Greetings from the Sterett Association

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be a reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before. Mitchell Burgess.

Sterett Web Site

If you find a bad link or any problem with our website, please drop an email to

Association Dues

It’s that time of the year again.
Dues are effective for the calendar year 1 January – 31 December.
Dues for those who historically pay on an annual basis will be expiring at the end of 2018. If you’re not sure about your status, check the MIGS list last updated in August 2018:

Newsletters are distributed to over 600 Sterett shipmates and friends; the majority are not current members. We would like that to change.

Why Become A Sterett Association Member?

If your Sterett tour was nothing special and just like other Navy tours you had, there is no good reason for you to become a member of the Sterett Association and no reason to read further. However, if you have ever allowed your mind to drift back to your Sterett years and started to think about some of your shipmates and thought about all the things you did back then and you suddenly realize there’s a smile breaking out on your face, or you feel nostalgic about the good old Sterett days, then read on. There are many of your former shipmates out there who feel the same way. A lot of them are Sterett Association members. I see activity on two different. In two Sterett FaceBook groups, former Sterett crewmembers share messages, pictures, and memories of days past. Days spent in Subic Bay, Yokosuka, Pattaya Beach, Hong Kong, Sydney, Perth, and even Shanghai. Also, a few days spent at sea! Whether you spent 4 years, 6 years or had a full Navy career, these are days that most of us cherish. These are the years we grew up, found out who we were and formed the attitudes that made us who we are today.

For most, the people we spent so many days with helped to mold us into the men we have become. Special times, special people. With these thoughts in mind, the Sterett Association serves an invaluable service. It is an organization made up of people just like ourselves who have fond memories of our Sterett years. The Sterett Association provides the opportunity to locate former shipmates, correspond with them and, every two years, visit with each other
face to face at the reunions. The hours I have spent discussing old times over a few drinks at the reunions have been some of the most enjoyable times I have ever had. Hearing about some long forgotten “liberty events” bring rolls of laughter that literally can hurt. Looking across the room and seeing a former shipmate that you spent liberty time with many years ago will warm your heart.

The next reunion will be in September 2019 in Jacksonville, FL. We want to set new records for attendance. See the reunion section of this newsletter for information.

Dues? I don’t want to pay dues!

Like any organization, the Sterett Association has operating costs. The Association is a registered Non-Profit organization and all Association officers serve voluntarily. The membership dues of $20 each year take care of operating expenses like maintaining and hosting the website, providing inventory for the ship’s store, covering reunion startup costs, etc. Reunion fees are based on actual estimated costs for the reunion events which include the banquet, tour transportation, DJ, hospitality room and refreshments, audio and visual equipment, and a myriad of other fees and charges.

We also offer a Lifetime Membership.

For a payment of $200, you will be a Lifetime member of the Sterett Association.

DDG 104

On 18 October, Sterett started her 8-month journey to upgrade several weapons systems to increase the ships lethality!

DDG104 Sterett Ship

Some may remember seeing another STERETT from the same perspective

At the end of October, STERETT hosted families at a command picnic. Sailors and family members enjoyed good food, good company, and good fun at Admiral Baker Park on a sunny Friday afternoon.

We recently received the following message from CDR Sean Lewis, CO DDG 104:

On the cusp of the holiday season I would like to say Happy Holidays to all of our STERETT Association shipmates!

We have passed our first full month of 8 months for STERETT’s depot level maintenance period. The ship is safely docked and a significant amount of work has begun at the BAE shipyard. Of note, both port and starboard propellers and shafting have been removed, all fuel oil tanks have been opened for inspection and touch up, preparation work has begun for major installations to support our newest Information Technology (IT) backbone, Sonar suite and Electronic Warfare suite.

Currently, the maintenance environment has challenged several commands and the shipyards alike to complete the scheduled maintenance phases on time. I am proud to say the ship, at this point, is on track to meet all milestones for completion of the maintenance phase. I focus on this as our Sailors are the main driver for this success and I am extremely proud of their effort to ensure that STERETT and the Sailors who man her remain the most lethal warship and crew in the Pacific.

