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Elsie ItemFeaturedJune 2018 (No. 101)President's Message

President’s Corner – June 2018

by Robert E. Wright Jr., President/Treasurer

The reunion is now history, and from history we learn.  After serving as our Vice President for eight years and our President for the past two years, John France decided not to seek re-election. So, Rich Lovell, being the good Vice President, stepped forward and presided over the business meeting and election of officers. The Association stayed the course. Robert Wright is now leading our organization forward after years as an Association Director and Treasurer reestablishing our financial stability.

Operation Portland 2018.  TARE VICTOR GEORGE (WWII well done) is now known as BRAVO ZULU: Rick Holmes (lodging, bus, tours, banquet and more), Sue Cosper (registration, gifts, door prizes, research, slide show, displays, smiles, cornbread), Gordon Smith (bean soup, chili, bagpiper, bugler, honor guard), Sandy Rausch (greeting and registration, photos, gifts), John France (coordinating National and AFMM) and the whole crew of the 713 (restoration, research, extra hours-all volunteer) plus so many more became the ‘behind the scenes’ workforce needed to pull off the event. Of course, this would not have mattered as much without the Greatest Generation and the families that attended. THANK YOU ALL—R. Lovell, VP.

Observations from Officers Country. There are times in life when things happen. I have just experienced one of these when I was elected as President of the USS LCI National Association. I don’t think this was ever on my bucket list of things t  accomplish during my lifetime. But here I am, and being my father’s son, I will follow the advice that he often imparted on me and my brothers; “If you are going to do a job, you do it RIGHT!”

A Big Thank you to All who shared your experiences with me while I was writing articles for the Elsie Item.  Recently someone asked me if I knew any surviving WWII Veterans. At first, I was taken aback by the question, but I quickly realized that most people in this county no longer have any remaining living connections with the generation that struggled and fought to make the “World Safe for Democracy”. I told her that I was fortunate. I can pick up the phone at almost any time and talk with hundreds of US Navy Veterans about their experiences.

I plan to continue making these calls to our members who served on the Landing Craft, Infantry. If you see the name ROBERT WRIGHT show up in your caller ID you can safely answer the phone. If you monitor your calls, I will usually identify myself right away as a caller from the Landing Craft Infantry Association. So, pick up the phone, and I promise that the only thing that it will cost you is a few minutes of your time, to make your contribution to our shared history.

I have volunteered in McHale’s Navy.  The TV program McHale’s Navy came out in 1962, when I was 11 years old. I remember that it was one of the few programs that my father watched weekly. As a young boy I couldn’t bridge the connection between the “REAL” Navy, and zany antics going on in the TV show. It was only later, when I had the opportunity to meet and interact with my dad’s fellow LCIer’s, that I realized McHale’s Navy was my Dads Navy. On the LCI each and every crewman was a separate individual who brought with them their unique life experiences, city or rural, Northern or Southerner, maybe Western, poor or poorer because no one was rich in 1941, different levels of education, and different religions. It was these diverse differences that help form the solutions that contributed to achieving the United States Navy victory in World War II.

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