Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

July 17, 2012

Grateful for visit to battleship

Daily Iowegian

CENTERVILLE — Dear Editor,

The ladies of the Moravia American Legion Auxiliary and Carletta Stocker were instrumental in getting me to San Pedro, Calif., for the commissioning of the USS Iowa battleship as a museum. The gift was both heartwarming and humbling.

To be able to attend and participate in the commissioning ceremony was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Having served aboard this battleship for three years, and retiring from the Navy under her 16-inch guns, this ship has been a very special part of my life.

Stepping aboard the USS Iowa after 23 years really brought back a lot of memories — memories of shipmates (both living and deceased), memories of foreign countries visited, memories of missions accomplished.

What I miss most about shipboard life is the camaraderie which is unlike any other.

However, as a result of the generosity and caring spirit of the American Legion Auxiliary, I now have wonderful new memories. For this I am forever thankful.


Ralph Millemon

GMC (SW) US Navy Retired