Happy New Year!

2017 is finally here. “Finally!”, we all sighed. 2016 was a heck of a ride, and most of us are glad to say, “thank God that’s over!” The passing of great musicians, actors and actresses that had entertained us through the years just wouldn’t quit, reminding us that each are getting old and the same fate awaits us all. The political dumpster fire we call our election process seemed to be tearing our country apart. I could go on, but I won’t.

It is a new year, and a time to look to the future and let the past fade from view. No matter our differences, politically or otherwise, we have much, much, more in common than we have that divides us. For those of us that sailed on the Bates, that statement is a personal and resounding truth.

We spent more Christmases and New Years underway, as I recall, than we did in port. The few holidays we spent in port are probably the reason behind that strategy! I remember one New Year’s Eve in Thailand that they are probably still talking about in Pattaya Beach. My last Christmas in Guam is the reason I couldn’t go back. I was

an outlaw, a wanted man, a man on the run, though I think it’s actually a misdemeanor and hopefully I’ve outlived the statute of limitations! But that’s a story for another time!

Now, we have a lot to look forward to in this new year of 2017.

  • REGROUPEX 2017 is scheduled for September 1-4. Lots of work to do there.
  • The U.S.S. William H. Bates historical timeline is going on-line here on the site and will require a lot of input from each of you to improve its accuracy.
  • We are talking about transforming the U.S.S. William H. Bates Association into a full-fledged not-for-profit organization.
  • I’ve started a project to acquire the officer and crew rosters every month during the life of the Bates, as well as specific deck logs, which will require fund-raising to accomplish.

Those are just some of the adventures that we have to look forward to this year.

In the meantime, make sure you update your reunion plans on the ssn-680.org website so we can have good numbers to work with as we start to make arrangements, and take a few minutes when you log in to update your User Profile and make sure your contact information, especially your email, is correct.

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© 2017 Brad Williamson
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