2004 REUNION
USS SEMMES  DDG-18

HOTEL: Royal Sonesta Hotel
CITY:
New Orleans, LA

REUNION DATES: 
July 9 – July 13, 2004

REUNION CHAIRMAN: 
Charles Layus

Photos


TOTAL ATTENDANCE:  
102
SHIPMATES ATTENDING: 
43 

Alexander, Richard 1962-1964
Allen, Clint
1962-1965
Ashley, Ronnie
1962-1964
Beaumont Jr., Eugene
1962-1965
Beinhaur, Ron
1962-1964
Bishop, Eric
1962-1964
Boyce, Thomas 1962-1964
Brown, Jackie
1964-1968
Burton, Joe
1967-1970
Camann, Tom
1963-1966
Casper, Gary
1977-1980
Cistriano, John 1962-1965
Cottrell, Keith 1962-1966
Dahl, Roger
1965-1968
Davis, Jerry
1962-1964
Ferguson, James
1970-1972
Geick, Glenn Roy
1964-1966
Greidanus, August
1963-1966
Gullett, Billy Joe
1962-1964
Hayden, Thomas
1964-1966
Hill, Robert
1962-1965
Hopper Jr., Seybourn E. 1962-1964
Hulsey, Floyd S. 1962-1964
Layus, Charles
1962-1965
McCourtney, Theodore 1962-1964
McLamb, Thomas
1962-1965
Meistrell, Marvin
1972-1974
Merrick, Bruce
1965-1969
Meyer, Terry J.
1965-1972
Miele, Joseph
1964-1967
Personett, Byron
1966-1969
Reisinger, John E.
1962-1964
Ringate, Thomas
1963-1965
Rupert, Thomas 1962-1968
Rustad, Robert E.
1962-1961
Sazama, Don
1962-1965
Schroeder, Richard A 1970-1975
Sieloff, Thomas
1966-1966
Slone, Dean
1962-1964
Smith, Fred
1964-1965
Stark, Paul E.
1962-1967
Stephens, Charles 1972-1975
Weber, Stephen 1962-1964

HIGHLIGHTS:

The long awaited time had come.....Board members and other shipmates arrived early Wednesday and Thursday to help us set up for the reunion. After squaring away the reunion area, we took full advantage of the extra sight seeing time and enjoyed Harrah's Casino, the Earl Turner Concert, and the huge New Orleans Seafood Buffet at Begue's Restaurant.
A Welcome Reception was held on Friday evening to greet all incoming shipmates and their guests. Each shipmate received their USS Semmes membership card, Commemorative T-shirt, Commemorative USS Semmes Tote bag and bag of New Orleans Lagniappe Goodies. We filmed each shipmate and his guest making a short message for all shipmates to have as memorabilia from this reunion.
On Saturday, some shipmates embarked on a New Orleans City Tour which covered architecture, famous residents, and traditions of the French Quarter and the Garden District. We also took a walking tour of a famous above ground cemetary, St. Louis Cemetary.
On Sunday, we enjoyed the wonderful New Orleans tradition Jazz Brunch at the Royal Sonesta Hotel restaurant, Begues. We again embarked on our tour bus for a good look at Cajun life in the bayou, the Louisiana Swamp Tour. We were entertained by the Cajun Captain, stories of the swamp of Jean Lafitte, and the performance of their favorite alligators.
There was lots of free time to see all the spectacular sites offered in "The Big Easy" such as paddlewheel riverboat rides, the D-day Museum, streetcar rides, shopping, etc. Each night we went out to listen to the versatile music of New Orleans; Jazz, Soul, Zydeco, and Cajun. We even learned to Cajun dance one night. One of the favorite pastimes was to gather each night back at the hospitality suite, poolside and just share all those "Sea Stories".
Monday morning, shipmates were treated to a tour and presentation of Avondale Shipyards where the USS Semmes was built. On Monday night, we were together at the "Farewell Dinner"at Broussard's Restaurant. We had exquisite food, more "Sea Stories", and shared each others company for the last time at this reunion. The night was highlighted by these special events: A grand entrance of Officers and their guests; A raffle of baskets that each shipmate had prepared from their home state; A raffle of a sword engraved "USS Semmes" and a Navy Crest donated by a very enthusiastic new member and various other items. The highlight of the night had to be the game played to win the prized gift of Capt. Alexander, two cases of his own wine with the USS Semmes patch and picture on the specially made labels. All shipmates went back to the hotel that night with fond memories.
We met in the lobby of the hotel the next morning to bid farewell to our shipmates, one more time. Karen and I feel that we had the best time of all attendees. We were able to begin our relationship with each shipmate and guest individually before the reunion. Then, we were able to put faces with the names and now grow our relationship in post reunion communication. We thank all of you for being wonderful, gracious guests of our fair city, New Orleans. Now on to Buffalo, New York.
Dare To Excel.
Charlie and Karen Layus

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