SSN698 – Perseverance

Aug 22, 2016 Reunion note: Today, July 16  is the last day to register for the upcoming reunion. If you plan on attending and have any questions, concerns or need assistance, please contact the organizers listed on the website

Editor’s Note: When the reunion organizers received “Thoughts On Perseverance” from USS Bremerton Plankowner, Dave Withers, it contained the English translation “In defense of my country” of the Latin motto “Patrie defensor ad hoc adsum” instead of the common translation “Standing ready to defend our country”. As the blog editor, at first I wanted to change it to the common version; however, I chose not to alter it. I muse when Dave Withers wrote it, he wrote it with a purpose, and I’d rather not alter the trajectory he takes aim at to launch his personal note to those who have manned and now man the Bremerton, a note that reminds that justice is often seen by those who persevere, and love of country begins with a personal commitment, a personal commitment that carries on to face the new struggles.


USS Bremerton SSN698 from the Commissioning Program (source: Tom McPhillips, Plankowner).

Thoughts On Perseverance
“Patrie defensor ad hoc adsum”
(“In defense of my country”)

By Dave Withers, Plankowner

As I contemplate our upcoming reunion for the early riders of USS Bremerton (SSN 698), I notice that the ship we celebrate and we ourselves have a common quality…perseverance.

We’re still here, and so is our girl. The decades and all the ups and downs have passed, and SSN-698 still steams.  No other ship in her class can boast that. Our nation’s sea lines of communication remain open, thanks to her and all who sail aboard her.

I feel blessed that we early riders are also still here, still on the job somewhere, still making a positive difference in our loved ones’ lives.

Consider the fate of some of those who worked against our girl and our interests:
John Walker (crypto salesman to USSR)–dead while imprisoned;
Jerry Whitworth (Walker’s buddy)–still working on his 365-year prison sentence at age 76;
Leonid Brezhnev–dead;
Yuri Andropov–dead;
Konstantin Chernenko–dead;
Our girl and we have outlasted all of the above…given that, I’m confident and proud that we’ve done it right, done it well, with God’s blessing.

I’m also proud of those who took the reins of the Bremerton after we departed. Thanks to our girl and her crew of the time, a certain ship hulk no longer threatens the Oregon coastline. Many of our accomplishments can’t be listed in this medium because they’re classfied, but we may stand tall with our magnificent ship for a job well done.

In summary, I look forward to seeing all of my fellow early riders as we honor our legacy of having served aboard USS Bremerton (SSN 698), a submarine that has served our country so long and so well.

WizDave Withers, Plankowner, back in the day

(photo by Clemon Cager, Plankowner)




USS Bremerton, the longest serving submarine in the United States Navy, is home ported in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and is currently not scheduled for decommissioning.


Join the Movement. Are you passionate about preserving the USS Bremerton in any way shape or form after her decommissioning for the benefit of the public and of naval history? You are invited to a new closed group forum on Facebook “SaveThe698” to be involved in public discussion related to Saving 698. You can see the group site by clicking HERE.



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