Dear Editor,

I'd like to thank the TIMES NEWS for holding their open house on the evening of Tuesday, 17 December 2013 - snow or not!

I saw that the building was modern and very clean, and the staff very informative and friendly.

You asked for Christmas stories.

One of my more memorable Christmas times was while I was in the Navy. My ship,the destroyer USS Strong DD-758, was patrolling off the coast of North Vietnam, December 1967.

There had been a declared truce between 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and 6 p.m. Christmas night. Of course, we watched enemy troop, vehicle, and sampan movements during the truce.

The cooks served the best turkey dinner I ever had in the Navy, after which we cleaned up and returned to normal routine.

At 17:57 (5:57 p.m.) General Quarters ("Battle Stations") was sounded.

At 18:00 our first shots were fired and we sank a number of southbound sampans. "Merry Christmas, Charlie!" (Charlie being the Viet Cong guerrillas).

What a contrast between celebrating the birth of the Son of God and war, huh?


Scotty Morrison