I do hope that everyone had a wonderful holiday season. Have I told you what an outstanding job that Bill Thompson is doing? You all know that he is our Chaplain and delivers the Invocation at nearly every meeting. But, did you know that he also handles the SOQ/SOY Awards Program. I was at Polly’s Pies today and a lady brought in the 28 December issue of “Sun Newspapers”. Lo and behold, there, on the front page, was a photo of the SOQs from our 14 December meeting along with a very long article (written by Bill) that reported on the meeting. In addition, the newspaper that serves Seal Beach, Los Alamitos and other beach communities, ran a photo of the SOQs from our August meeting in their “…Year in Review…” pictorial. I know that Bill spends a significant amount of time gathering gift certificates from local restaurants, writing these articles and working with the command at the Weapons Station to make this program great. Thank you Bill.
While I am at it, I am reminded of the efforts of Dolores Hardy and Fran and Paula Pieri on behalf of GPS. Dolores was our Treasurer for many years after Andy Andresen retired. She really did not so much volunteer as got shanghaied. Notwithstanding how she got bamboozled, she did a wonderful job for many years until getting Ray LeCompte (with lots of help from Joy) to take over. It is always nice to see Dolores at our meetings… she is the sweetest person! Fran and Paula had to give up their position(s) as Membership Officer(s) when they moved to Oceanside. It is just too far to travel for Staff Meetings and Luncheons. They were fixtures at the front desk, handing our membership applications, taking orders for pins and badges and answering questions of all sorts. Thank you all for your service to GPS. We will not forget.
This month we will honor the Sailors of the Year from NWSSB and Navy Munitions Command, CONUS West Division. I hope to have Jim DeLozier, Force Master Chief/E-9(Ret), USN, who is USAA Military Affairs Representative/Field Operations West Region, say a few words about the prestigious SOY award before participating in our ceremony. I do hope to see many of you who have not attended in a while show up and support our program. Bill Thompson and Sel Ramsay work very hard to make this a worthwhile program for the active duty personnel and your attendance adds to the moment.
Last week I received my copy of the Fall/Winter 2017 issue of Wings of Gold. Our PAO, Dave Malmad, has a really nice write up on pages 48 and 49, plus nice photos. Dave is doing double duty at the January meeting: he is acting as PAO and making the luncheon presentation on a very interesting subject, early efforts to fly drones. Great results with WOG and “break a leg” on 11 January!
And for those of you who have not received your copy of WOG, that means that you have either let your membership lapse; have moved without telling HQ; or are, God forbid, not members of ANA but attend our meetings to support our programs and Mission. In any event, think about joining or renewing but please make the meetings. Please recruit new members too.
USNL Imperial Valley Council will be hosting its annual fundraiser (Desert Outing) on 23-24 February, 2018. This event established in 1985 is held at NAF El Centro. There will be an opportunity for guests to watch flight training from a secure location on the flight line. Funds raised from this event support the servicemen and women of the Council’s adopted commands, ships, squadrons and their families. Space is limited, and reservations are accepted through 5 February. Information is available on the council’swebsite at www.ivnavyleague.org.