from the legion, instead of ordering food from outside anymore. This way we give business to the legion, and anyone who wants to eat can order from them. Rich also wants to know if around the midpoint of the meeting should we give the cook a list so that it is ready when we conclude business. The members present concurred that this was a good idea.

    Rich also stated that he wants to start the meeting promptly at 1900 and end at 2000.

    It was also discussed about the reading of the minutes. According to the by-laws the minutes are to be posted at least one week prior to the next meeting. Rich stated that he like to have the minutes read since they put back to mind what we talked about previously and can use it as a guide to follow up. It was suggested that the secretary be allowed to paraphrase the minutes to help shorten the length of time it takes to read them. It was also suggested that the secretary read just the Old and New Business sections since the other sections are redundant.

    We held a discussion about next months meeting, which would normally be held on the third Wednesday of each month. The June meeting will be combined with the American Legion’s Flag Day ceremony on Wednesday, 14 June 2006.  Food will be ordered from the Legion after the ceremony.

Next meeting will be a special meeting held at 1600 on Flag Day, which is Wednesday 14 June 2006 at the Wilson-Fisher Post in Pocono Pines. The base meeting will begin at 1600; the flag burning ceremony is scheduled to be held at 1800 at the post.

Rich Holmes entertained a motion to adjourn.
 All in favor to adjourn, motion carried.

Rich Holmes led the recitation of the Creed of USSVI.

    “To perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their lives in the pursuit of their duties while serving their country. That their dedication, deeds and supreme sacrifice be a constant source of motivation toward greater accomplishments. Pledge loyalty and patriotism to the United States Government.”

Bob Vaughn led us in a closing prayer.

Rich Holmes declared the meeting of the Pocono Base adjourned.

The meeting was adjourned at 2003 hrs.

Food and drinks from the legion followed.

Respectfully submitted

Michael D. Smith
USSVI – Pocono Base Secretary