December 5, 2009

From:   Steve Silk
To:       All Hands

Ahoy mate,

Can you believe our 8th USS Perry reunion has already come and gone? While I was unable to share this wonderful cruise down memory lane with everyone I was truly there with you in spirit as were many of our other shipmates. From the phone calls I had received throughout the reunion I know you all had a wonderful time. When the weather forecasters threatened stormy weather, our reunion chairman Ken took umbrage to their forecast and brought in fair and following winds to insure smooth sailing all the way. While a thank you Ken is well deserved, special thanks go out to all the shipmates that signed on for this reunion making this cruise 'down memory lane' a very special event.

I believe all of our reunions have been special and trust the tradition will continue for a long time to come. I can vividly recall our 1st reunions ten years ago that was chaired by our Perry's XO Cdr. Ken Chaman in Virginia Beach. We had 150+ 1st time attendees and also had five Perry Skippers attending. My skipper Capt. George Ball was our honored reunion skipper. Did you know Capt. Ball had the unique distinction of commanding the DD-844 and also served as an Ensign aboard the DMS-17 Perry during the Pearl Harbor attack?

Our Pensacola reunion was also special in many ways. Excluding Virginia Beach, we had the most first time attendees ever and also had the largest number of shipmates taking their final voyage within a reunion cycle. At our memorial service, the following shipmates were honored for their exceptional Perry Assn. support with a special flag folding ceremony. Individual flags were then presented to Sandi Pittenger, Joy Flanagan, Bob Noroski and the Pruett family (accepted by Martin Deeney). I've been told by several shipmates they will cherish this memory forever. During the service, the Navy Drill Team provided a Color Guard, bugler and two sailors for our wreath placement at the memorial park. The drill team then joined everyone for lunch and were given a standing ovation of gratitude for carrying on the Navy traditions we all experienced so long ago.

And how about the Blue Angels and that show-off in the F14 from the Air Force. Lets not forget the helicopters flying upside down, explosions on the runway, sky divers, planes crisscrossing and flying in all directions. And of course the jet truck that Sid wants to buy.

We also received the largest contributions ever. I've also been told that with Chief Sid Brown's help we had more raffle winners than ever before. I understand he cancelled the Cinderella liberty and had everyone up to the wee hours of the morning waiting to win a raffle. The raffle prizes winners of the Wil Pruett Singing Men of Arkansas CD will receive them just as soon as I get back home. I believe you'll find the CD most enjoyable and worth waiting for.

I understand the farewell banquet dinner at the Black Angus restaurant was superb and only outdone with Martin Deeney's video presentation of the modern Navy and our Reunion Skipper Cdr. Ed Etzkorn's talk of the wonderful Perry memories of yesteryear.

Of course I know there were many other exciting events like the get-acquainted cocktail party and the superb barbecue dinner. This event was especially a happy one for Ken and Sid who won the hotel room raffle. They tell me there is nothing better than being the guest of the hotel. And how about the fun of just hanging out in the hospitality room rekindling old friendship and making new buddies. Isn't it funny how the sea stories grow from year to year? This year we also inducted Ray Sittnick, an Army vet into our Perry family. Ray is the father of BT3 Jay Sittnick a 1st time attendees that was warmly welcomed into our extended Perry family. I understand the leather Jacket won by James Christman was presented to Ray. Tom & Dottie Moritz won the cuckoo clock and blanket. Anyone know who won the GPS system?

I trust and hope you feel as I do, that our Association, since its inception, has managed our objectives effectively. Collectively we have kept the memory of the DD-844 alive and have fostered good fellowship and camaraderie among all the shipmates who proudly served aboard her. To date over 900 Perry shipmates have entered our Perry website. I believe our Association has provided us the opportunity to reminisce about what many of us consider being the best years of our lives. Simply put, our reunions are testimony to meeting our objectives. In this regard, if you have a new idea or solution to a problem and are willing to donate your time implementing the idea, your Association wants you ASAP.

Lets congratulate our new officers;

Bob Noroski, Pres.
Sid Brown, VP
Sandi Pittenger, Sec.
Lou Guarinello, Treas.

In closing I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge all the Perry Hall of Fame supporters for the 2009-2010 season. On behalf of the USS Perry Reunion Association, it is my honor to extend a sincere thank you for your most generous contributions. It's your continued enthusiasm and generosity that keeps our Association afloat and helps support the wonderful events of our Reunions. To our shipmates who found it necessary cancel their reunion plans and contributed their refund you must promise to be at the next reunion to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Our 2009-2010 Hall Of Fame Supporters:

Geraldine Miethke, Sandi Pittenger, Bill Beyhl, Steve Caldwell, James Christman, Grant Cummings,
Joseph D' Antonio, John Ellis, Tom Fedash, Thomas Hemphill, Arnie Myotte, Bob Noroski, Allan Meyer,
Bruce Davidson, John Blaine,  Sid Brown, Ronald Conrad, Robert Hales, Jim Archer, Tom Moritz, Joseph Jurewicz, Jason Matthews, Ken Annino, Michael Canon, Edward Etzhorn, Andrew Marchese, Glen Miller, Roger Piper, Raymond Richter, Jerry Luffman, David Frazier, Richard Stephens, Grant Cummings Jr., William Janulin,
 Charles Jenkins, Tom Lobue, Gerald Schnoblen

2010 Proposed Reunion Venues

The following reunion venues were proposed at the business meeting for consideration:
San Diego, Philadelphia, Chicago, New London Conn. Mystic Sea Port, Tampa Fl., Nashville TN and a Ship cruise. These places will be considered after costs and availability are submitted and evaluated. The result of the best locations will then be submitted to the membership for a vote. If you offered one of these venues please let us know that you're working on gathering cost figures ASAP.


My sincere thank you is extended for your kind expressions of sympathy and memorial flowers we received. Very few shipmates knew the reason for my failure to attend the reunion. Having tragically lost my granddaughter Brittany Joy Lindstrom shortly before the reunion, I was afraid my pain would have shown through and may have caused discomfort for others.

View My Brittamy's Obituary

God willing, I'll join you for the next reunion.
Stay well and smooth sailing.

Steve Silk