Archive for the ‘U. S. Navy, military’ Category

Memorial Day 2016

Monday, May 30th, 2016

Below is the speech I gave on May 30, 2016, at American Legion Post 131 in Valley Springs, South Dakota.

Welcome to today’s ceremony and thank you for being here. This is one of those few years when Memorial Day falls on both the traditional date of May 30th and the last Monday in May. Memorial Day has evolved in the past century and a half, from Decoration Day that honored those who died on the battlefields of the Civil War, to Memorial Day that honors those who died in all wars. It now also includes all deceased veterans and deceased civilian family members and friends. But the main focus is still those who lost their lives in battle.

Today is not for living veterans—we have Veteran’s Day for them. Today is not for active duty members—we have Armed Forces Day for them. Today we remember the millions of Americans who fought and died on battlefields around the world to defend our freedom. (more…)

Promotion Ceremony Remarks – 9/2/2012

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Good afternoon, and welcome to the South Dakota Battleship Memorial on this beautiful, hot, sunny afternoon. I am CAPT Diane Diekman, and we’re here today to celebrate the promotion of Anastasia Quanbeck from commander to captain (more…)

Speech at Navy Birthday Ball 2011

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Navy Birthday Ball, Sioux Falls SD, 15 October 2011:

Good evening, happy birthday, it’s great to be with a bunch of Navy people, and to have an opportunity to wear my formal dress uniform again. I didn’t expect that to happen in Sioux Falls, so this is pretty nice. (more…)

Corsairs from Heaven

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Reprinted from Naval History magazine, July/August 1997

 “Corsairs from Heaven” by Captain Diane Diekman, U.S. Navy

Corporal Berry Rhoden, U.S. Army, crossed his arms over his head in a futile attempt to soften blows from the North Korean rifle butts that knocked him to the ground.  One of his captors kicked him in the stomach, reopening the bloody wound he had sustained from a firing squad two days before. The enemy soldiers wanted him to walk, but the bullet had damaged the nerves in his legs so severely that he could barely crawl. (more…)

Battle of Music — USS ARIZONA band

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Originally printed in the Clear Lake Courier — May 31, 1995

It was Saturday evening, December 6, 1941. Most of the sailors at Naval Station Pearl Harbor were on liberty. The Bloch Recreation Center was filled to capacity for what was expected to be the first annual “Battle of Music.”

Three 21-piece bands had made it to the finals after several months of elimination concerts. Tonight would determine whether USS ARGONNE (AG 41), USS PENNSYLVANIA (BB 38), or USS TENNESSEE (BB 43) had the best band in the Navy’s Pacific Fleet. (more…)

USS Belleau Wood — Visit to Australia

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Originally published in the Clear Lake Courier — May 20, 1998

On my way to visit USS Belleau Wood near Australia, I spent a night in Cairns, Queensland. Well-known as an entrance to the Great Barrier Reef, the town seemed to exist only for tourism and diving.

A Marine Corps helicopter came to the Cairns airport to exchange passengers and pick up cargo. Australia’s extremely strict environmental laws required the crew to spray two cans of bug spray inside the helicopter before opening any doors, and then hand the empty cans to the agricultural inspectors on the ground–even though the CH-46E is open in the rear and on the upper sides. (more…)

A Quick Look at Hong Kong

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Originally published in the Clear Lake Courier — 26 November 1997

My one day to spend sightseeing in Hong Kong was hindered by a heavy overcast and steady drizzle. Although I rode the tram up Victoria Peak, the zero visibility at the top permitted no photographs. I was supposed to be able to see a spectacular view of Victoria Harbor and the South China Sea. All I saw was fog.

USS Nimitz (CVN 68), one of the Navy’s nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, brought me to Hong Kong. I walked aboard in Yokosuka, Japan, and stayed with the ship during its five-day transit past Okinawa and Taiwan. (more…)

Wings ’97 — Atsugi air show

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Originally printed in the Clear Lake Courier — August 13, 1997

Naval Air Facility Atsugi competed with a typhoon while presenting its 42nd annual air show the last weekend in June. Wings ‘97 was NAF Atsugi’s “Friendship Day,” one of the events held by American military bases in Japan during the summer to socialize with our Japanese hosts. Eighty aircraft were on display and 125 booths sold food and souvenirs.

Because of Typhoon Peter threatening us Saturday night, the crowd this year was only half of last year’s 300,000. Saturday’s military air show performance was canceled due to overcast skies; the civilian stunt planes performed low-level acrobatics. All airplanes were placed in hangars and all booths dismantled just before the rain began falling. A few spurts of rain and gusts of wind throughout the night were all we got of a typhoon.  Sunday’s clear blue sky and hot sunshine provided perfect air show weather. (more…)

Underway with USS Independence

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Originally printed in the Clear Lake Courier — July 16, 1997

From USS Boxer (LHD 4), a new ship on its first deployment, I went to USS Independence (CV 62), the oldest ship in the Navy. Too large to tie up at the pier the Boxer had used a week earlier, it anchored several miles off the coast of downtown Singapore.

USS Independence (more…)

Singapore and Thailand — On USS Boxer

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Originally printed in the Clear Lake Courier — June 4, 1997

I never in my life thought I’d get to Singapore and Thailand, but the opportunity presented itself when we scheduled a trip to meet USS Boxer. Three of us flew seven hours from Yokota Air Force Base to Singapore on a DC-8 contracted by the Air Force to carry cargo and passengers.

From the air the Singapore coastline appeared as a carpet of green trees and shrubs, with occasional bare spots of red earth showing through. Meandering streams contained brown/green water. We flew over a downtown with clusters of multi-story buildings, an industrial section with more red dirt, and large patches of scraped red earth being turned into housing developments.

Singapore Island, 80 miles north of the Equator, is located off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. Its average daily high temperature is ninety degrees and average low seventy degrees. (more…)