Veterans corner

The Navy chief petty officers are different from the E-7 NCOs of other branches; they are appointed by Congress at the request of the Department of the Navy. 

The rate was created on April 1, 1893, to assist Division officers and to be counselors and mentors to junior enlisted in their specialties. Reaching the E-7 level is a major milestone in any sailor’s career; the Navy Chief is a manager and a technical expert within his specialty. His uniform changes and is identical to that of a Navy officer and in many small commands; CPOs often fill an officer’s billet.

In my own Navy career, I was advanced to Chief Electronics Technician while onboard the USS Quapaw (ATF-110), a fleet ocean-going tug. The Navy names all of its fleet-and-yard tugs after Indian tribes. I was the last man to become a Chief before the ship was decommissioned in 1984, making me the Last Chief of the Quapaw!  I’ll have to go to Quapaw country in Oklahoma and tell that to the tribal elders.


American Legion Post 41 and Veterans Of Foreign Wars Posts 473 and 6337 will be honoring all veterans, with a special focus on Vietnam veterans. The date and time will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce fairgrounds. Our search for sponsors is over; through the generosity of individuals and local businesses, we have reached – and even exceeded – our budget goal. Our overall plan is firming up; we will have a welcome and veteran sign-in area along with a coffee-canteen at the Murfin Building, open at 10 a.m. A Veterans Fair with national and state veterans affairs representatives, other veterans organizations and medical personnel will also be in the Murfin Building. 

The barbecue-picnic meal in the Community Building will start at 11 a.m., followed by music, veteran speakers and award presentations. The meal is served to veterans, their families and our sponsors free of charge.
New items at the Texas County Historical and Military Museum of (on Grand Avenue in downtown Houston): In addition to all the other historic military displays, there is an assortment of 20th-century rations, including C-Rats, Long-Range Patrol ration-packs and early MREs. Museum director Ron Jones invites all veterans to visit and be added to the veterans archive. It will be information for future historians and geneology researchers. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays.

Veterans organizations in Texas County:
•American Legion Post 41 meets at 6 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the meeting hall on the west end of Chilton Oil Company in Houston (just north of Pizza Hut). Changes to membership eligibility now allow U.S. veterans of all branches and periods of service to join the American Legion.
•Fleet Reserve Association Branch 364 meets at 2:30 p.m. on the fourth Sunday of each month at the American Legion Post 41 meeting hall in Houston. The FRA exists to serve all veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard.

•Veterans Of Foreign Wars Post 473 meets at 6 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month at its meeting mall on U.S. 63 north of Cabool. The Post offers a free dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month, open to everyone.
•Veterans Of Foreign Wars Post 6337 in Licking meets at 5:30 p.m. on the third Monday of each month at the meeting hall on Main Street just south of Highway 32. 

Houston resident Robert E. Simpson is a retired U.S. Navy chief electronics technician who served from 1969 to 1990. Email

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