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Author Topic: Where money in USSVI is going. Not to Museum boats!!!  (Read 25475 times)
Paul Farace
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« Reply #15 on: June 19, 2008, 12:04:02 PM »

Well put!  Bravo!

PF
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« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2008, 04:22:39 PM »

Ray Wewers --- raywewers@suddenlink.net
Shipmates, this is my first posting on this forum, but acting as the USSVI Memorials and Ceremonies Chairman, I get the feeling that many subvets, especially those associated with the Museum boats, do not realize that USSV CF has a program to provide financial assistance to the boats.  If you have a project on a museum boat that requires financial assistance you can request up to $1000 per project from the M&C Fund.  You are  required to raise the same matching amount and submit invoices for the materials and services necessary to complete your project.  You must also assign a project manager to communicate with the fund.  On Razorback, we had a major project to air-condition her at a cost of approximately $25000.  We received a $1000 donation from a former COB on Razorback, $4000 from a former Razorback Torpedoman's family and Razorback Base provided $11000 toward the project.  We did the project in two phases and for each phase the M&C fund provided us with $1000 for a total of $2000.  At present, I am in the process of rewriting the M&C procedures manual but am willing to hear from any of the museum boats who are in need of financial aid.  Although our fund is limited, at present, I will try to go to the board of USSVI for more funds if necessary.  If the funds are available, I am sure the National board will support the additional donations to these museum boats.  I agree that these are essential to our ability to perpetuate the memory of our shipmates who gave their all for us to be free.


Along the line of museum boats and their ability to be maintained, we, Razorback Base, have become pretty good at "begging".  We have been able to obtain enough vinyl tile and adhesive to replace all the tile on Razorback's main deck, enough cypress wood to replace the deteriorated topside deck,  all the labor to install 4 geo-thermal AC units, and, so far, have been able to get the primer and topcoat to paint the hull and superstructure.  All this has been donated at no cost to the base or the Museum.

Razorback is owned by the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum, a subsidiary of the city of North Little Rock.  The director is a USSVI member and the curator is an associate member of Razorback Base.  The Maintenance Chief is a USSVI member and an employee of the city of North Little Rock.  We, Subvets of Razorback Base, have a good working relationship with the staff of the Museum.  Agreed we have had our differences on what needs to be done and how it should be done, but overall, we are able to work together.  Our biggest problem is getting the equipment needed to some of the work due to cost.  We want to remove the clamshells and send them to a machine shop to rebuild the steel supports, but it costs us $1000 a day for barge mounted crane to remove them and then the cost of restoring the supports is in addition to this.  So far, we have been able to restore approximately 65% of the ship's lighting, replace the tile, replace the topside decking, scrape, prime and paint about 1/4 of the hull and superstructure.  It is slow, tedious work when you only have 3 or 4 people who can dedicate about 2 days a week.  Most of our volunteers have to drive anywhere from 60-80 miles one way to get to the boat and with the price of gas that gets very expensive.  We try to schedule workdays once a month and in the past have had up to 8 subvets and sometimes 3-4 Air Force personnel from Little Rock Air Force Base attend.  It's definitely a labor of love since the pay is non-existent.  So in closing, I am available to assist any museum get some financial aid from USSVI and will try to get more information out to the museums in this matter.  I may want to shoot myself for doing this after I get flooded for requests, but give me a chance to update our M&C manual before you overload me.

Ray Wewers
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« Last Edit: September 08, 2008, 05:34:08 PM by Lance Dean » Logged
Lance Dean
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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2008, 05:34:51 PM »

Thank you for coming on here and posting that Ray!  Just wanted to let you know I edited your post just to fix your email address so it would be clickable.  That's it.

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JTheotonio
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« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2008, 08:13:59 PM »

If SVWWII folds next year what will they do with their money?  I WISH the would give it all to help the museum boats (save a little for the hold out chapters).  What will the chapters do with their money - those that fold? Give that to museum boat also.

I know I just got letter asking for my dues - as an associate (because I am not old enough to have been in WWII) I pay $15. I'm glad to pay it, but I sure would like to see the money help our boats.  It will be one of the final things left to keep their deeds and memories alive for future generations.  To spend their money on Christmas parties when our boats need help is just not right.

