A bit of scuttlebutt for our shipmates who couldn't join us at Virginia Beach for our Perry's 1st reunion. The tours, the cruise and dinner party were just fantastic. CDR. Ken Chapman even managed to schedule the rain during the late evening so as not to dampen our reunion. Thanks again Ken for a great reunion . Roughly, 150 of us got together for a sail down memory lane at our very 1st ship's reunion. It was a wonderful experience to see my old Skipper Capt. Ball and some other old shipmates who didn't age a day since leaving the Perry. Captain George G. Ball, USN (Ret.), former Commanding Officer of Perry #4 DD844 during 1955-57 and an Ensign aboard the Perry #3 DMS 17, was our honored guest. Having just lost his wife, he was accompanied with his son and daughter. His obvious joy at being at the reunion was confirmed by his daughter who shared with us how important the Perry reunion had become in helping him through his recent difficult times.
Would you believe we also had several shipmates from the USS Perry DMS17 sharing sea stories with us. Another proud shipmate was Wilford R. "Will" Pruett 46-47 SK3 who was accompanied by his son Capt. David Pruett, currently stationed at the Pentagon. Dave was kind enough to operate the computer video presentation during Capt. Garrett's talk at our final banquet.
For me, it's been a long time since I heard such an outstanding motivational speaker. Captain Carl E. Gene Garrett, Jr. spoke eloquently about destroyers, past, present and future and how the life of sailor has changed greatly over the years. At the end of his talk, most of us were ready to ship out again. Captain Garrett is involved in the planning and design of future Navy ships.
Our banquet looked like the board room of an Admiral's Flag Ship with all the distinguished shipmates we had aboard. Please excuse me for not mentioning everyone by name. Check it out, everyone who attended the reunion is identified with an * in our ship's roster.
Please be on the lookout for the next TSC publication which should contain an article about our 1st ship's reunion written by Rick Flanagan. Also, our newly elected association secretary Martin Deeney will be sending everyone a copy of the minutes which were taken at our business meeting on the final day of our reunion.
At our business meeting the vote was unanimous to have another reunion next year. After discussing many potential locations, it was decided to hold our next reunion at either Mobil, Al - Mayport, FL or Charlestown, SC. Shipmates volunteered to form committees and examine these locations for cost, entertainment etc. The following year, our reunion will be held somewhere in the western part of the country.
We all look forward to next years reunion.