WHY BECOME A MEMBER?
If your Sterett tour was nothing special and just like other Navy tours you had, there is no good reason for you to become a member of the Sterett Association and no reason to read further.
However, if you have ever allowed your mind to drift back to your Sterett years and started to think about some of your shipmates and thought about all the things you did back then and you suddenly realize there’s a smile breaking out on your face, or you feel nostalgic about the good old Sterett days, then read on. There are many of your former shipmates out here who feel the same way. A lot of them are Sterett Association members.
I see activity on two different Sterett Face Book pages. On them, former Sterett crewmembers share messages, pictures and memories of days past. Days spent in Subic Bay, Yokosuka, Pattaya Beach, Hong Kong, Sydney, Perth and even Shanghai. Also a few days spent at sea!
Whether you spent 4 years, 6 years or had a full Navy career, these are days that most of us cherish. These are the years we grew up, found out who we were and formed the attitudes that made us who we are today. For most, the people we spent so many days with helped to mold us into the men we have become. Special times, special people.
With these thoughts in mind, the Sterett Association serves an invaluable service. It is an organization made up of people just like ourselves who have fond memories of our Sterett years. The Sterett Association provides the opportunity to locate former shipmates, correspond with them and, every two years, visit with each other face to face at the reunions. The hours I have spent discussing old times over a few drinks at the reunions have been some of the most enjoyable times I have had. Hearing about some long forgotten “liberty events” bring rolls of laughter that literally can hurt. Looking across the room and seeing a former shipmate that you spent liberty time with many years ago will warm your heart.
A Sterett crewmember who attended the 2011 reunion for the first time had this to say, “I honestly had a great time. The hotel and casino was great but seeing all my old shipmates was the icing on the cake. I wish I hadn't waited so long to attend a reunion.”
His is a fairly typical reaction. Personally, I have enjoyed each of the Sterett reunions I have attended so much that I won’t miss another, as long as I am physically able to travel.
For those that do attend a reunion, your membership dues for the following year are included with the reunion fee. Reunion fees are based on actual estimated costs for the reunion events which include the banquet, tour transportation, DJ, hospitality room and refreshments, audio and visual equipment, and a myriad of other fees and charges.
The location of the reunions is selected at the reunion business meeting. We do try and move the reunion site around the country to accommodate travel expenses. However, if you plan early, travel can be less expensive.
So, why become a member?
Being part of the Sterett Association will provide you the opportunity to reconnect and remain in touch with old shipmates who share that special feeling about the USS Sterett. It will also give you a chance to spend a couple of days rubbing elbows with old friends who have gone on to different things in life but will always be part of your life back in the day.
Revisit this page for easy membership by clicking the Join or Renew Membership link button on the Sterett.net home page. . .
See you in Branson.
OOD preparing for liberty party to return. 1968
Photo by shipmate Rick Greendonner