OK USSVI  needs to kick in PLENTY now too.  My days are numbered now and I sure would like the memory of our diesel boats kept alive (OK I'm not kicking the bucket all that soon - but you know what I mean at 63 I am counting down)
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« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2008, 06:47:42 PM »

Wow - a lot going on from the original post.

Speaking from experience working with nonprofits and raising funding and from being a small business owner, I have learned a few things the hard way.

First, if you are going to be passionate about something - like taking on a submarine - especially one that has been neglected for a long period of time due to the ravages of time, weather, politics, and more, then you have to understand that not everyone you meet will be as passionate as you are.

Next, if you want something done you have to do it yourself.  This isn't a selfish phrase - its the truth when taking on projects that are not generally funded.  Many organizations take on projects that they feel are so important that everyone will jump on the band wagon and funding would be naturally provided through organizations like USSV, federal funding, private & public donations, etc.  But the reality is it doesn't work that way - well not exactly.  There is funding out there.  But to just assume it will come to you is just the wrong way to approach it.

I have a mantra - "You don't work with what you got - you work with what you get."  If you want funding than research and discover what your boat is eligible for.  You would be blown away by how much you can raise just in your own state.  I recently attended a Grant Writing workshop (something you can do too) and learned MANY things - among them - that I can apply for Arts & Humanities grant fundung on behalf of the Batfish.  This type of grant can be applied to a new Walk of Eternal Patrol (which is already being designed) or it can be applied to landscaping.  There are grants for trails (and our park is big enough to qualify) and ther are a slew more.  There are your local state and city governments.  In our case, the Batfish is becoming a vital part of the tourism dollars associated with the city in which she resides.  The city council is seeing this and now they are willing to seriously sit down and talk about potential funding.  But you have to take steps to educate and inform and make it happen.

There are many armchair conservationists.  But how many of them show up when the demand and need are on the line?  So if you are going to take on a project don't gripe about what others are doing or not doing.  What are YOU doing and how can you rally others to organize and take on a project to its conclusion?

The point I'm trying to make (as I see this way too often) is don't complain about a concern.  Find a solution.  Discuss what could be and not what is.  If you don't feel that the USSV is an adequate resource than help them become what you need through the power of voice.  None of these guys consider themselves in some elitist club.  Sure they may be more emotionally tied to the boat you are working with but they want to see the old girl survive just like you.  Present proposals and plans.  Or better yet, become involved and learn about what they do.  Perhaps there is a role you can play to make the difference you are seeking.  Or if you just don't think it will work out, then start your own organization or seek out other like minded individuals to come together for a common cause.

The thing is - if you want change then you have to make change.  Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

OK - I'll get off my soap box.
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« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2009, 09:09:59 PM »

Let me make a humble suggestion that the purpose of the USSVI is not now and probably never will be to support museum ships.  I doubt it even ranks in the top 5 priorities of the organization.  I'll go a step further and say "nor should it".

50,000 is a significant chunk of change, but its not in the realm of what these boats need and if you start spending it, you won't get very far with it.  Leave it in the scholarship area, its something the members gain some benefit from.  It is their money and their club and that they have a small program to help out boats is great.  I should say our club since I'm a member. 

Don't look to the USSVI for significant amounts of money.  This is the old guys club where they can get together once in a while and talk about the times when they were steely eyed killers of the deep.  And they remember those who can't sit around with them because of the hazards of war or the sea. 

If you really want to set a ship up to last a very long time, its going to take a lot of money.  You best bet is to get your Congressman to bend the rules and throw you a million or two for a drydocking and refurb.  Its chump change to them and despite the agreement of "no cost to the government", it shouldn't be too difficult to get them to see the patriotic advantage at the next election and spend the money anyway.  Better that than how its been spent.  They get to give work to shipyard workers, please veterans and maintain a naval heritage.  What more could they ask for?  The trick is to identify a lobbying organization to push it, but that takes money in the first place.

