Stan's Stuff

It takes your own web site...
and a lot of conceit

to think that anybody is interested in your thoughts and ideas.   Those of you who know me, know that I have both.   So I have created this eclectic page to explore, entertain, editorialize, enlighten, embellish, expose, educate, enchant, expound, encourage, endorse, examine, enliven, exasperate, enrage, exhilarate, enrich, entangle, explain, enthuse, extol, eulogize, evoke, exalt, excite, exhort, express, and embarrass anyone foolish enough to read it.

Who could ask for anything more?

Stan at the Helm

A letter from a Sennet rider:

Dear Mr. Pollard:

I am writing this letter to ask you if anyone in your association remembers  training some U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers. I was aboard your submarine in 1965. I received a card for my wallet that states that I was an honorary member of the ship's company, that I was enrolled in "The Royal Order of Snorkelers" and I was declared a "snorkelmaster". The date on the card is 9 September 1965 and we were in the VA. CAPES area. The card was certified by LT. Bigler and LCDR C.L. Cotter. I was wondering if any of your associates remember this training cruise.

The overall mission was to practice inserting a Special Forces team into a hostile area. The training consisted of submerging your submarine from under our rubber boats and to practice towing the rubber boats using the periscope while the submarine was submerged.

I received your name through the Sennet.org web site and I decided to try to contact you to see if anyone remembered this training. I would really like to know if anyone had taken any pictures during this time in 1965. I don't remember how long we were aboard; I think it was only a couple of days. I am quite proud to have been aboard your fine submarine and to this day I still carry my old, dog-eared "snorkelers" card with me.

Sincerely,

James T. Plover
502 Springfield Avenue
Folsom, PA 19033-1409

phone: (610) 586-1399


Carlos Cabrera tells his story.

spacerIn February I got an interesting phone call from a Carlos Cabrera.   A proud American living in Kenner, LA.  He was not a crew member, but he certainly has a good story about Sennet.  In May 1967, fifteen year-old Carlos, his father, and three others fled Communist Cuba and were attempting to sail a small boat to Jamaica.  They had heard of many others that had tried this escape and not made it.  They were scared that their tiny boat would sink, or that they would be picked up by a Russian freighter or Cuban patrol boats.  If this happened they would be thrown into prison or worse.   Sennet helped to rescue them.  Here's his story:

There were five of us: my father, two other adults, myself and another youth.  Our plan was to sail to Jamaica.  I was young so was not made aware of plans till about three weeks before departure.  The adults had started with many months of preparation buying seafood and building relationships with local fishermen at the point of departure.  Later they went out fishing at night to establish timing patterns.  Meanwhile we prepared a small boat that was about 12 to 15 feet long with a tiny recently rebuilt engine in the center and a sail.

We left shore about 9:00 pm, and everyone had to get down low except two guys to make it look like a fishing trip.  I ended by the exhaust pipe, and I had to endure until we got away from the shore.  There wasn't much food in the boat, but we had lots of bread.  The seas were restless, but everything went thing went well for about two nights and a day.

Then the seas got rough and water started to come in over the top faster then we could bail it out.  The engine started to misfire eventually failed.  We had made a sail but conditions were not favorable so we drifted aimlessly.  We saw some lights in the distance, and one of the guys who knew Morse code signaled.  I guess it was to far away to be seen, and we were afraid of reaching the wrong ship.

All of our bread had gotten wet, and we had nothing to eat.  We tried fishing for fresh food, but the sharks would get to it before we could get it in the boat.  I was sick most of the time.  We were lost, and our situation was getting desperate.  Then we saw dolphins swimming along side the boat in a playful way, and we felt a little safer.

In the evening we saw another light, and this time it drew closer.  It was a Swedish merchant ship.  The Swedish crew lowered a boarding ladder.  We were able to get to the side of the ship with the ladder, but the waves were crashing our boat against the ship.  We tried to use our oars to protect our small boat.  As each wave lifted us, one of the guys would grab the ladder and climb up.

Finally, just my father and I were left in the boat, but now it was harder to keep the boat from crashing against the ship with the oar.  When the waves got high I would grip the ladder but was too weak to climb up.  Eventually the boat swamped against the ship and sank.  My father and I managed to stay afloat.  They dropped a rope to my father, and he tied it around my waist.  They pulled me up.  Then my father grabbed on the ladder, and he was pulled up.

Aboard the Swedish ship, Albany, they offered us coffee,  muffins, and cigarettes.  I, being the youngest had to ask permission to smoke.  My father said, "Why not, we are free."  That got me to smoking for a few years.  The Swedish ship called for assistance from an American ship, and the Sennet soon arrived.  Then we were transferred to the sub by a small boat.

Carlos Cabrera
Standing (L to R) are Arquimedes Quiala, Carlos E. Cabrera, and Roberto Alvarez.  In front (L to R) are Luis Felipe Quiala and Carlos B. Cabrera who is telling this story.


