The Parade of Ships included VIP and youth embarks
with representatives from area Navy League councils
joining Seattle Council members on the VIP embark,
according to Jaffa. The embarks were coordinated by
Seattle Council volunteer leaders, including National
Director and Council Vice President Mark Haller, Past
Council President Dan Nielsen, President-elect Jeff
Davis and Council “Master Sgt. at Arms” Ken Schoeni.
That evening, officers and chiefs from the visiting
ships were invited to the council’s Eagles and Anchors
Reception at the Mariners’ Fleet Night game against the
Boston Red Sox. Discounted tickets for the game were
available for all military personnel and their families.
The event included a performance by the Navy Band,
a flyover by two EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, the first
pitch being thrown out by USS Gridley Sonar Technician
Chief (select) Matthew Cline and a visit by the Mariners
Moose mascot. Attendees who stuck it out until the end
got to see the Mariners score five runs in the bottom of
the eighth inning to come back and beat the Red Sox 5-4.
In addition to these events, there was a special Fleet
Week program at Seattle Rotary coordinated by Jaffa
and other Rotarians that included a welcome to the
many flag officers and senior enlisted leaders; introduction of the Sailors of the Year and Enlisted Persons
of the Year from the visiting ships; an invocation by the
Coast Guard Thirteenth District chaplain; and a panel
discussion about “Technology and the Military” that
included U.S. Navy and Coast Guard participants.
On Aug. 3, following a Mayor’s Reception, the
Seattle Council held its annual “Welcome the Fleet
Dinner” at the World Trade Center, sponsored by
Holland America. Plaques were exchanged with vis-
iting ships and mementos presented to visiting flag
officers and senior leaders who attended. Retired Adm.
Tom Hayward, a former chief of naval operations and
active council supporter, rang the council bell and led
the Pledge of Allegiance at the dinner.
On Aug. 4, the council invited local community
leaders, consul generals and others for a VIP cruise on
the classic yacht Old Man IV and a distinguished visitor
Ward Room lunch onboard Somerset.
The signature Seattle Council event of the year, the
Sea Services Luncheon, was held Aug. 5. Nearly 50
Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guard men and women
were hosted at the event, and each was honored with a
plaque — created by council Secretary/Treasurer Kyle
Curtis — and several gift cards, according to Jaffa.
Council President Matt Miller, a retired Coast Guard
Vice Adm. Walter “Ted” Carter Jr., superintendent
of the U.S. Naval Academy, was the keynote speaker
at the luncheon, and the Blue Angels Sea Cadet unit
presented the colors.
Later, Jaffa welcomed 60 Seattle Rotarians and family members to a tour onboard USS Somerset, which was
a terrific community outreach event, he said.
Other events the council was involved with during
the Seafair Fleet Week included a reception the Coast
Guard hosted aboard Active before the Seafair Gala;
receptions by the Canadian Navy and U.S. Third Fleet;
another embark aboard Old Man IV that included local
mayors and community leaders; a “farewell to ships”
at the piers as they left port; a Fleet Week executive
committee “hot wash;” and the presentation of thank
you gifts to the chief executive officer of the Port of
Seattle, the host hotel and other key individuals and
organizations, according to Jaffa. n
At center, Jaffa and Vice Adm. Walter “Ted” Carter Jr.,
superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, stand with
U.S. Coast Guard representatives during the Seattle
Council’s Sea Services Luncheon Aug. 5.
Navy Recruiting District Seattle Sailors stand with Seattle
Council National Director Thomas E. Jaffa, center, cochairman for Seattle Fleet Week, and Rosie Valencia
Courtney, far right, Port of Seattle manager of Cruise Public
Affairs, at Pier 66 during Seafair Fleet Week Aug. 3.