Intrepid Spirit Centers

Hundreds of thousands of military personnel have been diagnosed with some level of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the past decade, many as a result of combat injury. TBI and psychological health (PH) conditions can have long-term and sometimes severe effects on service members’ lives, affecting their ability to work, interact with others, manage basic living tasks, and even interact with their own families. Depression, inability to work or live normal lives, and more tragic consequences including suicide can result. Proper and immediate diagnosis and early treatment are crucial to addressing this critical need among America’s military personnel and veterans.

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund is addressing this critical need. Following the opening of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) in 2010, the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund launched its current effort: building “Intrepid Spirit” centers to serve as satellites to NICoE and extend the care provided at NICoE out to the home bases of many of the troops suffering the effects of TBI and PH.

Each Intrepid Spirit center is approximately 25,000 square feet and costs approximately $11 million to build and equip. While much of the operation at NICoE involves research about TBI and PH conditions, Intrepid Spirit care focuses on diagnosis and treatment. Patient care in each center is approached in a manner similar to NICoE, with each Intrepid Spirit center incorporating the following facilities:
Intake/Clinic area including psychiatric testing, chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, neuro psych testing rooms, and typical exam rooms.

Physical Therapy with open gym layout with standard physical therapy equipment.

Sleep Lab equipped with a sleep system and ambient therapy music and a control room equipped with a computer monitoring system.

Central Park, a calm atmosphere for patient and family member relaxation and family education, with a meditative feel and including ambient therapy music.

Family Room, centrally located and adjacent to the outdoor patio, providing a space for patients and family to spend time together, a critical part of the healing process.

The network of Intrepid Spirit centers will provide the most advanced care possible to returning military personnel suffering from TBI and PH conditions; enhance the means of properly identifying and diagnosing these conditions; ensure the continued care of individual patients as they move through NICoE, military medical, VA and potentially external medical systems; and continuously research the causes and effects of these conditions to better understand them and develop the best care and treatment possible.

Intrepid Spirit Center program progress:

Completed Centers:
Fort Belvoir, Virginia, opened August 2013
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, opened August 2013
Fort Campbell, Kentucky, opened August 2014

Centers under construction:
Fort Bragg, North Carolina, completion projected in 2015
Fort Hood, Texas, completion projected in 2015
Joint Base Lewis-McChord, completion projected in 2017

Three additional Intrepid Spirit centers are planned. Once complete, the Intrepid Spirit centers will treat thousands of patients annually, providing them and their families the most advanced care possible.

For in depth details, go to:


The B-24 Liberator

For an amazing story about the WWII B-24 Liberator A/C …

Click below


Former Intrepid Crewmembers … If your not satisfied with what the USS Intrepid Former Crewmember Association’s NEW Website has to offer you … Welcome to my Blog, where you will find articles, stories, facts, etc. that should satisfy your search for information regarding your once ‘… home away from home ‘, the USS Intrepid (CV, CVA, CVS-11).

Intrepid’s Return to NY Screen Show

HiLite this LINK > :
> then R click on it, then click on the Go to: LINK


Some may not have been aware that the ‘Guest Book’ found on the Website found at … … was established in 2007 by a volunteer non-former Intrepid crewmember, Mr. Norman Drechsel,  to help promote – at the time – the USS Intrepid Association, Inc. (… recently renamed The USS Intrepid Former Crewmember Association). Some  may have noticed the lack of information being posted regarding ANY information coming from or regarding the USS Intrepid Former Crewmember Association on Mr. Dredhsel’s Website or in his Guest Book.

Going back a few years now, the Association opted out of utilizing Mr. Drechsel’s Website without the courtesy of any prior notification to Mr. Drechsel (except only that they were planning their on Website), but he has since opted to maintain the Guest Book as a courtesy to and in respect of ALL Former USS Intrepid (CV, CVA, CVS-11) Former Crewmembers (FCMs).

In appreciation to Mr. Drechsel and on behalf of ALL FCMs, I thank him for the many years and personal time he has devoted in supporting the USS Intrepid Association, Inc. by way of providing access to his Website and Guest Book for all who showed interest. And, I add, his Guest Book will still be available for those who still may be interested. – LET US NOT FORGET THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE US

John Simonetti, AMS3, V6 Div, Past President, USS Intrepid Association, Inc.,’03-’05,



Former Crewmembers (FCMs), in support of a former shipmate, Dave Coffland ’55-’58 (a Gold Star Father), I provide the following:

Dave’s son, Christopher (Chris) was KIA on Nov 13, 2009 in Afghanistan serving our country. In honor and memory of Chris, Dave’s daughter Lynn, initiated the Catch A Lift (CAL) Foundation. Please go to and click on the ‘About Us’ LINK, where you will learn about Corporal Christopher Coffland and his purpose in life. And, on Dave’s behalf, I am adamant about supporting CAL, so I’ve provided the following summary of CAL:

– CAL works with the Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, MD who notifies CAL of vets released to civilian life. When they seek further medical help the VA doctors prescribe gym exercise as the best venue for mental and physical health, but, sorry to say, if a veteran left an arm or leg in a foreign country or have suffered mental issues resulting from their service, the U.S. Govt. does not pay for a gym! CAL, a non-profit started in 2010, enables post 9-11 combat wounded veterans to regain and maintain physical and mental health by providing gym memberships or in home gym equipment to them anywhere in the US. Since inception, CAL now has over 1700 vets in the program and contributes to the need, want and success of it’s mission throughout the post 9-11 combat wounded veteran population.The demand is so great that it will double this coming year.

