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Re: Passing of OTCM Nick Vanherpen

This is very sad news. Many throughout our community have fond memories of Nick. And many visitors to this site have first-hand experience with our passing legends. I’ll sum up my feelings this way. Throughout a long 20+ year career in Ocean Surveillance, an individual has a handful of opportunities to “stand up and be counted”. These brief, passing moments are defining, and usually impactful on the community. During our careers, I was able to see, up close, the difference Nick made.

And while on the subject, I want to say that the blessing I had in my career was being part of a community that had a “star-studded” lineup. Too many have already passed on. But for those of you that remain, never lose sight of how special you have been - to undersea surveillance, and to each other. Jack, Rick, Jim, Irv, John, and many others - always cherish the watches we stood, the friends we gained, and the difference we made.

Re: Passing of OTCM Nick Vanherpen

Nick‘s impact and influence was not limited to young sailors, but to officers as well. I was an Ensign at Argentia and Master Chief Vanherpen must’ve seen some potential in me because he often gave me advice and shepherded me during my formative years. I remember one day he told me that “you and I could be good friends if you weren’t an officer.“ Well, we were friends and remain friends over the years. We would call one another a few times a year, sometimes to say “happy birthday“ and other times just to say “what are you doing.“ I’ll miss those calls. RIP Master Chief!

Re: Passing of OTCM Nick Vanherpen

Sad news, indeed. I was stationed with Nick in the early 70’s at Argentia and he was one of those who could dominate a room simply by being there. He had a hard nosed reputation but I also saw a softer side of him several times. He was a good man. One of my favorite memories is when Nick was an umpire for our softball game. On a close play he inadvertently hand signaled safe but yelled out. Several guys started yelling about it and Nick gave a look that immediately silenced the players. Amidst the silence he corrected himself with a smile and play went on. A glare then a smile from him took care of the issue quickly :)
Respect is earned and he was rendered much. RIP Master Chief, your country and shipmates are better off by having known you.

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