One of the things that most submariners I’ve met have stressed is the fact that they are all one brotherhood. Granted, the diesel vets enjoy yanking the chains of the nuc vets every so often “You think it’s rough? Back in my day…”
But it’s now official: the brotherhood is about to include some sisters whose names don’t begin with “USS”. The four boats who will carry the teams of women have been chosen, and the women themselves are currently in training. Their identities are being withheld for now, most likely to allow them to concentrate on their training which would be a lot harder with journalists constantly taking photos and yelling questions every time they dared walk outside.
During the Flier Memorial, I enjoyed talking to two high ranking submariners both of whom are enthusiastic about the prospect of women serving on submarines. Integrating officers will be easier to accomplish than enlisted, and indeed, right now the Navy has not announced when or if they will integrate the enlisted ranks of the submarine corp (I’m all for all-women crews, an idea floated back in 2007, allows women to serve and eliminates the need for retro-fitting the submarines themselves to accommodate integrated crew–and save us taxpayers about $100 million per sub retrofit)
For more on the subject, see my previous posts about the history of women serving in the military, and women on submarines worldwide as well as this article, released just a few days ago. (I do try to be fair to both sides, and I myself am on the fence: I hate, as a woman, being told I cannot do something because I am a woman, but on the other hand, if it ain’t broke…)
USS Flier today is still somewhere off the coast of New England and has no administrative remarks today (had to use a mimeographed page…)
Finally, I have an announcement and a request.
The announcement is I’m hearing from people who missed the memorial ceremony and are disappointed that they couldn’t get there. Well, I put the footage at the end of the Memorial Page on this site, so you don’t have to go looking for it in the backlogs of the blog any longer.
The request: As we’re getting ready to design the exhibit, we’re looking for items that will help bring these men to life for a new generation that’s four generations removed from WWII. If your Flier family member sent home letters or photos from their time in the Pacific theater, would you consider allowing us to use them for the exhibit or research? I cannot promise that everything donated will be used, but the more we have to use, the better we will be able to bring these men to life.
The beauty about what we do means that we don’t even need original letters or photos–the information and images of these items will be good enough for what we’re doing. If you want to send originals for me to scan and I will send the originals back once they’ve been digitized(one family is already choosing this option) or scanning the items yourselves and sending me jpgs or tifs (another family is doing this). If, of course, your family would be comfortable with donating the letters, we will keep them for future researchers. These items will help bring these men out of the shadows and making them more than photos on a wall, but men who had girlfriends, wives, dreams, cars, jokes, senses of adventure and fear, and men who did what they felt were right.
If this is something you think you or your family would be interested in, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.