Virginia Beach—Reunion 2001
by Kenneth E Hill, LCDR, USNR
The 2001 Reunion of the USS/USCGC Lansing was held in Virginia Beach, VA, from October 17-21, 2001. Perhaps the best word to describe the reunion is usually applied to the weather, perfect. The weather was perfect, the guide, Pat Joyce, was outstanding, and all events ran as planned, with a minimum of glitches. Best of all was the opportunity to get together with old shipmates and friends.
The reunion opened on Wednesday, October 17th with a tour of Colonial Williamsburg’s Duke of Gloucester Street and the battlefield at Yorktown, where the last major battle of the Revolutionary War was fought.
On Thursday morning we toured the USS Wisconsin (BB-64), and the very entertaining Nauticus museum where some of us realized how much our CIC skills have eroded during an Aegis interactive demonstration. After lunch, we enjoyed a leisurely tour of the General MacArthur Memorial.
A very lively gift exchange among the ladies was held upon return to the hotel while the former crew held the annual business meeting. We voted to hold the 2003 reunion in Seattle, WA, or if that site proves too expensive, San Francisco/Oakland as a second choice. Terry Moberg said he would investigate both and make a recommendation.
Thursday evening featured the highlight of the reunion, the reception where old friendships are renewed and new friendships formed. For the first time, we had two former Commanding Officers present, Oz Ostlund and Bob Schultz, the final C.O. of the ship. Additionally Dottie Krejcarek, widow of former C.O. Don Krejcarek, was able to attend.
Friday featured a tour of Virginia Beach as well as a harbor cruise and box lunch aboard the American Rover, a sailing vessel (fortunately there are diesel engines in case the wind fails to co-operate) The weather was far different from AA, and we had a great view and description of our modern day Navy, as one of almost every type ship of the fleet was in port.
Friday evening we sharpened our line dancing skills at a barbecue at Virginia Beach. I’m continually amazed at the number of fine dancers we have among the crew.
Saturday featured a tour of Fort Monroe that was particularly interesting for me as my father attended ROTC camp there in 1925. As part of the current increased national security, our bus was boarded and searched before we were cleared to enter the base. Fort Monroe is the only military base currently open to visitors in the Norfolk area. During the afternoon we toured the air and space museum at Langley, truly an outstanding exhibit of the history and future of aviation.
The reunion closed on Sunday with breakfast and a memorial service led by Ron Bond, Ken Hill, Bob Goodrich, and Ernie Matthews for our departed shipmates as well as those victims of the events of September 11th. Reluctantly we said our good-byes until we meet again at the 2002 reunion in New Orleans,LA on Oct 16th.