Former City Councilman Jack Barry visits the USS Nimitz
August 22, 2013
By Evan Pappas
Jack Barry has been to the Berlin Wall in the days when it was coming down. He met Wernher Von Braun, visited Anne Frank’s home, and even traveled to Robben Island, the place where Nelson Mandela was held captive for 18 years.
Still, he puts his recent visit to an aircraft carrier up with those places.
“I would put my time out on the Nimitz up there with each of those events,” Barry said.
A former Sammamish City Councilman and mayor, Barry, recently was flown out to the USS Nimitz near Singapore for a celebration for the U.S. ambassador to Singapore.
Barry’s journey to the Nimitz began with his son, Mike Froemke, who is currently enlisted in the Navy.
Froemke became an intelligence officer in the Navy and did some work in Hawaii that led him to receive the Naval Intelligence Junior Officer of the Year Award. His continued work led him to become the junior attaché in Singapore.
Froemke was retiring from that position, and Barry flew over for the party. It was there that he met John Wood, the naval attaché to Singapore.
They got to talking and discovered they had common ties to Glendale, Ariz. Wood went to Apollo High School in Glendale, Barry had been the principal at the school years later, and it was likely that Barry’s wife had been Wood’s English teacher there. His meeting with Wood is what was able to get him on to the Nimitz.
The luncheon on the Nimitz was in honor of the US ambassador in Singapore, David Adelman, who Wood had worked with very closely.
Wood talked to Adelman about Barry and was able to put him onto the guest list for the event.
On May 23, Barry boarded a naval airplane usually used for carrying supplies. He was surprised by the constricting feeling of the plane — heavy equipment along with a small interior and no windows made the ride quite an intense experience.
“You are wearing Navy equipment like a helmet, water vest, etc.,” Barry said. “It’s like being in a tube.”
Once off the plane, Barry got a proper view of the Nimitz. It was quite an impressive sight.
“When you see it you understand how strong it is,” Barry said. “It was very convincing of the power of the Navy.”
The group of guests on the Nimitz first went to Admiral Michael White’s conference room where they were welcomed and told the history of the ship.
“From there we took a tour of the ship to look at different operational procedures,” Barry said.
They went to the engine room, saw where they raised and lowered the anchors, and went up to the control room, where they saw a miniature model Nimitz used to keep tabs on the overall workings of the ship.
The luncheon took place in the admiral’s dining room. There were 25 people in attendance, ranging from naval officers to CEOs of banks to attachés from other countries. Barry finally met Adelman who introduced him to many of the ranking officers on the ship.
“I was really humbled by the others in attendance and being in their presence,” Barry said.
The group spent the rest of their time on the Nimitz on the flight deck watching landings and take offs.
Barry’s experience on the Nimitz left a serious impression on him and he puts his time on the Aircraft Carrier up among some other amazing life experiences.
“I have been very fortunate in my life in some of the things I have done,” Barry said.