I am an outsider to your group, but was happy to hear your reunion was a success. I am an active duty guy at Sub Base Bangor assisting the Pacific Northwest Submarine Heritage Association, a group of sub vets working to construct Deterrent Park. This memorial specifically honors the Forty One for Freedom SSBNs as well as the service of all generations of submariners. I know you guys are "fast attack tough." I spent most of my career in fast attacks before serving in USS OHIO. Perhaps some of you also served in SSBNs.
Regardless of which types of submarines you served in, please read on. You can see a plan view of the park on the web at pnwsha.hypermart.com or by hitting the Deterrent Park button on the subnet.com web site.
The park will feature a full-length reconstruction of the topside area of a LAFAYETTE class SSBN. It will include the actual sail from the ex-USS WOODROW WILSON which has already been mounted on a foundation in the park, and the actual rudder. It will be the actual length of the original. The topside area will be constructed of dark gray reinforced concrete, and the missile deck will be inlaid with 6000 dark gray engraved bricks with messages commemorating the service of individual submariners, submarine support personnel, and their family members.
Veterans of World War Two, the Cold War, and Desert Storm as well as our active duty sailors are buying these bricks to help fund the construction. The park is located on board Sub Base Bangor in the vicinity of Trident Training Facility and the Off-crew Building. Perhaps you saw the construction site if you came on base during your reunion.
The Association hopes to dedicate the park in April 2000 in time for the U.S. Submarine Force Centennial Celebration, a nation-wide commemoration. The park will serve as a stage for future crew reunions such as yours, as well as reenlistments, promotions, retirements, award ceremonies, and Memorial Day "Eternal Patrol" ceremonies.
This Memorial Day weekend we conducted the first ever public "Eternal Patrol" ceremony to be held at Bangor. It was a big hit with over 500 attending, and the park isn't even built. If your group is interested, you can group the Puffer Reunion Association together in a block of bricks. Call John Ghiselin at (360) 692-8151 if you are interested. He is a retired engineering LDO and WWII sub vet, and the Treasurer of the Association. He is also the head of brick sales.
I hope you will consider joining many of your fellow submariners in this highly worthwhile project that will serve to commemorate your superb service, help educate the thousands of tourists who visit the base on organized tours each year, and will serve as a living stage to honor our Trident submarine crews in their various ceremonies.
Brick application forms are available on the web site if you are interested. Please feel free to pass this info on to other shipmates. If you need any more information or have questions, please feel free to contact me at this address or call John Ghiselin.