SEPTEMBER 2002


 On the 16th of September 2002
a time honored event took
place on one of the most historical places in
Charleston, SC, Patriots
Point.  The event was the initiation of the Navy's newest Chief Petty
Officers.  The initiation is actually a 6-week indoctrination of what it
means to be a "Chief" culminating with the final ceremony and pinning of
the anchors on the 16th of September.  Being selected to Chief Petty
Officer is the pinnacle of an enlisted Sailors career in the Navy.  This
year it was made even more special by the staff of Patriots Point.

                This years candidates were required to do research on the
USS LAFFEY DD 724 permanently on display at Patriots Point.  The purpose
was to educate and reemphasize the importance of understanding our naval
heritage.  The USS LAFFEY is a destroyer that served with distinction in
Korea and during the Cold War Years.  During the research the
selectees found and contacted Mrs. Inez Coffey the sister of a LAFFEY
crewmember lost in battle during the war in the Pacific while under attack
by the Japanese.  She was invited to the ceremony where she provided some
insight on the kind of brave man shipmate Chester Flint was.  Mrs. Coffey
was honored with a shadow box remembering her fallen brother. In addition
to Mrs.Coffey several relatives and friends of the family attended the

In these days of international turmoil the event highlighted the
importance of service to country and at times the ultimate sacrifice made
by some.

                The final day of initiation was spent performing duties
onboard USS LAFFEY to help keep her "ship shape" for visitors.  Also it was
another reminder of our heritage as Sailors and the new Chief Petty
Officers duty and responsibility to ensure it is not forgotten.  The newly
selected Chief Petty Officers spent their last night as a "blue shirt"
walking the same decks and sleeping in the same racks, that brave men 60
years past did in the defense of our great nation.

                The whole initiation indoctrination season revolved around
Patriots Point.  All this was made possible by the hard work of Chief Petty
Officer Richard Dunn, USN. Ret.  He was an invaluable asset as liaison
between the Low Country Chief Petty Officers Association and Patriots


                                                The initiates                                                                                      Mrs. Inez Coffey, sister of Chester Flint
                                                                                                                                                      who was killed in action on 16 April 1945

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