It was in 1919, that the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Franklin D. Roosevelt conceived the idea of developing a Naval Station in Puerto Rico. It wasn’t until World War II that President Roosevelt was able to order the creation of the base. Named for Franklin D. Roosevelt, Naval Station Roosevelt Roads would become one of the largest naval facilities in the world. First commissioned as a U.S. Naval Operations Base in 1943, it was re-designated as a Naval Station in 1957. The main purpose was supporting land/sea/air maneuver on Vieques Island. Naval Station Roosevelt Roads was 8,650 acres, located on Puerto Rico’s eastern coast on the island of Commonwealth. It is approximately 33 miles southeast of Puerto Rico’s capital city of San Juan. Operating for 47 years, military operations were ceased in March 2004. When Rosie Roads, the nickname for Roosevelt Roads, closed, the only U.S. naval base in the Caribbean was the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base.
This week we salute Walt Tadsen II. Walt was an electronics technician in the Navy from 1965 to 1969. He went to boot camp in San Diego, California, electronic school in the Great Lakes and then was stationed at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. He is married to Linda, and they have two sons, Andrew Cody, and Casey Wayne. Walt is a native Rosebud county resident.
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Dr. Irene Dickerson has a doctorate in Business Administration and is a retired Army Colonel living her best life in Big Sky Country.