President  John Stewart                                                                                           National Headquarters  

Vice President   Stephen Tyde                                                                                                              2300 Wilson Avenue

Sec/Treasurer    Dave Echevarria                                                                                                           Arlington, VA 22201

Judge Advocate Gil Burnett                                                                                                                  (703) 528 1775

Chaplain Dick Leisenring                                                                                                                                   

Education/Awards Dick Eisenman                                                                                                        Board of Directors

Newsletter John Stewart                                                                                                                           Harry Otterbein 

Public Affairs Dave Spetrino                                                                                                                    Frank Boushee

Programs - Harry Otterbein                                                                                                                         Tom Durant

Recruiting/Retention Emmett Tedesco                                                                                                   Henry Helgesen

Special Events Harry Otterbein                                                                                                                 John Hicks

                                                                                                                                                                    Deese Thompson

                                                                                                                                                                    Dick Eisenman


 Founded 1902

Serving the Sea Services Since 1902

Wilmington Council,

Post Office Box 813

Wilmington, NC 28402-0813

January 2009 Newsletter

Comments from the President

            It has been quite a month for the Navy League and it began with a day of reflection.  December 7th 2008 was on a Sunday this year as it was in 1942.  The Pearl Harbor day was remembered on the USS North Carolina at the same time of the attack which started the American involvement in WWII.  Wilbur Jones was one of the organizers of the day and acted as master of ceremonies for the event.  We wish to recognize Wilbur for the masterful job at the event as well as his efforts to have as many of the survivors as possible of Pearl Harbor day in attendance.  It was a moving experience and one which allows us to remember the generation which fought in WW II.  We also would like to thank Congressman Mike McIntyre for being the keynote speaker for the remembrance.

            The Navy League Christmas Party followed on the 9th of December, and we were able to recognize Capt. David Scheu for his leadership as co chair of the SSN 777 commissioning as well as for his work on the battleship USS North Carolina.  We mentioned to Dave that it was unusual to ask someone to come as our guest to be recognized for his work and then advise him that he was the speaker as well.  We pleased to hear Dave’s history of the ships bearing the USS North Carolina name.  We were also able to say our Farewell to him as he leaves his post on the North Carolina and retires.

            The Harmony Belles entertained at the party with their new Christmas routine.  Each year the Harmony Bells develop a new routine with a different Christmas theme.  This year they focused on Santa’s reindeer with very clever show.  We thank them for coming to help us celebrate the season

            The last part of business at the Christmas celebration was the election of officers and directors for the New Year. The new officers and directors are:

            Officers                                                                    Directors

            President – John Stewart                                            Harry Otterbein
            Vice President – Steve Tyde                                      Frank Boushee
            Secretary/Treasurer – David Echevarria                     Tom Durant
            Judge Advocate – Gil Burnett                                    Henry Helgesen                     
            Chaplain – Dick Leisenring                                        John Hicks
            Education/Awards – Dick Eisenman                          Deese Thompson
            Newsletter – John Stewart                                        Dick Eisenman
            Public Affairs – Dave Spetrino                                  
            Programs – Harry Otterbein
            Recruiting/Retention – Emmett Tedesco
            Special Events – Harry Otterbein

            The year should not end without special thanks for all of the officers, directors and members who worked to make the year a success.  We have seen an upswing in the publicity for our events thanks to the efforts of Dave Spetrino.  We want to recognize Jerry Sullivan for arranging the events we have and thank him for the years he has done this;  Steve Tyde as the NL representative for the SSN 777 commissioning; Dave Echevarria for his work as treasurer; Harry Otterbein for stepping in to entertain the USS Squall crew;  Emmett Tedesco for his work in recruiting as we have grown some in the past year; to Dick Leisenring for his contributions to the newsletter; to Gil Burnett for providing us with photographs of our events; to John Hicks for arranging our monthly meetings; and to all of the directors for their support and guidance for the year.   We also have special thanks for Art Gowan who updates and maintains our web page..
          Chaplains Corner
            Christmas is one of those banner times to pause within the scurrying of mind and body and include reflection upon opening one’s spiritual self to what Christmas is truly about.  Emanuel does mean “God with us”.  Could a special encounter with Jesus be worked into our busy schedules?  That possibility itself, if asked sincerely, might bring order and peace into one’s life and could lead to the all important question, “Where am I in my relationship with God”?   That spiritual introspection will motivate one to improving those basic Christian virtues: faith, hope, charity, humility, self denial, repentance, and detachment from the secular and often immoral ways of modern life.  In Romans 15:13 Paul writes from prison:

            “May the God of hope fill you all with joy and peace in believing, so that
                        you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

God Bless
         The awards year will start in earnest next month as we start working on the various events which are our mission.  In this regard, we want to thank Dick Eisenman for the work he has done in this part of the Navy League activity.  I did not miss Dick in the earlier comments of special thanks to the officers and directors, but thought that his work was so special that it deserved special recognition.  Dick has done all of the awards work for the last 14 years.  This involved purchasing all of the award medals, plaques, certificates as well as getting the checks for individuals and units and making the presentations.  He was our representative at Maritime Day, various air shows, Veterans Day and any other event in which we needed representation.  Dick will pass this work on but will act as a mentor to the individuals who step up to take some of the responsibilities.  This is a special “Thanks” from the Navy League to Dick Eisenman.

         Treasurers Report
                       The council started the year on 1/1/2008 with a balance of $4470.97 and we completed the year with an ending balance on 12/10/2008 of $4202.70.  Remember that in January, we begin sending out the notices of local dues for the new year. 
           Upcoming Events
                       Our next meeting will be at the Cape Fear Club on the 9th of January.  John Hicks will send out the notices with the menu items.  Our special guest for the meeting will be CDR. Doug Fears, the Commanding Officer of the Diligence. 
 Final Comments

            If anyone needs a nametag or Navy League membership certificate contact Tom Durant.  Nametags are $5.00 and certificates are free.  Tom’s telephone number is 762-8557. 

            If you are receiving this by US Postal Service and have an e-mail address, please let me know your address via e-mail at or call me at 910 452 1616.  We have had several e-mail messages returned due to incorrect addresses and I am certain that a few of the recipients of the mailed copies have e-mail addresses as well.  It costs the council around $.50 per person to mail the newsletter and this money could be better used in our support programs for the sea services.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.  Let us all remember and pray for our troops and wish them safety and a speedy return to home.