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Subase Pearl Harbor Det 716 

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After retiring from Xerox at 65 years of age in the fall of 2007, nine years after I had put away the Navy uniforms I had worn for twenty two years, I came to realize I needed to find something to do with all the spare time I now had.

I considered seeking part time employment but due to declining health I soon put that thought to rest and focused on coming up with another way of filling the idle time.

Eternal_Patrol_screenshot.pngI spent a lot of unproductive time thinking how much I missed the time I had spent in the Navy and about the friendship and comradely of the shipmates I had served with over the years.

I realized I had lost all contact with many of those I had served with and rarely spoke with or saw the few I had managed to stay in contact with.  This saddened me.

Wanting to find a way to rekindle the friendship, I spent much time coming up with a solution when the idea hit me of building a website that would commemorate the memory of the reserve unit I had spent eighteen years of my life with in the service to our country.

I had never done anything like this before and didn’t even know how to go about it.  So I started doing research on building websites. 

About this time, in my thoughts of reuniting those who served with Subase, a good friend from Wisconsin was coming to Minneapolis and invited me to dinner along with another shipmate. At dinner we talked of the times we had shared in the Navy and I told them my idea of reuniting the unit by building a website.  They both thought it was a great idea and encouraged me.

I began the crusade of finding out all I could about the cost and ease of doing this.  I spoke with several webhosts and discovered a website could be created for as little as $35.00 a year without all the bells and whistles or $350.00 a year with decent bandwidth (speed) and ample storage space for the pages.  I also learned about several great software programs that make designing a webpage a snap.

Fairly convinced that I could make this work I signed up with the webhost Freeservers and started building the first site for Subase Pearl Det. 716.

I started by putting together a few pages for the site.  As soon as I had a good start on what had the potential of being a website, I made it known to those who had served with Subase Det 716.  Had I known what a task this was going to be I might have had second thoughts.

I had several Recall Bills, documents created as aids in contacting those attached to the unit in the event of a national crisis that I had not destroyed after retiring.  I started calling phone numbers on this list and was able to contact many of those who had been with the unit when the documents were created.  But the documents were nine years old, so you can only imagine how many wrong numbers or disconnected number recordings I heard.

Somewhat frustrated I enlisted the help of a good friend and shipmate Ed Borgen.  Between the two of us we started calling more numbers.  When we reached someone we informed them of the site and its URL and obtained their contact information for newsletters and updates.  When we reached a shipmate we would change his/her name from the black letters to red letters on the muster page on the site.  This told each of us that person had been contacted.

Over the next few months we witnessed many of the 250 names on it go from black to red.For_God_and_Country_screenshot.png

This friend was very resourceful.  Once he even located and contacted one of our shipmates who was doing some work and living in China. I couldn’t have done this without his help.  I will be forever grateful.

At first the site was fairly simple, photos I had taken of the unit while on active duty at Pearl Harbor, a page called Muster, a page called Sea Stories with some No Shitter stories, a couple of humor pages, one a generic page called Just for Laughs and another called Military Humor.  Lastly I added a Guest Book and a column called Daily Blurbs where I kept everyone updated on the progress of the site.

Our URL was http://www.subasepearldet716.freehosting.net which was lot of typing, leaving a lot of room for error when trying to log onto the site. 

Later I leased our own domain and the new URL was shortened to http://subasepearldet716.com, considerably shorter.  Later still I changed webhosts for reasons of cost and better software to a website provider called Bluehost.

When the site was moved to Bluehost, it was three years old and I was able to shorten the URL again by leasing the domain Subasepearl.com.  The new domain made the URL easier to type and less chance of error.

At first, the site being fairly simple had only two purposes, to reunite the unit and have fun.  As the site evolved it became evident it had the potential for a far greater purpose, to serve, honor and provide beneficial information to: 1. those serving their country;  2. those who had served;  and, 3.  those who had paid the price of the ultimate sacrifice and those they left behind.  I added new pages covering subjects such as For God and Country, Eternal Patrol (for those who had served with Subase and passed away), The Last of Our WW II Vets (honoring those who had answered the call to duty during  times of great need) and the Veterans Newsletters pages where articles from various veteran organizations are shared.

Two reunions were held, one in the fall of 2008 at which about 150 shipmates and guests were present and in 2009 when about 120 shipmates and guests shared friendship at a catered luau with entertainment.  A reunion for this year was considered but insufficient interest has put this idea on hold until next year.  Several breakfast get-togethers have also been held over the past five years with 15 to 25 shipmates and friends gathering on Saturday mornings to hash over old times.  Last year a group of us gathered for breakfast to celebrate the 35th Anniversary of the forming of the Subase Pearl Harbor Det. 716 Naval Reserve Unit which occurred on 30 April 1977.

Sea_Stories_screenshot.pngFunds to renew the site and domain have never been a problem due to the generosity of the unit.  The present contract for the site with Bluehost is paid until 09 Jan 2015.  The domain (the use of the Subasepearl.com name) is up for renewal on 03 Jan 2014, but this is a minor expense, under $20.00.

The task of building this Website, growing it and maintaining it over the past five years has been a challenge, to say the least, but it has been enjoyable and has left me with a feeling that I cannot describe. Being able to keep the unit united, and share shipmates’ stories and photos where we can be reminded of a time when a group of people were joined with a common cause and worked as a team to accomplish an end result with satisfactory results makes it all worthwhile.

In closing I would like to thank all of you for your continued support and loyalty to the site.  Without you all these words and pictures would be without meaning.  I would also like to thank those who contributed to the site’s upkeep and continued existence, those that helped during events and those that contributed articles and pictures to be shared on the site.  Without the support, the help and the contributions, the site, and my life would not be what it has grown to be.

January 25th 2013 marks the 5th anniversary of the website.  So to the next five years….Fair Winds and Following Seas.

 

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