None of us who have followed the DDG 104 since 2008 are surprised to hear Sterett has exceeded the performance of other ships. It’s what ships named Sterett have always done!

On behalf of all the members of the USS Sterett Association, we wish the men and women of Sterett a very Merry Christmas and the best of the New Year. May 2019 bring peace and comfort to all those who serve our Country.

Boys Town Vietnam Memorial Tribute

Back in September, Mike Smith, Sterett shipmate and Boys Town class of ’67 announced a drive to establish a Boys Town Vietnam Memorial Tribute to honor the Boys Town graduates who were killed in Vietnam.

Boys Town High School was a community of 400 boys from all over the country thrown together because they were orphaned, came from impoverished or abusive families, or had been in trouble with the law. Boys Town had 20 students killed in Vietnam; an extraordinary number from one school. It has been 50 years since they perished as 19-year-old combat soldiers…and time that they were recognized.

At the end of July 2019 – The Village of Boys Town, NE will officially be added to the Purple Heart Trail, and be proclaimed a Purple Heart Community. The ceremony will be held as a part of our regular Biennial Reunion at Boys Town, usually attended by about 500 participants (alumni and their families) from all over the country. Sponsorship of the Purple Heart Community is by the Boys Town National Alumni Association and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. During the ceremony honoring our veterans, and purple heart recipients, we intend to unveil the engraved Statue and announce its placement the following month in the care of a trustee.

The Sterett Association made a small contribution to this cause and we are pleased to say the funding goal was achieved.

Mike continues to give back to Boys Town by sitting on the Board of Directors of the 3,400 member Boys Town National Alumni Association; as well as being on the Board of Directors for the endowed Boys Town National Scholarship Committee.

From Mike:

“Please extend my thanks to the USS Sterett Association for its donation. As you might guess, my retirement affords me the time to be passionate about a few things in my life. These things include my family, my shipmates, and my High School Classmates who perished in that awful war that was Vietnam.”

Shipmate Johnny Proffit sent us the following:

“My niece had STERETT put on the sleeve for my birthday”

Sterett Passings

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walkedst on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;

2019 Reunion Information

The 2019 USS Sterett Reunion is about 10 months out.

Hopefully, you’ve already made plans to attend. If you’re not there, your shipmates will be telling sea stories about you.

When: 19-22 September 2019
Thursday & Friday are arrival days – no scheduled events
How Much: Member/Shipmate: $75 Guest: $75
Where: Jacksonville, FL

Marriott Jacksonville Hotel
4670 Salisbury Road Jacksonville, Florida 32256

General Hotel Information:

The room rate for the reunion will be $92 (+tax & fees).

The room rate also includes a discounted breakfast buffet price of $12 per person, tax and gratuity not included.

Room rate will be honored three days before and after the reunion.

All reservations must be accompanied by a first night room deposit or guaranteed with a major credit card.

Online Reservation

Or call: 904-296-2222 or 800-962-9786.
Be sure to specify USS Sterett Association
** Reservations must be received on or before August 29, 2019, to guarantee the discounted rate.

Banquet Menu

The following will be offered for our Saturday evening reunion banquet. Entrée choices must be indicated on the reunion registration forms

Beef: Sliced London Broil with mushroom Anju sauce

Chicken: Breast of Chicken Francaise with Citrus Butter Sauce

Fish: Baked Cod with garlic and lemon caper sauce

Vegetarian: Chef’s Choice

  • Above served with vegetable of the day.
  • Chef’s choice Starch
  • Mixed greens, tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, shredded carrots with assorted dressings.

Saturday Tour
The location for Saturday tours is always a difficult choice. The tour must fit between the business meeting and the banquet, which leaves a limited time to get to a destination, tour, eat some lunch and get back in time to get ready for dinner.

After much discussion, we decided to select the Jacksonville Budweiser Brewery as our tour destination. Other destinations were either too far away or of insufficient interest to our members.

We encourage all guests to come early and stay beyond the reunion to take in all Jacksonville has to offer.

