Tribute To Gary "Cowboy" McLaughlin, QM3(SS)

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Gary served aboard the STERLET from 1962 to 1964 and then on the BARBEL (SS-580) from 1964 to 1966 and was a diver on both boats.
"Gary personified that which we all find good in the word 'shipmate'. We will meet someday, until then, aloha Cowboy. Very Respectfully." - Jim Christley

"I first met him a little over four years ago when he hosted the "Bash At The Ranch" at his place in Raymond (northeast of Fresno).
It was all about submariners, and folks came (mostly) in their RVs and parked there at the ranch--a few of us rode motorcycles and camped. Gary and I stayed in touch by email after that. He and Sue joined Dawn and me for dinner a couple of times at Ducey's, a restaurant at Bass Lake where Dawn and I go occasionally with our travel trailer."

"As you well know, Gary was a real person, genuine and caring. Sunday after church I changed into jeans and my BASH at the Ranch T-shirt (hadn't worn it in a while), but didn't know at the time that it was to be sort of a tribute to a great friend and shipmate. It's hard enough when an older shipmate passes, but Gary wasn't old... [I posted a reply on Rontini's BBS.] Best and God Bless." - Steve
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Image of gift given to Ron Martini
from Gary following the San Joaquin
Cemetery Submarine Dedication.
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As a NYC Firefighter (Ret), needless to say, I was shattered after the attack. Among the many shipmates that sent their condolences, Gary was one of the first. I suspect as a retired Police Officer and Submariner, he understood the meaning of "brotherhood" more than most. Out of the blue, a package arrived with a video of the "bash at the ranch" As I wasn't able to attend it, it was a pleasant reprieve for me to get out of the doldrums I found myself in. Typical Garry....pull the plug." - Scotty

A Cowboy's Guide to Life - "This was not intended for our "Cowboy" but it certainly fits him like a glove. I don't who wrote or sent this to me and maybe it's been on the BBS before." - Ron Martini

"Gary was the person who talked me into doing Docent Duties on the Pampanito. During the first couple of times we able to “sleep-over” on the Boat. We seldom got much sleep. We would talk of just about everything. I looked forward to those weekends for I had been away from that part of my life for years. Our talks topside, were treasures. As big as he was in structure, his heart was larger." - Gary Walker

"Cowboy was one of those if you knew him for a thousand years it wouldnt be long enough. My heart is lonely today and will be for a long time.There arent enough tears to wash away the pain anytime soon. My friend may you ride your horse through tall sweet grass. Shipmate may you sail smooth and sunny seas. Until we meet again. Cowboy is a big reason we should all hope there really is a Submariners Vahalla." - Mike Hemming

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