Officially, the USS James K. Polk Veterans Association (JKPVA) is a chartered and incorporated non-profit 501(c) (19) organization formed exclusively and specifically for the pleasure, recreation, and fellowship of the men who served aboard the United States submarine USS James K. Polk (SSBN/SSN 645) and their families.
However, our primary goal is to interact with each other over the Internet, and periodically in person at the scheduled reunions, to maintain those special bonds of friendship forged through our shared experience aboard the Jimmy K. Through the JKPVA we have renewed friendships with shipmates that have, in some cases, lain dormant for 30 or more years (that’s dormant friendships not dormant shipmates, knucklehead). Many of us have also developed a bond with shipmates and their families, both younger and older than ourselves, that have become as strong as those developed while aboard the Polk.
While fraternal in nature, the JKPVA maintains the same no slack environment that earmarked our days in the submarine force. Bombastic, politically incorrect, and as mischievous as a bunch of 19-year-old seamen, we continually have far more fun together than we have a right to! Many of us are are drinkers with a submarine veteran problem, and everyone seem to have a hardcore fun & party switch that never cycles to the off position. O-gangers & raghats, plank owners & decomm crew, wives – both original and after market – sons & daughters of JKP vets, widows & friends all blend together into a mixture of shared experience that grants those who participate both a link with the past and a powerful bond of new and renewed friendship.
In the short few years that the JKPVA has been coming together, I have on different occasions been united with shipmates whom I haven’t seen or corresponded with in more than 30 years, had my heart swell to bursting through the actions of JKPVA shipmates lending support or bearing a hand in times of trouble, and awakened more times than I can count with serious gut pain after a night of side-splitting laughter in the company of knuckleheads who have never lost the ability to find humor in danged near any situation!
JKPVA is a robust organization run by a dedicated group of volunteers who continually go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure that the association remains strong, financially sound, and that the participating shipmates and their families have a lively and entertaining time when together.
The organization is managed by a command team elected from the membership, assisted by an appointed board of directors.
Members whose dues are current have voting rights to elect individuals to command positions (president, VP, secretary, and treasurer), to determine reunion locations, to bring issues before the membership for consideration, to vote on issues before the membership, and to generally assist in determining the course of the association.
There are currently two membership options available: Annual Membership and Lifetime Membership. Both have equal voting rights.
We have annual reunions at a variety of locations across the country which provide the opportunity to see old shipmates and meet new ones. Since joining the JKPVA, I have formed bonds with new shipmates that I never actually served with but feel like I’ve sailed with for most of my career. Reunion activities are scheduled to provide fun for the shipmates and their families and guests alike. Although these scheduled activities change from reunion to reunion, the one thing that is consistent throughout is more fun than a guy has a right to have!
So what are you waiting for? Gitcher sorry self involved today! Click here to sign yourself up. You won’t be sorry, I guarantee it! And here’s the best part – all you horseflies who sign up as new members between now and the next reunion, will be treated to a free drink at the reunion bar by shipmate, Charlie Kotan!