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February 2017 Chairman Update

Hello again to all our shipmates and family of the USS Enterprise.

The reunion in Branson, MO was a successful gathering for all of us who were able to attend. I saw many smiling faces and Shirley noticed that we all (Sailors and Marines) lost about 30 or 40 years off our age when we retold our stories of great adventures and endeavors. Business meetings were held and everyone enjoyed the entertainment.

I was elected as your Chairman and Ken Ford was elected as the Vice chair for the Association. The membership has put their faith in my abilities to lead our Association into a new era. As of February 3, 2017, the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) ceased to be a commissioned US Navy ship. The purpose of the Association will stay the same, but our focus must be adjusted to strengthen our ranks through recruitment efforts. If any current members have ideas for promoting the Association, I and the Board of Directors are willing to consider them.

My company is owned by Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), who also owns Newport News Shipyard. I was recently sent to the shipyard to work on a project and I had the opportunity to attend the decommissioning ceremony of the USS Enterprise. My assignment to the shipyard was fortunate timing, because the decommissioning announcement and ceremony occurred in a relatively short time.

Captain Todd Beltz, (the final CO) was a very gracious host and invited me to many events leading up to the decommissioning. I had met my former Division Officer, whom I had not seen in over 30 years. I also met with many other officers and dignitaries. As a Petty Officer in the US Navy (30 years ago), I would never have thought I would be sharing cocktails with Captains and Admirals.

I was able to speak with the last crew of the ship and offered them a special 2 for 1 Association membership. I emphasized the importance for maintaining the history of the Enterprise. Benefits of the Association were mentioned and how to join, as well.

The Enterprise is being readied for its final transit for dismantlement. The Navy has not yet determined where final disposition will take place, but that information should be announced early this year. When they make that announcement, I will inform the Association. Knowing this, I hope to have a future reunion close to the final location of the Enterprise, to provide an opportunity to say a final goodbye.


We are still making plans for the 2017 reunion in Cody, WY. More details are continuing to develop. Please be patient while we continue the planning.


I am fortunate and thankful for many things. My family is at the top of that list of importance. During the decommissioning ceremony, Captain Beltz mentioned several times that the Enterprise is more than steel and machinery. It is a family of the crew (past and present), spouses, children, shipbuilders, and supporters. This holds true for our Enterprise Association family, as well.

Please stay healthy. We will see you all very soon.

Hello shipmates, families and those interested in our great ship,

To start, I am James (Jim) Voorhies, your newly elected Chairman of the USS Enterprise (CVAN/CVN-65) Association. I am honored that the membership has put their faith in my abilities to lead our Association into a new frontier. I would like to express my appreciation for all the Chairmen who came before me, laying the foundation of our organization and preserving all those things associated with the USS Enterprise. I sincerely give my personal thanks and gratitude to Don and Mary Lee Thiry for their devotion and hard work.

We just completed our reunion in Branson, MO and I believe we had a very successful gathering. I am always encouraged when I see all the smiling faces. My wife, Shirley, reminds me that when we all (Sailors and Marines) get together, that we are all young men again, reliving our stories and laughing about our past exploits. It is not only the men that have fun, but the wives and other family members share their stories of what they did during deployments. We truly are all family, regardless of whether we served aboard ship or married into service.

My vision is simply to maintain a well-informed membership through open and frequent communication. I have an open line to speak with Captain Beltz, CO USS Enterprise. He has provided me good info and status briefings to pass along to our Vets. I am also looking to visit Newport News Shipbuilding in the near future. This visit is related to the work I do as a Safety Director. I will make time to visit our old home, take some photos and gather some stories.

Here are some of my goals for the coming year.

- Continued update of the website as information is available

- Notifying membership when new information is available

- Communicate information between officers of the Association

- Maintain status of reunion preparation progress

- Provide newsletter in a timely manner

I have taken over the newsletter and hope to have an issue mailed out before year's end. I am not a writer, nor am I creative enough to make the newsletter interesting. But I will give it my best effort. I would like to have someone step forward to assist with item of importance.

The website is in transition again. Larry Ragan is working to improve the site and make it easier to navigate. I am also looking for someone to volunteer as Assistant Webmaster to help Larry manage the website.

We are still making plans for the 2017 reunion in 2017. Please be patient while we continue the planning. We will inform the members about the gathering as we formalize the details.

Please stay healthy. We will see you all very soon.

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