– CAL veterans are maintaining their fitness nationwide, using the mantra Chris Coffland lived his life by; “through fitness, you can reach your highest potential both mentally and physically”.

– CAL follows the veterans fitness journey through assigned CAL Squads, and Squad Leaders follow the veteran over the course of each year. CAL also provides on-line certification classes in nutrition and fitness for qualified CAL veterans.  Support, camaraderie and team bonding ensures success!

– CAL’s 2014 Audit reports 90.4% of funds are directly spent on CAL veterans and has been rated as a 2015 Top Non-Profit by the ‘greatnonprofits’ organization ( ).

– CAL believes each veteran wants to, and can, actively contribute to his or her own physical and mental health journey.  They bravely supported our nation; now CAL, and we, can support their fitness goals.

Your support of CAL, in any way, will show Dave that we care.

Thank you. – John Simonetti, Past President, USS Intrepid Association, Inc., ’03-’05”

Commissioning of a Navy Ship

The commissioning ceremony marks the acceptance of a ship as a unit of the operating forces of the United States Navy.

At the moment of breaking the commissioning pennant the ship becomes the responsibility of the Commanding Officer, who, together with the ship’s officers and crew, has the duty of making and keeping her ready for any service required by our nation in peace or war.

The commissioning pennant is believed to date from the 17th Century, when the Dutch were at war with the English. The Dutch Admiral Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp hoisted a broom at his masthead to indicate his intention to sweep the English from the sea. This gesture was answered by the English admiral who hoisted a horsewhip, indicating his intention to subdue the Dutch. The English were victorious and ever since the narrow “coachwhip” pennant has been adopted by all nations as the distinctive mark of a ship of war.

The modern U.S. Navy Commissioning pennant is blue at the hoist with a union of seven white stars, and a horizontal red and white stripe at the fly. In lieu of a commission pennant, flagships fly Commodore’s or Admiral’s flags, hence the name flagship.


Intrepid Remembered Website

From Intrepid’s commissioning … present day Former Crew Members (FCMs)

have never, and will never forget …

             … those who have served with pride and dedication

                   and especially those who have gone before us.

                Go to:

Battle of Midway

For a dramatic and detailed video of the U.S and Japanese Naval Forces
centered on the Battle of Midway,
and then click on the Battle of Midway Video LINK

USS Intrepid Association Information & Updates

Former Crewmembers, it saddens me to report that it is apparent that the USS Intrepid Former Crewmember Association has opted to disregard providing any information or updates pertaining to the organization to this editor. – John Simonetti, Past President, ’03-’05

Due to this dilemma, former crewmember who visit this ‘Site’ are asked to submit any stories or information that you may think would be a contribution of interest to your fellow former crewmembers.

Send  to – – And keep the tradition going …

Let Us Not Forget Those Who Have Gone Before.

USS Intrepid CV-11 – History

USS Intrepid CV-11 – History

Go to:

Lt. Cecil E. Harris – Intrepid ACE

Awarded Navy Cross, 24 kill ace of USS Intrepid VF-18

Go to :

First Air Force One

A video about the first Air Force One named Columbine II

Go to:

Intrepid Remembered

A Website for former USS Intrepid (CV-11) Crewmembers (FCMs)

Go to:

Last Vietnam Exit

The C-130 on display at the front gate of Little Rock AFB, Arkansas

This C-130A Hercules was the 126th built by Lockheed Aircraft corp. of Marietta, Georgia. It was accepted into the Air Force inventory on 23 August 1957.
On 2 November 1972, it was given to the South Vietnamese Air Force as part of the Military Assistance Program. A few years later, the aircraft would be involved in a historic flight.
On 29 April 1975, this Herk was the last out of Vietnam during the fall of Saigon. With over 100 aircraft destroyed on the flight line at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, some of them still burning, it was the last flyable C-130 remaining. In a very panicked state, hundreds of people were rushing to get aboard, as the aircraft represented a final ticket to freedom.

People hurriedly crowded into the Herk, packing in tighter and tighter. Eventually, the loadmaster informed the pilot, Major Phuong, a South Vietnamese instructor pilot, that he could not get the rear ramp closed due to the number of people standing on it. In a moment of inspiration, Major Phuong slowly taxied forward, then hit the brakes. The loadmaster called forward again stating he had successfully got the doors closed.

In all, 452 people were on board, including a staggering 32 in the cockpit alone. Using a conservative estimate of 100 pounds per person, it translated into an overload of at least 10,000 pounds. Consequently, the Herk used every bit of the runway and overrun before it was able to get airborne.
The target was Thailand, which should have been 1:20 in flight time, but after an hour and a half, the aircraft was over the Gulf of Siam, and they were clearly lost. Finally, a map was located, they identified some terrain features, and they were able to navigate. They landed at Utapao, Thailand after a three and a half hour flight.
Ground personnel were shocked at what “fell out” as they opened the doors. It was clear that a longer flight would almost certainly have resulted in a loss of life. In the end, however, all 452 people made it to freedom aboard this historic C-130.
Upon landing, the aircraft was reclaimed by the United States Air Force and assigned to two different Air National Guard units for the next 14 years.
On 28 June 1989, it made its final flight to Little Rock Air Force Base and was placed on permanent display.