Muskegon native, career submariner, returns to speak at Silversides

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Photos by Cynthia Price

 

by Cynthia Price

 

At a fund-raising dinner on the second floor of the USS Silversides Submarine Museum last Friday, Executive Director Peggy Maniates said, “We always try to take the big picture of military history and bring it back to the local.”

What better way to do that than to bring back a native son who has spent his career on nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers?


LCDR (Lieutenant Commander) Matthew D. Post of the U.S. Navy, son of well-known local businessman Gary Post, was the featured speaker at both the Friday night dinner and at Sunday’s Lost Boat Ceremony which the Silversides has held every year for the last 31 years.


On Friday, Post gave a detailed rundown of his own career and what life is like on a submarine. He started out in 1996 as an instructor at the Nuclear Power Training Unit, and then was stationed aboard a variety of submarines and aircraft carriers as his career progressed. As he was given greater and greater responsibility, Post graduated from a very cramped sub where sleeping quarters had bunks three levels deep and “we had exercise bikes or treadmills jammed into every spare bit of space” to a much more spacious arrangement.


Post also said that when he first started going under as a submariner, he would be gone for eight weeks and his wife could only communicate 50 words on a preset form once a week – and he could not communicate back at all. He says that now the aircraft carriers have email.


Dinner guests, whose meal was catered by Distinctive Catering/


Brann’s, had a number of questions for LCDR Post, which he happily answered.


Then on Sunday Post also spoke at the Lost Boat Ceremony, which honors each of the 52 lost submarines with the ringing of a bell and a flower tossed into the water by one of the wives of submarine veterans. As Retd. US Navy Captain Hal Anderson and SKC(SS) Scott Clipper, both retired from the Navy, read off the name of the boat, they added the number of people still “on patrol” from the boat, that is, the deceased.


In addition to Post’s brief remarks, the New Horizons Music Ensembles played, there was a 21-gun salute, and Taps was played. During the tolling ceremony, a massive freighter came into the channel.


The ceremony, attended by hundreds, ended with a surprise: at LCDR Post’s command, the crew fired up the 78-year-old submarine’s engines.

 

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