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August 2, 2013

Dear Shipmates,

 

This newsletter is being sent to inform you of a major change in AOM communications.

AOM WEB SITE CHANGE OF COMMAND

In the last MINEMAN NEWS, Phil DeChene announced his retirement as the AOM webmaster. Phil's life is  filled with many activities he would like more time to pursue.  Among these is his love for detailed model railroading. Before Phil, our dear friend, Fred Dane established our official AOM web site. Without Fred and Phil, AOM would have never had an Internet presence.

 

As the webmaster of MINEMAN MEMORIES, I guess I was an appropriate fit as Phil's successor.  MINEMEN.ORG is now the LARGEST U.S. Navy non-governmental  web site devoted to a specific naval ship, unit or activity web site. And it has now DOUBLED in size.

 

Many of you may know me as a navy buddy and/or the editor of MINEMAN NEWS. I would like to explain how the newsletter and the web site fits in with our association. Very simply, the DASHPOT, our quarterly journal, is a compilation of minemen happenings from the previous three months and is directed to ALL AOM members, especially those who have no Internet presence who rely on the mail version of the journal (The Dashpot) for information. The newsletter (MINEMAN NEWS) has been designed primarily to keep Internet-equipped  members and non-member minemen  informed about shipmate deaths, lllnesses, and other timely news. It has grown from an informal e-mail to an attractive, BoD-sponsored communication tool. Many of the items that appear in the newsletter will appear in The Dashpot, depending on the discretion of the editor, Don Healer. These two communication mediums have been designed to supplement one another.

 

AND NOW, TO THE NEW AOM WEB SITE

I originally created a personal web site (MINEMAN MEMORIES) devoted to my personal naval activities along with photos from friends who wanted to share their Mine Force experiences.  These two web sites will eventually be merged into one, offering well over a two thousand photos and a massive amount of information relating to the U. S. Navy Mine Force. A search engine will be included to locate people and places on the web sites. A way to navigate the pages will, hopefully, make it easier to locate subject matter.  In addition, I will follow a precedent  established by Phil DeChene; I will post all past and current issues of the DASHPOT and any and all appropriate photos submitted to me.  Also, issues of the Troubleshooter, a publication of the NMEF, Yorktown, will be posted as space permits. In short, anything relating to our Mine Force experience will be available on the AOM website,  Lord willing.

 

GUEST BOOK - A VITAL TOOL FOR SHIPMATES TO STAY IN CONTACT 

Both MINEMAN MEMORIES and the OFFICIAL AOM web sites have guest books. The AOM web site guest book is HERE. The MINEMAN MEMORIES web site is HERE. This presents a quandary as to which to use.  Both will be maintained until a decision is made to eliminate one or the other. In any case both will be archived for further access.
 

THE CONTENT WILL NOT BE CHANGED

Everything you have become accustomed to seeing on the OFFICIAL AOM  and MINEMAN MEMORIES web sites will remain basically the same. Some topics and subject matter will be consolidated in order to to avoid duplication. For me, it will be a challenge to make this work. I count on the users/readership to keep me on track. If you see anything that you feel needs changing, I want to know. All submissions will be given serious consideration. 

 

MINEMEN: 

THE GREATEST CONTRIBUTORS AND THE

LEAST APPRECIATED FORCE IN THE NAVY

I never realized the importance of the contribution made by the US Navy Mine Force to our nation's defense during my service.  However, since 12 October 1943 ( my fifth birthday), the U.S. Navy Mineman have been quietly serving our nation while other ratings have been in the spotlight. We have a unique opportunity to inform the public of the importance of our missions and accomplishments.

 

I will do my utmost, with your help, to:

 

1. Publicize the vital nature of the U.S. Navy Mine Force in the defense of our republic.

 

2. Recruit present and former non-member minemen to affiliate with the Association of Minemen. Fifteen bucks is a pittance!

 

3. Inform members of the Mine Force, past and present, of Mine Force events.

 

4. To educate members and affiliates that the Mine Force has now encompassed  minemen of other ratings and that the rating of "MN" no longer exclusive.

 

5. To publicize AOM annual reunions and the  unique opportunity it offers to gather, not only for fellowship, but to foster an understanding each of us has to inform others  of the vital nature of the U.S. Navy Mine Force.

 

Reunion 2013 - Whidbey Island, Wahingtom

    

 

East Coast sailor? Never been stationed on the West Coast.?  No matter, our 2013 reunion will be held at Whidbey Island. This promises to be the best reunion ever.  Seriously!  Many minemen served in the Seattle area during past decades and this is a wonderful opportunity to return to their service roots. There have been no AOM reunions in the Pacific Northwest recently. Time is drawing near. Air fare here is cheaper than anywhere on the West Coast and the accommodations are really reasonable. It's getting down to "LAST CHANCE." Help us make this biggest AOM gathering we have ever had. For many of us, this may be the last chance we will have to gather with fellow shipmates. The web sites describe what's goin' on.  Check these web sites AOM and MINEMAN MEMORIES for reunion information.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

Derick S. Hartshorn

MINEMAN NEWS editor 

(and now, AOM webmaster)

  

 


 
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