SEPTEMBER 21 - 25, 2011




SEPTEMBER 22, 2011


 The U.S.S. Brooke DEG-1/FFG-1 Association held it's tenth annual reunion at the Holiday Inn Select, Norfolk, VA September 21 - 25, 2011. Thirty seventy six shipmates, family and friends attended the annual gathering and this year was the first opportunity for the members of the National Sonar Association to hold their reunion in conjunction with ours. When you add the twenty five or so folks from the NSA, we ended up with a pretty solid turnout. Or as Steve Hunt would say, "just the right amount to fill a tour bus". As per our standard opening night routine we held our "Welcome Aboard" reception in the Hospitality Room. Besides the camaraderie and renewal of friendships for the "Brooke Gang", we welcomed many NSA members to what has become a staple of getting our reunion off on the right foot. On day 2, Thursday, we set off for a city tour of Norfolk and a then took a cruise of Norfolk harbor aboard the Victory Rover. Moving right along, we visited the National Maritime Center and lunched at Nauticus. With tummies full we went aboard the U.S.S. Wisconson BB-64. I don't care how long you were in the Navy. Whether it was a four year hitch of full career, going aboard a battleship is always awe inspiring. The give one such a sense of pure power. Being on the receiving end of one of those 16" guns had to be a bad experience. Later in the day we as we headed back to the hotel we stopped at Doumar's Ice Cream shop.  What a treat! Watching them make the ice cream cones on a flat iron and then fill them with a scoop (or two) of your favorite flavor. A great way to wind up the afternoon.  In the evening we had our "Pizza Night" and annual cake cutting ceremony. By bedtime most folks were quite ready for a good nights sleep. On Friday we started early once again and toured the Amphibious Base at Little Creek. The high light being a demonstration of how the navy trains sailors in amphibious tactics. We enjoyed a nice lunch at the base officer's club and then proceeded back to downtown Norfolk to visit the MacArthur Memorial. By the time we returned to the hotel the crew was ready for some down time. They would need it as we had more plans for Saturday. In the morning, after our annual business meeting, we set off for the Virginia Air and Space Center followed by a tour of the Mariner's Museum. Both were outstanding venues for those with an interest in flight and seafaring. Especially noted was the display of the recovered portions of the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor. As the afternoon ended we returned to the hotel to rest up for the Saturday evening annual banquet.

Each year in the past we have had a pretty set routine for our banquet. But this year we decided to change it up a little. Instead of the annual "Tom & Steve" show, we brought in some "professional" entertainment. The barber shop choral group was, simply put, great! They made the evening and our decision to go "professional" in the future a lot easier. Still, when the annual raffle for prizes brought from our members home states started up, Steve and I found the opportunity to add our off beat wit to the proceedings. All in fun, the evening was a wonderful way to bring and end to our 2011 reunion.

                     On Sunday morning we held our annual memorial service to remember shipmates departed and then shared farewells until next year in Baton Rouge, LA. As with each of our previous reunions old friendships continued, new friendships were made or renewed. As always, my hat is off to all of you who traveled many miles to see old friends and share your experiences of Brooke with others. We hope you had a wonderful time and that we didn't tire you out too much. As with each of our reunions we try to create a mix of events to keep our attendees engaged and entertained and this year was no exception. Once again we will try to improve our events in Baton Rouge and we hope you will be able to join us.

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.

Tom Adametz



(In alphabetical order with their home states)

Tom and Harriet Adametz (CA)

Marc and Rose Apter (VA)

Mary Blanes (VA)

Robert Cook (TX)

David and Glenda Corcoran (CA)

Jack and Ginger Kirby Dewitt (SC)

Jim and Vivian Elliott (VA)

Kirk Evans (VA)

Rita and Melinda-Kromray Giblen (CA)

Jerry and Estelle Hamling (WA)

Jimmy and Betty Hanna (TX)

Steve and Linda Hunt (WA)

Elmer and Diane Jones (CA)

Betty Lucas (WA)

Tony and Robin Precie (CA)

LeRoy and Janet Schultz (OR)

Del and Dwyllis Secrest (WA)

Paul and Michelle Strawbridge (TX)

Bill and Barb Ulmer (MO)

Larry and Nancy Whitaker (VA)

Scott Youngren (CA)