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

Veterans Day Speech 2023

Friday, December 8th, 2023

By CAPT Diane Diekman, USN (ret), at Deuel School, Clear Lake, South Dakota, November 9, 2023

Good morning. It’s always great to be back in my hometown. Thanks to Superintendent Schiernbeck for inviting me here today. I would like to talk about what is possibly the most amazing document ever written, the United States Constitution. And I’d like to describe a possible way you can help keep it vibrant and relevant.

Those who wrote the Constitution did a spectacular job of designing a product that has lasted over 230 years. Grounded in British law and attuned to the experiences that came from establishing a new nation, the Constitution has been tested and amended over the years and is stronger now than it was at the beginning.


Speech at South Dakota State Fair

Saturday, September 5th, 2020

At the South Dakota State Fair in Huron, on September 3, Sherwin Linton invited me to talk about my books and my Navy career. Here is my speech. (Thanks to John Mogen for the photo.)


Memorial Day Speech – 2017

Monday, May 29th, 2017

Memorial Day Speech by CAPT Diane Diekman, USN (ret)
May 29, 2017
American Legion Post 13, Willow Lake, South Dakota

If South Dakota hadn’t passed a law in the mid-1960s to allow only 12-year school districts, I wouldn’t be standing here today. I’d be a retired country schoolteacher instead of a retired U.S. Navy captain.

That law dashed my childhood dream of teaching in the same sort of one-room country school I grew up in near Clear Lake. Teaching in town schools didn’t interest me. So I enlisted in the Navy after college graduation. (more…)

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…)