In 2017 we visited Jack Daniels Distillery.
In 2019 we’ll order the beer chaser!


Stimulate your senses and satisfy your curiosity as you explore the art of brewing on the Jacksonville Beermaster Tour. The tour provides a unique opportunity to experience a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing of Budweiser.

On the Tour, you will visit the Brew Hall, Primary Fermentation Cellar, Lager Cellar, Packaging Facility, Quality Assurance, and Finishing Cellar. Guests 21+ can enjoy a sample directly from a Finishing Tank.

The Association will provide bus transportation.

Saturday Afternoon Tour Lunch

The Association will arrange to order and pick up sandwiches from Jimmy Johns for the ride to the Budweiser Brewery. All sandwiches will be 8” on French bread and will include a cookie, a pickle spear and a bottle of water.

Mayonnaise, Mustard and Ketchup will be available.

Lunch Options:
Ham & Provolone: Lettuce tomato & mayo:  630 Cal
The Original Roast Beef: Lettuce, tomato & mayo: 540 Cal
Turkey Breast: Lettuce tomato & mayo: 510 Cal
Perfect Italian: Salami, Capicola, provolone, onion, lettuce, tomato, oil & vinegar, oregano-basil: 620 Cal
The Veggie: Sliced provolone, avocado, cucumber, lettuce, tomato & mayo: 690 Cal

Sorry, no substitutions. Lunch orders must be received no later than Thursday, 19 September.

The normal cost for the Beermaster tour itself is $30. For the STERETT reunion, the cost of the Budweiser tour, including a Jimmy John box lunch will be $27.50

Tour sign up, choice of sandwich and payment of fees will be required as part of the reunion registration process.

Area Attractions

As the largest city in the continental U.S., Jacksonville is the perfect place to explore and discover something new, from its extensive park system (the largest in the nation with two national parks, seven state parks, and more than 400 city parks), to its beautiful relaxing beaches (22 miles of them), and its historic neighborhoods that are filled with character and charm. When in town be sure to check out these “Only in Jax” spots:

“Only in Jax” Attractions:

Adventure Kayak Florida
Catty Shack Ranch and Wildlife Refuge
Beaches Museum & History Park
Fort Caroline National Memorial
Kayak Amelia Eco-Tours
Kingsley Plantation
Museum of Science and History MOSH
Nature & Sunset cruises onboard the St. Johns River Taxi
Sweet Pete’s Candy Factory Tour in Downtown
The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
The Jax Ale Trail Passport
Top to Bottom Walking Tour of Downtown

Locally Owned Boutiques:

Eco Relics in Riverside (Reclaimed wood furniture, salvaged materials)
Midnight Sun in Five Points Riverside (Eclectic gifts)
Natural Life at the St. Johns Town Center (Boho clothing)
Rosie True in the San Marco Square (Women’s boutiques)
Rusted Market in San Marco (Antiques, cool gifts)
Violet in Five Points in Riverside (Women’s boutiques)

Do not leave Jax without having one of these local experiences:

➢ Checking out The Land of the Tiger at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
➢ Catching a show at the Bryan-Gooding Planetarium at MOSH.
➢ Drinking one of the Top 26 Cocktails in Jacksonville.
➢ Discovering our African-American heritage at Kingsley Plantation.
➢ Fishing, swimming, biking, and surfing at Hanna Park.
➢ Exploring the Gardens at the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens. They are nearly 100 years old!
➢ Golfing at one of our area’s 70 courses.
➢ Paddleboarding or surfing in Jacksonville Beach.
➢ Running, biking or walking the RiverWalk from Downtown to Riverside.
➢ Sipping a beer at one of our local tap rooms and getting your Jax Ale Trail Passport stamped.
➢ Snapping a selfie at Friendship Fountain overlooking the Downtown Jacksonville Skyline.
➢ Spotting the murals in Downtown Jacksonville.
➢ Taking a kayaking tour of the Timucuan Preserve and its marshes.
➢ Riding on the Jacksonville River Taxi in Downtown.
➢ Visiting Atlantic Beach, it’s only 15 miles from Downtown and it’s as quaint a beach town as they get!
➢ Walking through the Currents of Times exhibit at MOSH.
➢ Watching a movie at the Sun Ray Cinema in Five Points in Riverside.