Brian
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Lance Dean
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« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2009, 09:50:49 PM »

Helping out a museum submarine makes a heck of a lot better sense to me than funding the scholarship program.

100 years from now the benefits of a scholarship will be zilch as far as USSVI goes.  Keeping a museum submarine around for future generations to see is the absolute best thing a veteran's organization could do to perpetuate their fallen shipmates.

But that's just my opinion.

Honestly I think 75% of the museum submarines are screwed in the long run.  I don't know where proper help will come from.
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Rick
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« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2009, 03:02:47 PM »

Wow,,,,

This topic is a big can of worms.   I will digress on further comment as I do not wish to offend anyone and if I get started I fear that I will offend everyone.
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emeacho
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« Reply #23 on: August 08, 2009, 08:35:12 PM »

It is probably a good thing that you don't start to rant.  I've found that overloading ones a by speaking generalities will only reap the wrath of the exceptions to the groups you sound off against.  I have seen some museum boats that are very well managed.  Pampanito is the shining star.  Best long-term plan I've ever seen and a well-kept boat.  Cod is up there.  Cavalla is certainly down near the bottom of the heep.  As far as management goes, Torsk is pretty close to the bottom also.  All civilians aren't good managers.  Some organizations are pathetic managers and certainly Torsk has some pathetic management.  The volunteers bust their tails to try to maintain the boat but, have their hands tied by a group that can't make a decision to save their souls.  Much better to make no decision than to make one that might be wrong.  Meantime, a deck project that was started seven years ago has just taken a huge step backwards.  Seabees have helping the volunteers to replace some badly deteriorated deck structure and the project is stalled because the museum management can't make up its mind as to the proper paint that should be used to preserve the new metal.  Decking that had been laid has now been taken back up so the old paint can be removed and the new "super paint" can be applied.    So, I applaud the civilian managers taht have done so well preserving the submarines in their care.  I applaud the managers who put a portion of their gate back into the preservation of the boat.  However, I will tell you once again that not all civilian management is better than a group of submarine veterans who have been there abd done that.  You may not always see eye to eye, but bear in mind that the vets do have a lot of experience when it comes to maintaining and preserving a submarine.

Just my 2 cents.

Been there, done that
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« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2009, 09:03:31 PM »

I agree that ranting mostly accomplishes negative things; but, each of these groups have different managers with different management styles and you have to work with what is there.  Even those of us who retired from the Navy have still worked far longer as civilians than as military personnel and from working with both over the last 50 years, I must say that a lot of civilians understand the bottom line concept and what it takes to keep the money coming in better than some who have never had to make a payroll or pay taxes for a company. Same holds true when working with educators or hospital personnel.
Certainly someone who has worked on a system knows it well, but let's take the example of paint. When I was in the Navy and for many years afterward, the concept of how to paint on metal was pretty much set down and done the same by all. But now there are new products that can get results that weren't possible years ago. If a company can afford to get the primers that bond with rust, they certainly are better than scraping and painting like we used to and sometimes, companies are forced to do things not the best, because of budget restraints.
In working with Parks and Rec in Omaha, very seldom ( actually so far,never) do I see them making a decision because of ego or ignorance, it usually boils down to how much money is there to spend and  who can do it.
We subvets and other Navy people who work with them, are happy to be allowed to help with the park and the ships. Management is also very good at explaining why or why not they can or can't do something.
There is an art to managing and some in the Navy have it, some do not, some in civilian life have it and some do not. In general, I have found that the best carpenter, the best mechanic, is often not a good manager because he is always thinking of what is best for that house or piece of equipment and the manager has to look at a hundred other things, and then compromise for the long term objectives that help the company the most.
 That is the major reason that so many businesses fail. Going out and fixing the lawn mower or building the house or getting something done on a museum boat that is needed is just a small part of what it takes to have the company that owns that museum boat, house, product, keep in business.  I also have found that there are so many things that need doing, that when we can't do this now, we still have other things to do.
And this is why Lance's site here is so important, we can all draw from the experiences of those who have gone through the same problems and found successful solutions.  I was very lucky today while working on the Marlin to have Greg Stitz and his wife come up to see the park and give me some things. Greg walked around with me and made several very good suggestions of things that will make things work better and easier. He also went out of his way to look at plans and books we had and will be making some copies of some so all will be able to have and use them.  I am sure that most in the sub community have no idea how much this site has helped others and drawn people together. I hope that the camaraderie shown here can continue and that we all can benefit from each other.
Just my opinion of course.
Viejo
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« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2009, 10:15:30 PM »