Inside the sub it was the best we had seen in a long time.  We got showers and clothes.  They even took care of a scrape I got going up the steps on the side of the sub.  Then they took us to the mess decks, and I had never seen so much food.  I tried to take a bite out of everything.

Sennet brought us to Guantanamo Bay, where we were transported in a speed boat to the base.  We stayed there for three days before flying to Miami.  My father and I went to New Jersey were we had family on my mother's side.  Now I am 56 years young, married and live in Kenner, LA.  My wife and I are both naturalized American citizens.  We love and believe in the best country in the world and its Democratic process.


Please relate my sincere appreciation for all involved with the Sennet and all that you guys know that have served and are serving in the Armed Forces it has been an honor to say that I have some past connection to all of you. I know that it takes a special kind of giver to do what you guys have done and I feel privileged to say that I owe everything I'm and have to you. I pray to our heavenly father to favor you and yours with great health and abundant love and the opportunity to except his free gift of eternal life through Christ whom he sent to die for our sins... with all honor and do respect--Many Thanks-- Carlos

SENNET Crew Members in the Charleston Area

spacerSENNET crew members living in and around the Charleston area get together on the third Friday of each month at the Charleston Club on the Air Force Base for a luncheon and bull session.   They start about 1100 and finish up about 12:30.   All former SENNET crew members are invited to attend.   For more information, contact Ralph Luther by email: rluther (at) bellsouth.net or phone: (843) 851-7064.


The Submariner

spacerEM2(SS) Eugene Kennedy (57-61) forwarded this article by the noted psychologist, Dr. Joyce Brothers.   I first read this article about 20 years ago.   It was true then and is still true.

spacerThe Submariner

The tragic loss of the submarine Thresher and 129 men had a special kind of impact on the nation....a special kind of sadness, mixed with universal admiration for the men who choose this type of work.   One could not mention the Thresher without observing, in the same breath how utterly final and alone the end is when a ship dies at the bottom of the sea......and what a remarkable specimen of man it must be who accepts such a risk.   Most of us might be moved to conclude, too, that a tragedy of this kind would have a damaging effect on the morale of the other men in the submarine service and tend to discourage future enlistment.   Actually, there is not evidence that this is so.   What is it then, that lures men to careers in which they spend so much of their time in cramped quarters, under great psychological stress, with danger lurking all about them?

spacerBond Among Them

Togetherness is an overworked term, but in no other branch of our military service is it given such full meaning as in the so called "silent service. "   In an undersea craft, each man is totally dependent upon the skill of every other man in the crew, not only for top performance but for actual survival.

Each knows that his life depends on the others and because this is so, there is a bond among them that both challenges and comforts them.   All of this gives the submariner a special feeling of pride, because he is indeed a member of an elite corps.   The risks, then, are an inspiration rather than a deterrent.   The challenge of masculinity is another factor which attracts men to serve on submarines.   It certainly is a test of a man's prowess and power to know he can qualify for this highly selective service.   However, it should be emphasized that this desire to prove masculinity is not pathological, as it might be in certain daredevil pursuits, such as driving a motorcycle through a flaming hoop.

spacerEmotionally Healthy

There is nothing daredevil's about motivations of the man who decides to dedicate his life to the submarine service.   He does, indeed, take pride in demonstrating that he is quite a man, but he does not do so to practice a form of foolhardy brinkmanship, to see how close he can get to failure and still snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.   On the contrary, the aim in the submarine service is to battle danger, to minimize the risk, to take every measure to make certain that safety rather danger, is maintained at all times.

Are the men in the submarine service braver than those in other pursuits where the possibility of sudden tragedy is constant?   The glib answer would be to say they are.   It is more accurate, from a psychological point of view, to say they are not necessarily braver, but that they are men who have a little more insight into themselves and their capabilities.

They know themselves a little better than the next man.   This has to be so with men who have a healthy reason to volunteer for a risk.   They are generally a cut healthier emotionally than others of the similar age and background because of their willingness to push themselves a little bit farther and not settle for an easier kind of existence.

We all have tremendous capabilities but are rarely straining at the upper level of what we can do, these men are.

The country can be proud and grateful that so many of its sound, young, eager men care enough about their own stature in life and the welfare of their country to pool their skills and match them collectively against the power of the sea.

by Dr. Joyce Brothers

spacer(May 07)

How to Properly Forward Emails and Reduce Junk Mail
spacerETR3(SS) Dick Gorman (62-65) sent in these important notes about forwarding emails.

A friend who is a computer expert received the following directly from a system administrator for a corporate system.   It is an excellent message that ABSOLUTELY applies to ALL of us who send e-mails.   Please read the short letter below, even if you're sure you already follow proper procedures.

