Atkins serves as honorary parade marshal
By Taylor J. Hale
STEVENS POINT – The Stevens Point Fourth of July parade had a special guest this year, Master Chief Edwin “Bud” Atkins served as honorary marshal for the event.
“It was great to see people and be so welcomed,” said Atkins.
Bud and his wife, Fran, are both from Park Ridge, but now live in Connecticut.
“We come back to the city about once a year,” Atkins said. “I still have in-laws that live here.”
Atkins is a master chief torpedo man and a former instructor of advanced nuclear weapons at the Naval Submarine School in Groton, CT. The veteran first enlisted with the Wisconsin National Guard in November 1949. He later joined the Navy in February 1954, and his first appointed station was on the USS WAHOO (SS565), a Tang-class submarine.
After years of working his way through the ranks, Atkins reported to the staff of the Naval Submarine School where he was the lead instructor of advanced nuclear weapons in 1969. In 1973, the veteran serviceman was appointed to chief of the USS KAMEHAMEHA (SSBN 642) (Gold), a ballistic missile submarine. His last tour was with the Commander Submarine Group 9 (CSG-9), where he served as command master chief.
Atkins retired in 1988, after 40 years of service and was inducted into the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame in November 2014. His illustrious career has made him a highly-decorated war veteran, but he has never forgotten his love for his hometown.
The city reached out to Atkins about returning to Wisconsin to head the parade as honorary marshal in May, and he was thrilled at the chance to be a part of the celebration.
“It’s always great to come back,” he said. “I met up with a bunch of my shipmates, submarine sailors. Then we met at the Elks Club after the parade. All of my in-laws and a bunch of submarine sailors came.”
Contact Taylor J. Hale at [email protected] with Portage County news and information.