A PLAN FOR FUTURE REUNION GATHERINGS ABOARD THE USS ORLECK DD 886
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At the business meeting at our Veterans Day 2023 reunion in Jacksonville, Florida, permanent home of our beloved USS ORLECK DD 886, the eligible voters unanimously responded positively to my suggestion that we dissolve our Destroyer USS ORLECK DD 886 Association but only if we replace it with a new way for USS ORLECK sailors, family, and friends to continue to meet at their ship in Jacksonville each year.
While we have ended the Destr,oyer USS ORLECK DD 886 Association and while there will be no more organized reunions for the group, we are far from done. We have had a long run of successful three- and four-day events over the last thirty years but the time has come to change the way we continue. It has been wonderful to have done these reunions for you over these decades but I will be unable to continue doing them and being that no one else would or could take them over, the time had come.
The vote was for a plan that would set up a way those interested can meet aboard the USS ORLECK and to go out to dinner together every year into the future on Veterans Day as well as build the rest of their stay around that. You might want to arrange for a mini reunion with shipmates or treat it as an extended vacation and build the other events around it. Veterans Day in Jacksonville will be chockfull of many local activities from a massive parade, many events in and around USS ORLECK, now in her special and permanent mooring at Pier 1, as well as many other exciting things to do throughout this welcoming US Navy town. The possibilities are endless!
We picked Veterans Day for a good practical reason. Our last official reunion was on Veterans Day, 2022. Now on each Veterans Day into the future, we will continue to meet. It is a special day for our military. The Armistice that ended World War I happened on November 11 and the guns ceased firing at 11 AM. Setting the date and time to coincide with the Armistice has the added advantage of having a time and date that will be easy to remember and it will be the same year after year. 11/11/11. 11 AM on the 11th day of the 11th month.
Beginning in 2023 and every year thereafter, USS ORLECK sailors, family and friends will converge on Jacksonville, Florida, meet on the USS ORLECK at 11 AM, and have dinner together that evening. As mentioned above, the rest is up to you. The plan gives flexibility to meet everyone’s needs and desires even if you just plan to come for the day.
There will not be any organized events except the meeting at the USS ORLECK and dinner that evening. Kelly Harris, owner of the Village Café right on the St. Johns River, and good friend of our organization, has agreed to do that dinner each year and Heather Surface, owner of the River Taxi has agreed to be available to transport you between your river front hotel, the USS ORLECK and Kelly’s restaurant.
Nadia, the Director of Events for the USS ORLECK DD 886, has calendared your coming on November 11, 2023, and will have a special place designated for you to meet and discuss your plans for the day and weekend.
Soon there will be a special website developed by the Jacksonville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (VISIT JAX) that will keep you advised of the happenings and will enable you to communicate about it. I will post the link to that site when it is available. Until then, information will also be found on our website so you will not miss anything by coming here.
If you have any questions about this plan, you can contact Bob Orleck at 802-565-0340 (talk or text) or email him at email@example.com. You can also leave comments (see below post).
So many have experienced immense joy at our reunions and getting together with their shipmates, some who they had not seen for 40 or 50 years. Let’s keep things going in this way!
I hope to hear from many of you that you will be planning to come this upcoming Veterans Day, November 11, 2023, at 11 AM aboard USS ORLECK DD 886. Easy to remember 11AM on the 11th day of the 11th month each year from now on.
Thank you for allowing me to associate with you all these years, to organize and execute the wonderful reunions we have had. It has been the greatest honor of my life.
Please let me know your thoughts on attending.
Best to you all.
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