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January 4, 2014

Dear Shipmates,


Another year is here. Hopefully, it will be one of great promise, peace and prosperity for all our shipmates and their families. 




Mike Whitener reports that our shipmate, former MN2, Royce Satterfield passed away recently. He served in the late 70's, early 80's at COMOMAG and the PI. The following is from his obituary:


GOOSE CREEK - Royce H. Satterfield, Jr., 53, of Goose Creek, SC, passed away on December 28, 2013. He was born on April 20, 1960 in Waco, Texas, son of the late Ruth Blackwell Satterfield and the late Royce H. Satterfield, Sr. Royce served in the U.S. Navy and was currently employed with Stenstrom and Associates as a Supervisor. Survivors include his wife, Deborah Satterfield of Goose Creek, Sc; daughters, Charity, Angel and Melanie Satterfield of Salisbury, NC; sister, Linda Van Brunt (Richard) of Goose Creek, SC; and two nieces, Jennifer Bowen (Scott) and Amy Slusser (Donnie), both of Goose Creek, SC. Burial will be in Woodbine Cemetery, Jefferson, GA. Visit our guestbook at charleston - See more at THIS SITE

[Published in Charleston Post & Courier on Jan. 1, 2014]





Eddie Atkins, has passed on an e-mail her recently received. It poses a concern that may be controversial. While it is not my desire to present personal opinion in this newsletter, I feel that free expression of opinion, particularly among members of military organizations that normally refrain from controversy, and are worthy of dissemination. I am passing this on without comment as it is relevant in time and nature. The comment reads:


"SecDef Chuck Hegel is considering proposing legislation that will take Tricare benefits away from veterans who now enjoy them, and place them in the same health care exchanges for Obamacare that are causing problems for millions of other Americans.  I don't believe the legislation has been formalized, but it is coming.  As a member of MOAA (Military Officers Association of America) I will have access to information about this legislation as it comes out.  The point is:  get the word out to the people on this list to start writing letters, lots of them, to their Congressman.  


"Over 200 senior officers have been relieved since Obama was elected.  This is unprecedented.  Nine flag officers in the current year [2013] alone.  Most were relieved for petty reasons that were political and for no other reason.  We MUST get out the veteran and military vote in 2014!


"Interestingly enough, when GWB was president you heard about the military deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan almost daily.  With Obama in the White House, the mainstream media has been strangely quiet.


"More than 1,000 American soldiers have lost their lives in Afghanistan in the last 27 months.  This is more than the combined total of the nine years before.  Thirty died in August.  During the last month, over 50 additional NATO and US servicemen have been murdered, inside jobs by those who are hired to be a force for good in Afghanistan.


"The Commander In Chief is AWOL.  Not a peep, although he ordered the White House flag flown at half staff for the Sikhs that were killed.  There is a deep disgust, a fury, growing in the ranks of the military against the indifferent incompetence of this president.


"It has taken on a dangerous tone.  No one knows what to do about him, but the anger runs deep as the deaths continue with no strategic end in sight to the idiocy of this war.  Obama has had 4 years to end this futile insanity, during which time he has vacationed, golfed, campaigned and generally ignored the plight of our men and women in uniform.


"But, there is now a movement afoot in the armed services to launch a massive get out the vote drive against this president.  


"Not just current active duty types, but the National Guard, Reserves, the retired and all other prior service members.  This is no small special interest group, but many millions of veterans who can have an enormous impact on the outcome of the November election if they all respond.


"The million military retirees in Florida alone could mean an overwhelming victory in that state if they all show up at the polls.  It might not keep another one hundred U.S. troops from dying between now and "November, but a turn out to vote by the military against this heartbreaking lack of leadership can make a powerful statement that hastens a change to the indifference of this shallow little man who just lets our soldiers die.


"Veterans:  Please forward to your lists.  High Priority!"


NOTE: This commentary does not  reflect the opinions or endorsements of The Mineman News nor that of the Association of Minemen. It is strictly the opinion of the writer.


Additional details on the 2014 AOM Reunion in Charleston have been posted on the Reunion page




Additional crew member photos have been posted at Naha, Okinawa, NAD Hawthorne, NV and drill mine operations off Maui. A few other photos have crept in so please check the official AOM web site


A consolidation from my personal Navy web page will continue through 2014 until all the images I posted there have been moved to the AOM site. As always, if you have any interesting memories in photo form, please either mail them to me for scanning or scan them in hi-res and email them to me.


Other web page updates include the TAPS page for 2013





Ron White, Steve McLester and Derick Hartshorn will meet for a "chat and eat" session in Asheville, NC within the next month (?). Other minemen in the North Carolina/Tennessee area are  invited to attend this informal gathering. Intentions should be directed to Ray White