Navy Commander Reminds Alaskans of the Toll of Service

Senator Murkowski Spotlights Kenai Submarine Commander

WASHINGTON, DC –On this Memorial Day weekend, Senator Lisa Murkowski is releasing her 23rd Veteran Spotlight interview, focusing on the military service of Sterling resident Commander William Howell Jr., a veteran of the United States Navy.  During his 20 year carrier, Howell served on submarines across the country and around the world during the Cold War, the First Gulf War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

During his Veteran Spotlight interview, Bill Howell recalls following in his father’s footsteps in joining the Navy, and some close calls during classified missions.  Though he’s not at liberty to talk in detail about those missions, he does recount how close his crew’s submarine came to colliding with another, larger ship deep underwater.

William “Bill” Howell Jr., U.S. Navy veteran

(Click on image for excerpt of Bill talking about close calls while serving on a Navy submarine
CLICK HERE for the extended interview) 

“If we are going to talk about who deserves the recognition, it is the men and the women who have borne the brunt,” said Bill Howell.  “They have done what was asked by this country and its people and we need to see that and thank about that, particularly before we ask them to do it again. We need to ask how many lives is this going to cost, and how many young people is this going to destroy? Even in the best of causes, the cost is very high.” 

“The United States Navy was lucky to have Bill Howell on its submarines,” said Senator Murkowski.  “He served our nation well then moved here to Alaska where he continues his service to the young people at Kenai Peninsula College.  We owe it to veterans like Bill to honor them through sharing their stories, and we owe it to the rest of us to learn from the high levels of patriotism, commitment and service they demonstrate for us.”

The “Veteran Spotlight” project is Senator Murkowski’s regular focus on an Alaska veteran of American conflicts worldwide to honor and draw well-deserved attention to Alaska’s men and women who served – in conjunction with the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project which recognized Murkowski’s series in 2013 as a model of best practices. You can watch them all by clicking here.

If you have a family member or friend in the community you think has a story to share, email Spotlight@Murkowski.Senate.Gov.