Best Friends HT2 Dan Peters- (Weld Shop) We used to sign up for tours and also traveled around Sardinia on our own. He was a good guy. One time when I was on USS Shenandoah and we pulled into Fort Lauderdale from GITMO, he was in a rental car waiting. We drove pretty far south, but didn't make it Key West.
HT2 Paul Daniels- (pipe shop) My craziest buddy. We hung out and did all kinds of things together. Early one Sunday morning we were bored so we inflated a surgical glove with oxygen and acetylene and exploeded it by throwing a hot sheetmetal scribe at it. It made a huge boom and got us in a little bit of hot water, which thankfully Chief Meile was able to get us out of. I heard he passed away, but have not been able to confirm it. If so, rest in peace my friend.
HT3 Vince Janowiak- (pipe shop) Still on active daty as a LCDR, I remember Vince as a brand new fireman. He was a good guy, very talented at playing the guitar and singing. I always enjoyed watching Vince play.
HT3 Alvin Tyler- (pipe shop) I know it sounds strange having grown up in Los Angeles county, but Alvin was the first African-American I ever knew. Alvin was a great guy, funny and very nice. Alvin- I didn't appreciate your music back then. I do now.
HT3 Scott Vandehei- (pipe shop) Scott told me that he grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and that when he was a kid he didn't wear shoes in the summer and only had to bathe on Saturday nights. I'm not sure I believed him, but it made a good story. I enjoyed spending time with Scott and his girlfriend.
HT2 Jeff Earl- (pipe shop) One of my mentors when I arrived aboard the USS Orion as a brand new pushbutton Third Class. He showed me a lot and I am grateful for it.
HT2 Tony Roberts- (pipe shop) Along with Jeff Earl, he took me under his wing and showed me the ropes when I was new onboard. He was from a small town in North Carolina and I always enjoyed reading his hometown newspaper.
HTFN Pat Cary- (pipe shop) From Alabama. He kept talking about this new thing called "MTV" where they played music videos on televison. Of course that was when MTV actually did play music videos instead of the stupid reality shows that they have today.
HT3 Joe Mykut- (pipe shop) Also from Alabama, Joe was a fun guy. He was a funny guy to hang out with.
PH1 Terry Whitter- (photo lab) Terry was a nice guy who showed me quite a bit about taking and developing photos. I am definately better at photography today because of his assistance.
And many, many others. My Orion shipmates were all great guys.
Best Moment I think they were almost all best moments. Orion was my first ship, and as far as I was concerned it was also the best.
Worst Moment Standing armed security guard watches and being part of the Personal Reliability Program. I used to hate being the weapons rover and roaming around the torpedo shop and various other areas watching the weapons department guys playing cards when I knew that I was going to be staying up all night after I got off watch and working a hot job. It took me a while to understand the equal importance of both military duties and my job related duties. I guess I must have missed that class in boot camp. I apologize to the weapons guys for all of the abuse I threw your way.
Chain of Command HTC Joe Meile- The best Chief I ever worked for and the model of the Chief I tried to be. A real stand up guy, Joe took care of business and he also took care of his people.
Other Memories Assigned to pipe shop and flex hose shop.
When I arrived aboard the ship people lined up and couldn't wait to tell me how bad it was and how they were short timers and getting the hell out of there. Of course with a fifteen month tour we were ALL short timers.
I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into, but ended enjoying myself so much that I decided to extend my tour for another year.
I loved living in Italy and traveling to another country every few months. I think that anybody who was bored on "The Rock" wasn't trying. I wish I had never left.