alt.submarine veterans … I wonder how many others are out there looking for a base?

I have been a member of USSVI for a long time now and recently joined the Naval Submarine League.

The problem with both has been proximity. Since I live in a rural location away from submarine homeports, I am reliant on a USSVI base that is neither convenient for travel or receptive to new ideas. Don’t get me wrong. They have a core group of people who keep the doors open and that is great. But like most older veterans groups, change is hard and often not desired.

I ran into a guy at a gas station near my home today who saw my dolphins on the front of my car. Turns out we both served on the USS Ohio (about ten years apart). I asked him if he was a Sub Vet and he replied that he had been at one time but the meetings are always held over an hour away from his home. With life and other obligations, he just didn’t have the motivation to continue on.

I asked him the same question I have asked a number of guys. What if it were closer?

What if we just had a place where we could gather locally and share war stories, maybe do some networking, and help to do something to educate the next generation. His response was that he would sign up for that tomorrow.

Here’s the problem. In order to get a new Chapter of USSVI in a geographical area, you have to have the blessings from the current USSVI leadership. The way the rules are written, that will probably not happen anytime soon. Plus, the idea is not to create a competing entity. Just one that would be more local.

Here’s the solution. Over the next six months, I am going to reach out to folks in my geographic area who are looking for something different. If there is enough interest, we will see how to move forward. I have already talked with some folks at the Naval Submarine League and we may get a little help in doing an event that could be used to spread the word.

If you live in Westmoreland County in Pennsylvania or any of the surrounding counties and you would like to explore a new way of Submariners getting together to celebrate our former life, let me know. I will put together a list of interested folks and start the process of creating a core group that would be the alternative to what currently exists in other places.

Drop me a line at bobmac711@live.com if you are interested.

The only requirement to be included is to have worn dolphins in the United States Navy

Mister Mac

11 thoughts on “alt.submarine veterans … I wonder how many others are out there looking for a base?

  1. I live in Warren, Oregon since I retired. The veterans get together once a month for a no host breakfast at a local restaurant . We spend about an hour talking, sometimes have a guest speaker, the local VA guy lives an update on VA items, the VFW and American Legion gives updates, anyone there can speak. We get anywhere from 40 to 60 people each month. I’ll bet a local restaurant would be happy to have a group once a month or so for breakfast.

  2. I had the same problem in Modesto. There were two bases, both 1.5-2 hours away. I toyed with the idea of trying to form another base in Modesto (We had enough potential and Virtual Base Members to do it), but them my wife got the job at the Naval Hospital in Bremerton. Problem solved – for me. I joined the Bremerton Base a year and a half ago and it’s been really great to be able to partake.

    Which, I realize, does not help you at all. But I encourage the formation of new bases and if i can help, let me know.

    1. I live over in the Tacoma/Puyallup and would like to look into joining a group but have the same problem it is either Seattle or now Bremerton, I did not know the Bremerton group existed. Bothe are an hour away. Hard to get real motivated for the drive let alone a toll to crossa bridge.

  3. I live in the Four Corners area specifically Colorado / New Mexico, I joined the USSVI about ten years ago and immediately was flooded with several daily emails and phone calls from the closest base in Albuquerque to the point where I had to block them. I started receiving calls from the base commander after he was either drunk or stoned. So a long story short, I dropped out of USSVI. Is there something better for those of us in remoter locations? MMC/SS

    1. That is the question of the ages. Just curious, what would the ideal group look like for you? What would you find that would make you want to participate?

      1. I would hope to see a website where I can go to get information about old shipmates, boats, duty stations, gatherings, medical issues etc. versus the floods of marketing type stuff from USSVI.

      2. Exactly what I had in mind when I made theleansubmariner site. The only thing that is missing for me now is having a convenient way to have face to face meetings with like minded people who want to see an organization that represents its members

  4. I like the idea of getting together with your local submarine brethren, but as far as a ussvi base goes I am a member of the cyberspace base, which is an online group. We meet through a chat app oh, and it works quite well. You can contact them through the ussvi website.

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