United States Submarine Veterans, Inc.
Pocono Base
Meeting Minutes  -
Wednesday, 15 November 2006

Meeting called to order at 1900 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 the following US Submarine Force Losses during the Month of November:
16 Nov 1943   USS Corvina                                       SS 226                         82 Men
19 Nov 1943   USS Sculpin                                       SS 191                         62 Men
07 Nov 1944   USS Albacore                                     SS 218                         85 Men
08 Nov 1944   USS Growler                                      SS 215                         86 Men
09 Nov 1944   USS Scamp                                         SS 277                         83 Men
A moment of silence followed and an invocation was given by Rich Holmes.
 The Chief of the Boat led the members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Roll Call: Members present were: Rich Holmes, Mike Smith, Bill Klose, Bill Hannon, John Saeli, Jeff Owens, Bob Smith, Gerald Zeeman, Dennis Opiela, Frank McDevitt, and new member Bob Mahon.
Guests: None.
The secretary confirmed that a quorum was present.
The Minutes: The secretary read the minutes from the October meeting
1st motion to accept the minutes made by Jeff Owens, 2nd motion made by Bob Mahon.
 Motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report:  The base treasurer reported an ending balance of $3030.66 on 31 Oct 2006.
1st motion to accept treasurers report made by John Saeli, 2nd motion made by Gerald Zeeman.
Motion carried.
Committee Reports:
            Membership:  John Saeli reported that our membership now numbered 45 with two new members since September.
            Way and Means: Rich stated that we do not have a lot of initiatives going on right now, but we are not doing too bad for our treasury. Rich stated that he still has a lot of covers from our pocket calendars and if we could find 2007 calendars at a dollar store to deep six the 2006 inserts and replace them with 2007 ones. John Saeli suggested including a cover along with the base patch to our new members as they sign on. Rich stated that he has about 150 covers remaining.
            Parades: Rich stated that we have had some good attendance with the parades this past year.
            Speakers Bureau: Rich Holmes, Frank McDevitt and Mike Smith spoke to the 4th grade students at Tobyhanna Elementary
            Correspondence:  We received a letter from Tom Crosby stating that he has been unable to attend any meetings lately due to working 1500 to 2330. He would still like to be informed as to what’s is going on with the base.
                        We also received a thank you card from Grover Kiick thanking us for our visit. He looks forward to seeing us again.
                        We received information about the 2008 National Convention. It will be held in Dallas, TX. Rich has the brochures and other information.
Old Business:
            Rich passed around the plaque that was made for Eugen Rees. Rich contacted Dorothy Crane about her receiving the plaque. She preferred that we take it to her. Frank McDevitt suggested presenting it to her at our annual Christmas Dinner. She was also grateful about the memorial service held for Eugen here at the Legion.
            Submarine project: Rich passed around a copy of the Navy Times that showed what the Tucson base was doing. Ken Smith is heading up our float project. There are about four or five options for making the float. Mike Smith found a picture of an inflatable cold air balloon in the shape of an Ohio Class Boomer already made up including the sail, planes and the coloring. The only problem with the balloon is that it is 50ft in length. The Tucson base made theirs from a F-18 fuel drop tank.
            Frank brought in the pictures of the pop-up trailer that we got from the Lions Club. It has already been gutted and was used for fund raising projects. The club will keep it in the outside storage area. Frank is still looking for a place where we can store it indoors.
            Rich brought up the idea of looking into inactive ships store in Philadelphia for materials for our projects.
            The subject of the PA SUB Vet plate was brought up at the D2/D5 meeting. The results from this discussion were included in the summary. We then argued back and forth once again about the plate issue.
Jeff Owens made a motion that we send a letter to the National Commander Tom Conlin to have Mr. MP White removed as the PA representative for the License plate. 2nd Motion was made by Bob Mahon. All in favor, motion passed.  As of this meeting, we still have not heard from Mr. White concerning the extra $20 fee for the plate. John Saeli stated that we came out looking favorable concerning this issue.
A second motion was made by Bob Mahon to send the letter after 2 Dec 2006 or until all of the other bases send their petition back. Bob Smith made 2nd motion. All in favor, motion passed.
After our lengthy discussion/arguments about the license plate issue, John Saeli read from the Submarine Operations of WWII on the loss of the USS Corvina (SS 226) on 16 Nov 1943.
