Thursday, September 25, 2008


It is with heavy heart I report on the passing of Chester M. (Whitey) Mack, Captain, USN (Ret.). Knowing in advance the end was so near makes this announcement no less sad for me. No other person in my life impressed on me the worth of trust and the advantages gained by surrounding oneself with superior talents. In my mind I can think of no greater position of responsibility than that of ship captain. It is not that Whitey may have been the greatest captain of all time, or even of his time. But, Whitey took us into harms way and brought us back home. That was his task and he did it well.

Whitey passed at 1819 EDT, Sept. 25, at a hospice near Englewood, Florida.

Say a prayer tonight for the soul of Whitey Mack and for God's blessing on Joan and their children. "Oh hear us when we call to thee, for those in peril on the sea"

Rest your oars Whitey Mack.

Chuck Petterson

I recieved this e-mail from a former shipmate who served on board USS LAPON (SSN-661), a nuclear fast attack submarine made legendary in the "silent service", thanks to this man, Captain Whitey Mack, who commanded this fine boat a few years before I had the honor to serve aboard her. I never had the privelege to meet Capt. Mack, and I would not venture to suggest that the Captains I served under were made of the same steel as this man. Regardless, I feel the same loss as every crewmember of this submarine does, and I want to thank Capt. Mack for his service to our country. I can only hope that generations of warriors and politicians that follow do not shame this man's memory, as they threaten to do now.

"They go down to the sea in ships...."

Rest your oars, Captain, My Captain........

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Veterans For Peace is Taking Action

Members of Veterans For Peace alert at their occupation of the National Archive in Washington DC.

I received this in today's E-mail from my local Veterans For Peace Chapter 27 in Minneapolis, MN. Just wanted the members of the API to know that action is being taken to defend our Constitution. Now I'm wondering if I should go to DC and be with them, if not actually on the ledge, but to support them by my presence. After the Veterans For Peace National Convention and the RNC and all the turmoil I have been witness to right here in my own town, I am reluctant to go and put myself in the midst of more actions, yet a part of me tells me that the fight of a true Warrior will never end until justice is served. In any event, I will be thinking hard about this and whether I go or not, the fact will remain that these people standing up for our Constitution are courageous individuals.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 23, 2008
Contacts: Elliot Adams 518-441-2697, Ellen Barfield 410-948-8023, Tarak Kauff 845 249-9489


“Arresting Bush and Cheney for war crimes will honor our oath to the Constitution,” vets say.

On Tuesday morning, September 23, 7:30am, at the front of the National Archives Building on Constitution Ave. in Washington, D.C., five military veterans will risk arrest as they climb a 9-foot retaining fence and occupy a 35-foot high ledge to raise a 22x8 foot banner stating, “DEFEND OUR CONSTITUTION. ARREST BUSH AND CHENEY: WAR CRIMINALS!”

The group has declared its intention to stay on the ledge, fasting for 24 hours “in remembrance of those who have perished and those still suffering from the crimes of the Bush administration,” according to a written statement. With a portable PA system, they will broadcast recorded statements from prominent Americans for the impeachment and/or arrest of George W. Bush and Richard Cheney. “Citizens Arrest Warrants” will be distributed to people waiting in line to enter the National Archives.

The veterans emphasized they are taking this action because “Bush and Cheney’s serial abuse of the Law of the Land clearly marks them as domestic enemies of the Constitution…they have illegally invaded and occupied Iraq, deliberately destroyed civilian infrastructure, authorized torture, and unlawfully detained prisoners. These actions clearly mark them as war criminals…accountability extends beyond impeachment to prosecution for war crimes even after their terms of office expire.”

“We take this action as a last resort,” their statement added. “For years we have pursued every avenue open to good, vigilant citizens to bring these men to justice, to re-establish the rule of law, and to restore the balance of power described in our Constitution. We are not disturbing the peace; we are attempting to restore the peace. We are not conducting ourselves in a disorderly manner; our action is well-ordered and well-considered. We are not trespassing; we have come to the home of our Constitution to honor our oath to defend it.”

pg. 2 VFP National Archives action

Those participating are all members of Veterans For Peace and include Elliott Adams: 61, NY, VFP President and former Army paratrooper in Viet Nam; Ellen Barfield: 52, MD, former U.S. Army Sgt., full-time peace and justice advocate; Kim Carlyle: 61, NC, mountain homesteader, former Army Spec 5, 828-626-2572; Diane Wilson: 59, TX, shrimp boat captain, former Army medic, 361-785-4680; Doug Zachary: 58, TX, VFP staff, former USMC LCpl discharged as a conscientious objector, 512-791-9824; and Tarak Kauff (ground support) 67, NY, painting contractor, former U.S. Army Airborne.

