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A salute to the many who helped out on this special ‘labor of love’
While interviewing a current commander at Dahlgren, I learned that he met his wife after both had lost their first spouses in 2001—one on 9/11.
So it went. My work on this special section commemorating the 90th anniversary of the Dahlgren Navy base has been full of discovery. As a Dahlgren native (I grew up on the base), it also has been a labor of love.
The support I’ve received from leaders and friends of Dahlgren has been generous.
My thanks to Wayne Harman, who retired from the Naval Surface Warfare Center last November after 40 years at Dahlgren and who is helping to save the history of the base. Much of my story about the early days of Dahlgren comes from his painstaking research.
Cultural resources manager Patricia Albert has been unfailingly helpful in sharing her knowledge of the base’s historical artifacts and sites. So has Joyce Tate, the longtime Navy housing director at Dahlgren.
The public-affairs team of Gary Wagner at Naval Support Activity South Potomac and the corporate-communications staff headed by Russell Coons at NSWC Dahlgren Division have been a great help.
So has the outstanding recent history of Dahlgren’s warfare center, “The Sound of Freedom” by James P. Rife and Rodney P. Carlisle.
And my special thanks to all seven commanders on the base, who took time to tell me about themselves and their visions.
But it wasn’t just officials on the base who helped. After reading a memoir by the late Jim Payne, detailing his memories as a 5-year-old when the base was being built, I tried to find out more about his life. Before I knew it, his younger sister and his daughter had generously responded to my inquiries by sharing Payne’s scrapbook with me.
My thanks to all the people whose love for Dahlgren has made my writing and reporting that much easier.