Barkhamsted submariner named veteran of the month [Register Citizen]

August 5, 2014

The Register Citizen

BARKHAMSTED >> Paul Kramarchyk was named veteran of the month for August by state Sen. Kevin Witkos.

Kramarchyk enlisted in the U.S. Navy in November 1968. He served for six years on a USS Patrick Henry SSBN 599, a nuclear submarine, and reached the rank of second-class petty officer.

He was trained in nuclear power at the Navy Nuclear Power School in Maryland and Navy Submarine Reactor Prototype in New York.

As an engine room supervisor and engineering lab tech, Kramarchyk went on four Cold War deterrent patrols where the submarine was submerged for approximately 90 days at a time. He completed two half-world transits during his time of service. As engine room supervisor he was responsible for supervising operations. As an engineering lab tech, he was responsible for reactor coolant radiochemistry, steam plant chemistry and radiation monitoring and control.

“It is important to note that submarine service is self-selecting and completely voluntary,” said Kramarchyk in a press release from Witkos. “To qualify and be accepted as a submarine crew member is an honor and a privilege.”
Kramarchyk said that being on a submarine is about the whole crew, not the individual.

“With a submarine it’s a different story, you either save the boat and we all go home. Or you lose the boat and nobody goes home. It’s always about saving the boat,” he said. “There are no lifeboats on a submarine. That knowledge, the tight quarters and long patrols brings an ‘esprit de corps’ and intimacy to a submarine crew that lasts a lifetime.”

Kramarchyk discharged from the Navy in November 1974. He worked as a nuclear engineer at Westinghouse Electric Co. in Windsor, retiring about in 2012. Kramarchyk has lived in Barkhamsted for the past 38 years.

Witkos started recognizing a veteran of the month in October of 2013. He launched the program as part of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.