I can only echo what Chief Mike has said about so many other boats that have had crap for management that sadly has pushed the subvet community away and it takes a DEDICATED crew or in our case a family to be able to keep pushing forward no matter what has happened. In the last 5 years Torsk has gone leaps and bounds (actually 11 years now) and everytime I go up something else works or something else has been restored and it is AWESOME.  For the crews that do so much with so little I take my hat off to ALL of you for bringing our heritage back to life once more so that the future generations can see what our forefathers and all whom have contributed to the submarine community have done.
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Paul Farace
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« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2009, 02:22:20 PM »

Beating this gong will only wear it out, but here goes:

I think COD has the best management because we only run COD on a business basis. Pure Darwinian capitalism. What is good for the business end of the boat is actually good for the preservation aspects. Problem with subvets is they arn't businessmen. They know about OPERATING subs, but damn little about preserving them. I have a 33 year basis of opinion.  Get that? 33 years.  Now things have changed, thankfully. Today most of the boats are on the UPSWING. Today more museum boats have working engines that at any time in history! Yeah!!!!    But if we want to drag out the past, more damage has been done by subvets to the boats than has good.  They used to see the boats as their personal clubhouses and much damage to historic fabric was done. There is also, among some, an attitude that is not helpful when you want to get along with civilians. Now I am not saying there are not jerks on the civilian side (having been accused of same myself)... but the point is, when a sub becomes a historical object, a whole NEW SET OF SKILLS IS NEEDED, primarily business skills, and historic preservation skills. Have yet to see any government entities or personel show apitutude here... that includes city/state boards and vets.  What is needed is a good mix-diverstiy as it were.  Where boats are moving ahead, it is because people with the right skills are involved. To have a bunch of wrench jockeys without a good business management means there is little funding for long-term restoration and preservation. To have just vets, well that means disaster (think CROAKER, LING, BATFISH (before her current crew), etc.; To have just city/state/government staff, think about CLAMAGORE, TORSK (before the TVA), CAVALLA (in the bad old days before John McMichaels). The best boats have civilian crews with vets who can get along: PAMPANITO, COD (only after lots of heartaches in the past), BOWFIN, COBIA and now CAVALLA.   The PAMP has so much going for her, a legacy of Russ Booth. But in the day, Russ had to kick some subvet butt off the boat and say: "comeback when you can work with civilians under our rules!"  It was tough, but it worked. I just go nuts when I hear subvets say they can do it better.
 It takes a village to raise a sub boys!

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« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2010, 03:19:33 PM »

I recently posted this on the Base Commanders BBS and on LIB. If people are going to give to scholarships, they need to at least know that the people receiving the money are advertising our submarine community as this young lady has done. It also is good publicity for Freedom Park as three of the pictures on the disply are pictures of Freedom Park.
Viejo
Recently I had a young lady write and ask a lot of questions about subs and those who served on them. Then she came to Freedom Park with her parents and we spent several hours going over the Marlin and talking about what subs did and what it was like. She did a presentation for an Iowa History Day competition and from a district that has a lot of big middle schools, she won the alternate spot in the State Competition. This included several weeks of putting together her presentation including a large board with pictures and facts about subs and what they have done for the defense of our country. She also went to two of the State Universities to learn how to put together historical documents.

What's the point of all this, well her presentation and display are exactly what our creed is all about. She has educated hundreds of people about those in our sub force who gave all and why it was important.  

In looking over the requirements for our Scholarship Program, where the largest amount of money from the CF is and is spent, I saw the following requirements:

 Scholastic proficiency

Further, it is required that the applicant submit a 400 word essay detailing why they are deserving of the scholarship.

