President’s Message, October, 2017
This is Tony Hubbard, outgoing President of the USS Coontz Association, with my last messsage as President of the Association. At our September Reunion in Portland, we elected Chuck DeSabato as our new President and Ed Conrad as our new Secretary. Chuck served on the Coontz while it was both a DLG and a DDG, while Ed, as a youngster in our group, served while she was a DDG. Both were unanimously approved and will be serving in those roles for Two Years or more. Congratulations to both, and we expect the Association will grow and prosper under their leadership.
And speaking of reunions, we just concluded our 2017 reunion in September, in Portland, Oregon. A special "Thank You" goes to Bryon Anderson and Red Bennett for their leadership and perservence for setting up a great reunion in Portland, in spite of the rules and regulations that they had to work through. It was somewhat of a miracle that they pulled it off!
Byron took the trouble of surveying all the Shipmates and Wives/Girlfriends that attended the Reunion in Portland. The results are inciteful and are intended to help us improve future Reunions. The results of the survey can be seen by following the link below.
As you may have seen in the minutes of the 2017 Business Meeting, one of our primary discussions the possiblity of joining the Destroyer Leader Association (DLA). As you have probably noticed, our Association membership is declining and our reunions are being attended by less people, which causes the expenses for the reunion to go up. Our primary reasons for the discussion about joining the DLA was to try to mitigate our reunion expenses in the hopes of getting more Shipmates to attend. If we join, we intend to maintain the identity of the USS Coontz throughout the process. Our concerns center their schedule for reunions, the places where reunions are held, the the annual $35 membership fee that is required for all members, the continuing ability to maintain our own Hospitatily Room (with our beverages of choice), the Plated Dinner that is 'required' at every event, and the exclusion of non- Shipmates (Wives, Girlfriends, Childred) at some events.
We decided to test the relationship that we would have DLA by scheduling our 2017 reunion concurrent with them in the 'Boston Area', and then determining if we can continue on. Will keep you posted as this test relationshp develops. We will have to see how this plays out.
Also, we had a discussion on the 'Free' membership that we offered last year. After determining that this was not working, we decided to go back to the paid membership. Our bylaws will have to be changed once we decide what our next course of action will be for increasing our enrollment.
Over the past year, we initiated a new push to get more ex-Shipmates involved in the Association. If you are in touch with any old Coontz shipmates that might want to join the Association (now Free to join) and/or start attending our reunions, please give them a call and urge them to get more involved. You can also e-mail any of the current officers of the Association at the e-mail addresses listed on the first page of the Web Site. We will gladly follow up on any leads that you get to us. As a result of this initiative, we now have names and a combination of addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses for more than 220 ex-shipmates. All will receive the information on the 2017 reunion.
Another initiative that we started in San Diego, is the identification of any shipmates that past away since serving on the Coontz (Fallen Shipmates). If you know of any shipmates that have past, please let any of the current Officers know. We plan to expand the Web Site to include a Fallen Shipmates page, in hopes that it will serve as a comprehensive list of those shipmates that have past. At each of our reunions, we conduct a 2 Bell Ceremony to commemorate all of those that have fallen.
If you are reading this, either from the Web Site, from Facebook, or from a direct mailing, it is obvious that you have an interest in preserving the memory of the USS Coontz. So please remember the old girl and become a member of this Association. Then, hopefully you will consider attendance at one (or all) of our Reunions. Our aim is to keep the memory of the USS Coontz alive since she has been decommissioned and dismantled. We currently make an annual donation toward the upkeep for the USS Coontz Memorial in Hannibal, Missouri.
We also make an annual contribution to a deserving military oriented orgnization. In 2016, our donation went to Fisher House, an organization caring for wounded Vetrans!
If you wish to do your part in keeping the memory of the USS Coontz alive, please go to the Home page on this site and download the form necessary to join. Remember, Membership is now free.
The Association needs your help in trying to keep the Memory of the Coontz alive!
We have an exciting year planned for 2018. Here’s hoping that you will consider becoming involved and can join us in San Antonio!!.
Tony Hubbard (’61 – ’64)
Ex-President, USS Coontz Association
PS: It has been a pleasure (and a pain) to serve as President of the Association over the last 3 years. I expect that Chuck will have his own ideas on what course the Association will take into the future. My best to Chuck, and I plan to support him in any way that I can!!
For other news about the Coontz as posted by some of your former shipmates, please check our Facebook Pages by clicking both Facebook 1 and Facebook 2.