Big Horn County News September 22, 2005

Members of the USS Enterprise Association pause for a picture during a tour at the Custer Battlefield Museum at Garryowen.

Custer Battlefield Museum plays host to USS Enterprise Comrades

     Members of the USS Enterprise Association, meeting in Billings last week for their annual convention, traveled to Garryowen to taken in the Custer Battlefield Museum.
     The Meeting in Billings was the 21st for the association, whose members enjoyed various events and excursions to nearby sites of interest. One of the best-attended trips was to the museum. Museum Director Chris Kortlander welcomed 65 association members, and provided them with a personal tour of the battlefield.
     "The Custer Battlefield Museum has one of the best displays of historical war memorabilia I've ever seen, "Lt. Shane Dietrich, one of six active service men to attend the annual meeting said.  "Garryowen and the museum are unique attractions for the state of Montana."
     Dietrich just completed a November to June duty tour in Iraq, and said it was there that he saw a notice about the reunion and "thought it would be a neat thing to go on."
While Dietrich was in Iraq he was responsible for the distribution of $3.2 billion worth of material to help create the new Iraqi police force, highway patrol, border forces and special commando units.  During his tour, he participated in numerous logistic convoys throughout Iraq, which helped coordinate efforts with the Ministry of Interior to to ensure proper distribution and accountability.
     Association members are former or current shipmates of the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier,
the USS Enterprise, "The Big E." The purpose of the organization is to perpetuate the memory of the ship and its crew, and to promote and maintain the spirit of camaraderie among shipmates.
     Association members hold annual reunions, attempt to locate former shipmates, and collect memorabilia relating in any way to the USS Enterprise CVAN/CVN 65.
     Additionally, the association awards an annual college scholarship to past and present Enterprise shipmates and their families.