This is great and makes sense in that they are demonstrating that they are active in the community; but, what I don't see a word about in here is their demonstrating that they like my young friend Kirsten, have gone out and educated the public to what our creed is about. Nothing that says they have talked to people about our sub force and those who served. Nothing that says that they have volunteered in a submarine related project.

I think perhaps it would be good and make our Scholarship program tied more to our creed if the person applying would have to be able to show that they have learned about and shared their knowledge of the sacrifices of our fallen heroes, with their family, neighbors and the community. That would show that it isn't just another amount of money they want to pick up, but that they actually have respect for and care about our submarine veterans.

Here is a couple of pictures of what Kirsten put together, along with, in her report,  a very detailed and accurate portrayal of our submarine force.


Participation in extra curricular activities that benefit their school and/or community


Recognition of volunteer activities as demonstrated by awards, etc.

Financial need


school and/or communityParticipation in extra curricular activities that benefit their awards, etc.

Further, it is required that the applicant submit a 400 word essay detailing why they are deserving of the scholarship.

This is great and makes sense in that they are demonstrating that they are active in the community; but, what I don't see a word about in here is their demonstrating that they like my young friend Kirsten, have gone out and educated the public to what our creed is about. Nothing that says they have talked to people about our sub force and those who served. Nothing that says that they have volunteered in a submarine related project.

I think perhaps it would be good and make our Scholarship program tied more to our creed if the person applying would have to be able to show that they have learned about and shared their knowledge of the sacrifices of our fallen heroes, with their family, neighbors and the community. That would show that it isn't just another amount of money they want to pick up, but that they actually have respect for and care about our submarine veterans.

Here is a couple of pictures of What Kirsten put together, along with, in her report,  a very detailed and accurate portrayal of our submarine force.





* History Day - Kirsten's Submarine Project 3-20-2010DS.jpg (96.32 KB, 316x572 - viewed 514 times.)

* History Day Submarine Project 3-20-2010DS.jpg (109.96 KB, 356x475 - viewed 491 times.)
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 03:24:06 PM by Viejo » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2010, 05:31:06 PM »

Thanks for sharing the info on this future submarie commander (hell, she may someday be COMSUB!)...

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« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2010, 06:11:41 PM »

Paul, enjoyed your comments above.
I think COD has the best management because we only run COD on a business basis. Pure Darwinian capitalism. What is good for the business end of the boat is actually good for the preservation aspects. Problem with subvets is they aren't businessmen. They know about OPERATING subs, but damn little about preserving them. I have a 33 year basis of opinion. 
If you have gotten into trouble voicing them to subvets, imagine how they react when a subvet says it to them.
With the new base that is forming in Omaha, I spent a solid two hours the other night answering questions and explaining the relationship between their base ( when they come to the park, they are individual volunteers) and Parks and Rec. Most of the questions were well thought out and I think the people in the base are understanding what it is going to take ( maybe that is why most didn't show up the next workday) but I figured it was best to start off on the right foot, even if it wasn't considered by some, the best foot.
This is why Gil Raynor and I started the whole let's go for some large donations discussions. There are just as many in USSVI that don't understand how to run a museum boat as there are those who are against women on subs. Both from ignorance in most cases. I don't mean they can't see problems, they just are wasting time talking about something they have no control over and they don't think like people on boats do now.
I have never asked Kirsten what her plans are for later on or even how she got interested in subs. I probably will sometime, but at the time, didn't even think about that part of it. I was just happy to see a young lady who could understand why submarines are important and appreciated what we did.
I also tried in some conversations to other subvets,  to explain that the holy set of dolphins is not what is important when working with museum boats and that we have non sub veterans and non-veterans that daily demonstrate more love for what the boats did than a lot of those who belong yet can't be bothered to be involved.
That of course was one of the things I most appreciated about Rickover. What your title was, was totally immaterial. How well you did your job and how safely you did your job was what he was interested in and it was so nice to work for someone that tried to get you to do more instead of being afraid if you did something it would make him look bad.
I appreciate all you guys who keep these boats up in spite of sometimes, instead of because of the help, you get from subvets. I know you do it because you love the boats and all the rest is second.
Thanks to all of you guys.
Viejo
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