New Business:          
            John Saeli took it upon himself to obtain Longevity pins for our members. He brought up the point that our base is now over five years old. John stated that he would mail these pins when our members pay their dues for 2007. John stated that we have 24 members eligible for 5-year pins, 5 members for 10-year pins, 2 members for 15-year pins and one member eligible for a 20-year pin. John Saeli made a motion for the Pocono Base to purchase these pins and pay $36.50 to the Long Island base for the pins and postage. Dennis Opiela made 2nd motion. All in favor, motion carried.          
            John Saeli also brought up the point that our information that is on the National Website is now unlocked. He stated that he sent a couple of e-mails regarding this information.
            Frank McDevitt and Bob Vaughan represented us at the Tunkhannock Township Armed Forces Monument unveiling on Veterans Day.
            Pocono Base had 14 of 44 members vote for in the last elections. This represents 34 percent of eligible voting members from our base. This is higher than the National average of all bases. Rich would like us to do a better job of getting out the vote for next years elections. 32 percent of the bases didn’t even send in their tally.
            John Saeli brought up the Eagle Scout program from National. He has a nephew that is a scout and is looking for information. The information is available through the National website, but we do not know who to contact on the local level. Jeff Owens brought up the point that if we are going to do this function, we need to have a committee for it. Dennis Opiela volunteered for that position, having worked for scouts himself.
            The American Legion post is having their Angel Tree again this year. We in the past have gotten a gift as per the card for an individual child. The deadline is 9 Dec 2006 for the presents to be returned to the Legion. The secretary brought up that we gave the Legion $200 last year for the program. The breakdown was $100 from our members present at the November meeting last year, with $100 matching contribution from the treasury.
            John Saeli made a motion to that we pass the hat with the base contributing $100. Jeff Owens 2nd the motion. All in favor, motion passed. We collected $100 for the pass the hat.
            John Saeli read from a summary report of the D2/D5 meeting that was held in Reading back on 28 October 2006. A copy of this meeting can be sent upon request made to the secretary.
            The Reading Base stated that they do not want to host the D2/D5 meeting next year. They would like to take a break. The Capital Base suggested that they might be interested. Frank McDevitt suggested that we, the Pocono Base might be interested as well. The deadline for the reply is 31 Dec 2006. It is a lot of work to pull it off. John Saeli requested that we table the issue until the January meeting due to no meeting next month. Jeff Owens made a motion that John Saeli be appointed committee chairman for looking into hosting the D2/D5 meeting next year and asks for a one-month extension for our reply. Bob Smith made 2nd Motion. All in favor, motion passed.
Good of the Order:
            Rich stated that they did get to see Grover Kiick. Members that went down included Oliver Nordmark, Bob and Ruth Vaughan, Tom Shields, Frank McDevitt and Rich Holmes. Rich stated that Grover is a pistol, Grover goes to dialysis on a regular basis, is hard of hearing and is an absolute scream getting into a conversation with him. Rich stated that he looks terrific and that he just celebrated his 92nd birthday and his 10th year anniversary with his second wife.
            Class II 3rd runner up base website of the year for 2006 went to the Pocono Base. Kudos to Jeff Owens for his job on the website.
            Our Christmas Dinner/Party is coming up next month. Tom Shields is unavailable to cater this year and the Legion does not cater, but could provide names. Another idea brought up last month was to pick a restaurant, get a room and have ourselves served. Another option was to have our members provide a covered dish and hold our meeting here at the Legion at the same time. We decided to look into booking a room at a restaurant. Another idea was to change the date of the meeting/dinner to get more people to show up. Rich will make the reservations and e-mail everyone about the details.
            I, the base secretary, received a phone call from Ruth Vaughan. She called to say thank you once again for our farewell get together for Bob Vaughan and would like to send a letter to us for it. I apologize for not responding to her due to my work schedule. She also wanted us to know that they will finally be moving to New York within a couple of weeks.
Next meeting will be the Annual Christmas Party/Dinner at a time and location to be sent by e-mail to our members.
Rich Holmes entertained a motion to adjourn.
1st motion made by Jeff Owens, 2nd motion made by Bob Smith. 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.”
Rich Holmes offered a closing prayer.
Rich Holmes declared the meeting of the Pocono Base adjourned.
The meeting was adjourned at 2116 hrs.
Respectfully submitted
Michael D. Smith
USSVI – Pocono Base Secretary