Founded in 1985, VFP has 120 chapters throughout the country and has actively protested the Afghanistan and Iraq wars since their inception. Membership includes men and women veterans of all eras and duty stations spanning the Spanish Civil War, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. VFP is an official Non Governmental Organization (NGO) represented at the UN.


"May the innocent find peace; may the dead find grace; may the wounded find healing; may the homeless find shelter; may America find forgiveness; and may justice find the guilty." - Veterans For Peace Ch. 39

Friday, September 12, 2008


I'm sure most, if not all, of the adees have seen the phrase "Death Before Dishonor." I have seen it tattooed on the arm of both sailors and Marines. But the Sgt. Major says is far mor eloquently than I at this site

and copied below. "Honor" and most especially the lack thereof is the single biggest reason that I cannot and will not vote for Sen. McCain for president.

Throughout my life growing up in a military family and in my military career one predominate trait or quality was emphasized and driven home by both my family and every leader I have ever met. That trait or quality was honor. Just to refresh your memory the dictionary defines honor as, honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions: a man of honor.

From the time that I had what I believe was probably my very first logical thought about the subject I do not believe that there was ever any doubt in my mind of what the meaning of honor was nor was there ever any doubt of what actions honor required. There was a second thing that I never had any doubt about and that was that once ones honor was compromised it was a permanent and oft never fading blemish. I know this from personal experience and my own personal failures against which I struggle to this very day. I point that out because I believe that even the most honorable and well intentioned people with the most hard earned sense of honor can fail and that they can be guilty of being dishonorable and I believe that that has happened in the presidential race.

I have known of and about John McCain for as long as he has been in the public eye. I have, as a fellow soldier and as a fellow citizen, respected him for his extraordinary military and public service. In fact I believe we as a nation should respect and appreciate and yes honor what he has done for our nation. I believe his have been the actions of an exceptionally brave and historically honorable man.

However there is something else that I believe. I believe that past honorable service and dedication to duty and country does not immunize one against poor judgment, failure or even from doing the wrong thing. I believe that ones honor is not something one does once and then puts it on a shelf where it shines forever. Honor is second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour and year by year. It is only as untarnished and undiminished as ones past and ones last action.

It is with great sadness that I say to you that John McCain is not an honorable man today. The reason I say this is because I am observing and hearing reported by every major news organization in this country that he and his running mate are participating in and personally articulating blatant lies. These are not the actions of honorable people. When one is aspiring to the highest and second highest public offices in the land it is incumbent upon one to speak truth and only truth and to communicate about those issues that are vital and of importance to the citizens of the nation. It is not honorable for individuals to speak lies to the citizens and make unproven accusations against those whom they oppose. When one opposes another person in vying for public office it becomes even more important to insure that one speaks the truth and deals with issues and substantive differences and not innuendo and accusation.

The fact that John McCain is a former Naval Officer and a sitting United States Senator makes this lack of honor horribly reprehensible. But I think what makes this lack of honor so disgusting and even more vile is that he would lose himself to the point of using his own sacrifice and service as a shield to commit such petit dishonorable acts of lying. Conservative, liberal, or Independent, share his beliefs or not, it would be morally reprehensible for anyone to support someone who displays so little honor. Sometimes we must call them like they are. Prisoner of war or not service to country or not there is a line and John McCain and his running mate have crossed the line.

This nation has endured eight long years of lies and deceptions from the two highest ranking public figures in the country and virtually their entire administration. Our honor as a nation is not just blemished but in tatters and we cannot endure another four or eight years of the same. If for no other reason than the fact that John McCain and his vice presidential running mate have publicly lied and continue to lie this nation needs to insure that he does not occupy the office of the president. Our nation needs honor above all else at this crucial point in our history. With honor comes respect and from these come all else.

Cross posted at Liberty Street.