I saw the Designed for Submariners site on the email, made a call, talked to Vince, he asked me to write a story about my trials and tribulations since retirement in 1988, including a little after command of two diesel submarines and here is the story.
Much of what I have done in Melbourne, Florida
can be accomplished in your own community with some organization, hard work and
the belief that by working together people, little people like most of us, can
accomplish whatever we set our minds to accomplish. This is a true story and
those of you who know me remember that I tell it like it is no matter what the
outcome. In this case it has been a wonderful outcome.
In 1988, I Retired as the Commanding Officer
of the United States Naval Home in Gulfport, MS. After commanding Quillback and
Salmon, back to back, I went to LY Spear as XO, followed that with a tour as
Flag Secretary at COMSUBLANT (nice to use acronyms and not have to explain),
then JCS as a Nuclear Division writer, then Auburn as CO of the NROTC Unit,
then Commander Naval Recruiting Area Four (worst job I ever had but great people
who worked their hearts out) and my last tour as CO of the Naval Home with a
crew of 550, average age 77. I had a wonderful career and was able to use that
in retirement and here is how I did that.
1988 Assumed job as Alumni Director at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida. Left there in 92 and took on the job as the Executive Director of the local Alzheimer's Chapter of the National Alzheimer's Association and quickly saw that they wanted 14% of all we made. I convinced the Board that we needed to strike out on our own. We did and set up the Brevard Alzheimer's Foundation, established some pretty good programs, became the 200th in a national respite program of the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation, later selected as one of the top 4 in 1100 programs nationwide, set up the first of two Project Americorps Elderserve in Florida, built and paid for three Dementia Centers in Titusville, Melbourne, and Micco, Florida, including the largest respite program in the State of Florida.
In 1999 We started the third in over 11,000 national radio shows to address elder issues and have been doing that ever since. It was interesting that after a month of doing the show Talk One radio in Los Angeles offered me a 3 hour daily talk show but I declined as Melbourne was my home (when we retired Terry said it was OK to retire to wherever I wanted as long as it was south of I10). I never regretted that decision. In 2001 I stepped down as Director of the Alzheimer's Foundation, continued the radio show, started a newspaper column in 2006 which stills run locally and in 2006 wrote and produced the first of over 200 television shows, shows which still run dally, 7 days a week. There has been some other stuff tossed in along the way and when my wife asks me if I understand retirement, she (Terry) confesses to saying I got you started on some of these projects and that she did.
2011. The present. On November 1 it was my great pleasure to brief our new Helping Seniors Of Brevard County, Inc plan to a select group of potential sponsors. HSOBC is incorporated, federal ID assigned and the non-profit papers are filed. It is not connected to the Alzheimer's program; rather it will help all seniors, especially those who fall in the 55 to 65 gap. The project is a little different from most non-profits as we exist only to make and give away money to established causes who serve seniors in our county. Our initial objective is a 5 million dollar endowment and also an annual fund donor program. We will take 5% of the principle every year along with 40 % of the annual donations and leverage new dollars from CMS MEDICAID/ MEDICARE.
To support the cost of doing the fund raising we have a wonderful Media awareness program that we believe will develop over $100,000 through sponsors and advertising. We have a wonderful start on the Web site. The site will also include community awareness programs, programs that assist seniors and most importantly enable people from across the country to access care for their family members who live in Brevard County, Florida. This is being done now and we will expand on it. Vince has asked me to send our monthly Web site offering to you so that you will have access to the knowledge on how you might do this in your community and should you have a family member close to us then you will know how to access care for them.
I am indeed privileged to have the opportunity to be so involved. I attribute much of my success to my Navy experience that I was able to glean from the many wonderful people who were my juniors, peers and seniors. We never stop learning. You have my promise that should any of you want to try to do what we have done in our local community you may contact me at Joesteckler@HSOBC.com or through the web site www.HSOBC.com <http://www.HSOBC.com> The WEB site will be up soon, a matter of a week or so.
It has been my pleasure to talk to you through Vince and I look forward to hearing from many of you. The offer to help is always there all you need do is ask
Captain (SS), USN, (Ret.)