U.S.S. BROOKE DEG-1/FFG-1
SEPTEMBER 27 - OCTOBER 1, 2017
SCENES OF JACKSONVILLE, FL
U.S.S. BROOKE CREWMEMBERS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDS
CHIEF PETTY OFFICER'S CLUB, MAYPORT NAVAL STATION
SEPTEMBER 28, 2017
CROWNE PLAZA JACKSONVILLE AIRPORT HOTEL
The U.S.S. Brooke DEG-1/FFG-1 Association held it's sixteenth annual reunion at the Crowne Plaza Jacksonville Airport Hotel, Jacksonville, FL., September 27 - October 1, 2017. Forty five shipmates, family and friends attended the annual gathering and along with eleven members, family and friends of the National Sonar Association. As per our standard opening night routine we held our "Welcome Aboard" reception in the Hospitality Room. The opportunity to share the camaraderie and renew friendships for the "Brooke Family", continued the tradition getting our reunion off on the right foot.
The reunion this year was presented with the challenge of getting into Jacksonville right after Hurricane Irma. The storm had caused considerable flooding in the area and fortunately, by the time we arrived, the city had recovered nicely.
On Thursday morning we began our "Tours" with a trip to the Naval Station at Mayport. This is the third largest Naval activity in the U.S. next to Norfolk, VA and San Diego, CA. We had the opportunity to take a tour of the station and see some of the ships in port, including the USS New York LPD-21 along with a couple of the new Littoral Combat Vessels. We then headed over to one of the last active Chief Petty Officer Clubs still remaining in the Navy. A lot of memorabilia and tradition was on display. Then, to wrap up the tour we had lunch at the site of the original Officer's Club. Great view and great chow.
After leaving the Naval Station we headed to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Jacksonville to tour and sample some of their beers. It was a very informative and interesting tour, especially learning the history of the company and the quantity of beer they produced in a twenty four hour period. Can you believe 13 million, yes million, cans and bottles. Even more amazing was that the majority of the product stayed right in the state of Florida. Then we found out that FL was the third largest consumer behind CA and TX. After returning to the hotel we conducted our annual "Pizza Night" and traditional cake cutting ceremony. What a great way to end our first day.
On Friday we headed south to St. Augustine to visit the Fountain of Youth and tour the city. What great history and the tour guide was extremely knowledgeable, which made the tour even more enjoyable. One of the hi-lights was a stop at Castillo de San Marcos, a Spanish fort from the late 1600s and now a national monument. To wrap up the tour we stopped for lunch at Barnacle Bills and had some great seafood. By that time we were ready to head back to the hotel and take it easy.
Saturday we took off for a tour of the city of Jacksonville. The weather started to get a bit damp but it didn't stop the Brooke gang from heading out. We had the opportunity to see and learn a great deal about the city and stop off for lunch at a restaurant along the St. Johns River. Then it was back to the hotel for a little R&R before the evening banquet.
The banquet was a resounding success for all those in attendance and was concluded with our annual raffle. Thank you to everyone who brought some great prizes from your home states. We ended the evening and the formal aspects of the reunion with a moment of silence for our shipmates who have passed on.
And while we have not formalized the location for the 2018 Reunion we look forward to seeing many of our shipmates in celebration of Brooke once again next year.
The following pictures are a representation of the four memorable days we spent together and I have tried to capture the best memories of that wonderful time. As with each year's photos, and the captions beneath, I take full responsibility for my attempt at wit, or lack thereof.
(In alphabetical order with their home states)
Tom and Harriet Adametz (CA)
David and Barbara Allen (AK) (CA)
Lori Casale (TX)
Jeff and Laura Dial (TX)
Phyllis Eldridge (TN)
Jim and Linda Gorton (NY)
Jerry and Estelle Hamling (WA)
Jimmy Hanna (TX)
Buddy and Julie Harris (FL)
Joe and Kathy Herron (WA)
Rick and Linda Holmes (WA)
Hank and Debbie Howery (CA)
Steve and Linda Hunt (WA)
Steve Letourneau and Vickie Goodness (AL)
Jerry and Mattie Lipham (AL)
Jim and Wendy Rattigan (TX)
Pam Ruiz (TX)
Leroy and Janet Schultz (OR)
Del and Dwyllis Secrest (WA)
Helen Spivey (VA)
Bill and Barb Ulmer (CO)
Charles and Kathryn Weiss (NV)
Kim Whitaker (VA)
Larry and Nancy Whitaker (VA)
Scott Youngren (CA)
IN ORDER TO SPEED UP THE DOWNLOAD TIME OF IMAGES, REUNION PHOTOS HAVE BEEN BROKEN DOWN INTO INDIVIDUAL DAYS
While I received many photographs, they may not include all of the folks who attended the reunion. I used my best judgment to select photos that were clear and included as many of the people who attended. If there was a photograph that was unflattering, I excluded it (unless it was so darn funny that I had to put it on the "not ready for primetime" page.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 (Welcome Aboard)
Thursday, September 28, 2017 (Mayport Naval Station/Brewery Tour)
Friday, September 29, 2017 (St Augustine)
Saturday, September 30, 2017 (Jacksonville Tour)
Saturday, September 30, 2017 (Reunion Banquet)
REUNION INDEX SHIP'S INFORMATION HOME