Do you really know how to forward e-mails?   50% of us do; 50% DO NOT.   Do you wonder why you get viruses or junk mail?   Do you hate it?   Every time you forward an e-mail there is information left over from the people who got the message before you, namely their e-mail addresses and names.   As the messages get forwarded along, the list of addresses builds, and builds, and builds, and all it takes is for some poor sap to get a virus, and his or her computer can send that virus to every E-mail address that has come across his computer.   Or, someone can take all of those addresses and sell them or send junk mail to them.   How do you stop it?   Well, there are several easy steps:

  1. When you forward an e-mail, DELETE all of the other addresses that appear in the body of the message (at the top).   That's right, DELETE them.   Highlight them and delete them, backspace them, cut them, whatever it is you know how to do.   It only takes a second.   You MUST click the "Forward" button first and then you will have full editing capabilities against the body and headers of the message.   If you don't click on "Forward" first, you won't be able to edit the message at all.
  2. Whenever you send an e-mail to more than one person, do NOT use the To: or Cc: fields for adding e-mail addresses.   Always use the BCC:(blind carbon copy) field for listing the e-mail addresses.   This way the people you send to will only see their own e-mail address.   If you don't see your BCC: option click on where it says To: and your address list will appear.   Highlight the address and choose BCC: and that's it, it's that easy.   When you send to BCC: your message will automatically say Undisclosed Recipients in the "TO:" field of the people who receive it.
  3. Remove any "FWD" in the subject line.   You can re-name the subject if you wish or even fix spelling.
  4. ALWAYS hit your Forward button from the actual e-mail you are reading.   Ever get those e-mails that you have to open 10 pages to read the one page with the information on it?   By Forwarding from the actual page you wish someone to view, you stop them from having to open many e-mails just to see what you sent.
  5. Have you ever gotten an email that is a petition?   It states a position and asks you to add your name and address and to forward it to 10 or 15 people or your entire address book.   The email can be forwarded on and on and can collect thousands of names and email addresses.   A FACT: The completed petition is actually worth a couple of bucks to a professional spammer because of the wealth of valid names and email addresses contained therein.   If you want to support the petition, send it as your own personal letter to the intended recipient.   Your position may carry more weight as a personal letter than a laundry list of names and email address on a petition.   Actually, if you think about it, who is supposed to send the petition in to whatever cause it supports?   And don't believe the ones that say that the email is being traced, it just aint so!   One of the main ones I hate is the ones that say that something like, Send this email to 10 people and you'll see something great run across your screen Or sometimes they'll just tease you by saying something really cute will happen.   IT AINT GONNA HAPPEN!!!!!   (Trust me, Im still seeing some of the same ones that I waited on 10 years ago!)   I don't let the bad luck ones scare me either, they get trashed.   (Could be why I haven't won the lottery??)
  6. Before you forward an Amber Alert, or a Virus Alert, or some of the other ones floating around nowadays, check them out before you forward them.   Most of them are junk mail that's been circling the net for YEARS!   Just about everything you receive in an email that is in question can be checked out a Snopes.   Just go to www.snopes.com.   It's really easy to find out if it's real or not.   If its not, please dont pass it on.
So please, in the future, let's stop the junk mail and the viruses.
spacer(August 06)

DD-214's for Veterans
spacerEM1(SS) Robert Machen (67-68) sent in this valuable information:

spacerIts official, DD-214's are NOW Online.
The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214s online: http://www.vetrecs.archives.gov/   This may be particularly helpful when a veteran needs a copy of his DD-214 for employment purposes.   NPRC is working to make it easier for veterans with computers and Internet access to obtain copies of documents from their military files.   Military veterans and the next of kin of deceased former military members may now use a new online military personnel records system to request documents.   Other individuals with a need for documents must still complete the Standard Form 180, which can be downloaded from the online web site.   Because the requester will be asked to supply all information essential for NPRC to process the request, delays tha normally occur when NPRC has to ask veterans for additional information will be minimized.   The new web-based application was designed to provide better service on these requests by eliminating the records center's mailroom processing time.
spacer(July 06)

Identity Theft...
spacer Identity theft has risen faster than any other white-collar crime in America.   Over 50 million cases of identity theft have been documented, and some law enforcement experts predict that more than 25 percent of the population will fall victim to the crime.   That's the bad news, however there is some good news for us.   People aged 60 and over represent the smallest group of identity theft victims, only about 9 percent.   None-the-less, the crime can befall anyone, so here are some steps you can take to protect yourself:

spacerIf you are, or become a victim of identity theft, your initial steps should be: contacting creditors of accounts that have been tampered with; filing a police report and sending copies of it to bank, credit card companies and the insurance company; canceling credit cards and bank accounts and re-activating them with new passwords and numbers; and reporting lost or stolen cards to the three national credit-reporting agencies in writing (Experion, Trans Union, and Equifax).spacer(Jan 06)

Some of my Favorite Web Sites...

These are some web sites that I find interesting and you might enjoy.   They are in no particular order.


Green Board

Stan


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