For the golf enthusiasts:

Look for information about a golfing event. Details TBD.

Reunion Registration

Go to for reunion registration information and follow the link provided to register. You will find both online and mail-in forms.

The registration process requires banquet entrée selection, along with tour and tour lunch options. Online payment of fees and tour, including lunch, will be through PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to make the payment. Credit cards can be used using the PayPal interface.

Reunion Check-In

As soon as possible after arriving at the hotel, stop by the hospitality room to check in. Upon check-in, you will be given name tags for you and your guests, a hat pin for your ball cap/lapel and a card indicating which dinner entrée you prefer at Saturday dinner. Be sure to bring the card with you to dinner and place it on the table.

Kick back, have a beer or a soft drink and look around for that shipmate you’ve been anxious to catch up with. The hospitality room serves as a place to hang out when you’re not doing other things.

Ship’s Store Sales

Duffy Groener, our ship’s store custodian, will have Sterett “stuff” available for sale in the hospitality room. These items include ball caps, lighters, windbreakers, polo shirts, challenge coins, coffee mugs, window stickers and sew on patches.

Off Limits

The Sterett reunion is a time to reunite with shipmates and friends. It is a time to reflect back on the people who helped to make us who we are today. It is a time to remember the good times we shared in days past. It is a time to laugh at the crazy things we did when we were young and reckless. It is not a time for airing our political differences, arguing about the state of the world today or taking up personal causes. Please keep it civil and light-hearted.

Dress Code

Casual attire throughout the weekend – wear what’s comfortable
Saturday banquet – Dressy casual:

  • Slacks
  • Dress shirt, casual button-down shirt, open-collar or polo shirt
  • Optional tie

Business Meeting

We will conduct our business meeting on Saturday morning. This meeting is restricted to members in good standing (dues current).

The meeting will be conducted generally following Robert’s Rules of Order. The following items are covered at the business meeting:

Election of new officers:

The Sterett Association needs you to step up. If our organization is to survive, we have to have the active support of our younger shipmates. Sterett was in service for 27 years. If you enjoy the reunions and other aspects of the Sterett Association, then get active.

We need shipmates who served across the years of Sterett’s service life to step up and take a position. Sterett Association officers are elected for a two year period.

The following positions will be elected:

  • President
  • Vice President
  • Secretary/Treasurer
  • 3 Officer At-Large positions
  • (Ships Storekeeper is a voluntary position)

2021 Reunion

The location for the 2021 Sterett reunion will be decided at the business meeting.
A few things to consider:
Sterett shipmates live from one end of the Country to the other. The reunion location has been moved around the country to accommodate shipmates that live in various

We’ve been to the Rockies (Littleton, CO), the mid Atlantic (Baltimore, MD), the southwest coast (San Diego, CA), the Gulf Coast (Biloxi, MS), the northeast (Portland/Bath, ME), the northwest (Silverdale/Tacoma, WA), sort of in the middle (Branson, MO) and now the southeast coast (Jacksonville FL). Perhaps it’s time to pay those who reside west of the Mississippi another visit.

We would all like the next reunion to be in our own backyard but please give some thought to other shipmates who weren’t able to make the trip to Jacksonville. For a successful reunion, we must have a Sterett shipmate in the selected area who is willing to take on the duties of the Reunion Coordinator.

Want it in your town?
Be prepared to convince the members that it’s the best location for 2021. (Joe Gaughan can provide tips!) Jacksonville will be another great reunion location. Don’t miss the opportunity to mingle with your Sterett shipmates at the 2019 reunion.

➢ Rooms must be booked by 29 August 2019 to guarantee the discounted rate. Following
this date, discounted rooms will be on space and rate available basis.

To all our USS Sterett shipmates and friends, we wish you all a

See you in Jacksonville

For the Sterett Association:

Steve Hayes

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