On September 11th-13th, 2008 I had the honor, privilege, and pleasure
of meeting many of the crew at their 40th Anniversary Reunion. For months before and right up to my first meetings with the crew I was
very apprehensive about how they might feel towards me "crashing" their party. I must say I was welcomed and accepted right
away as both a fellow Spook and a fellow Navy Veteran.
I have three distinct ties to the Pueblo:
1. For over forty years I have answered the question "What did
you do in the Navy?" with the following response "I can neither confirm nor deny what they were doing on the Pueblo when
she was illegally captured by the North Koreans, but whatever it was, after that we did it on submarines." Now I know we have
been doing Submarine Spec-Ops since way before 1968 but that is my answer that seems to satisfy those who question me. Unfortunately
too often nowadays it begets the question "What was the USS Pueblo?"
2. On January 23rd 1979 while on a Submarine Spec-Op in the
SOJ at nearly the same coordinates, a CTT1 sitting in the Pos 4/5 chair noted "I was supposed to be here 11 years ago as a
Steamin' Seaman striking CTT3 but I got bumped off that mission by a second class who wanted liberty in Korea. Well he got
11 months liberty in North
Korea and I got over being mad about getting bumped." I haven't been able to ID that 2nd class so I won't ID the CTT1.
Could've been just another sea story, but it has always served to help me remember where we were, what we were doing,
and the possible consequences.
The last chronological memory I have of my Dad being alive (A WWII GM2 who received his orders to Eternal Patrol Nov 29th
1968, three weeks before my 12th birthday) was that Summer of '68 when he was saying to a group of friends that we should
give the North Koreans 24 hours to let our boys go and if they don't then we go in with the H-bomb and "Blow them all to HEQQ"
He emphasized this by swinging his arms wide, accidentally hitting me in the face and giving me a bloody nose.
To the Crew of the Pueblo,
their Families and Friends,
you all served so bravely then,
and you continue to serve gallantly now,
example of stalwart strength and faith,
You were, and are, an inspiration
many many others
who have followed in your footsteps
and service in the
Greatest Traditions of US Navy!!