Archive for August 2015

Barry Bowden

Barry Bowden writes: After retiring from Fort Rucker, AL, in August 2008, Melanie and I now live in Fayetteville, NC , where I serve as an Elder at the Crossview Alliance Church and she continues teaching her Ladies Bible Studies that she began in PWOC, over 25 years ago in Bamberg, Germany. Using my Family Life training and licensure, I continue to serve as a US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) Military and Family Life Counselor (MFLC) at Fort Bragg since 2010. We welcome anyone coming to Fayetteville to give us a call and join us for a time of friendship and fellowship. Work cell-910.633.2767. After Tom Smith, VP Local Chapters, visited for a Retired Chaplain Corps Regiment luncheon, I am now heading up our local chapter. Please contact me for our quarterly fellowship time.
Address is: 2310 Elmhurst Drive
Fayetteville, NC 287304
Email and Phone: , (910) 633-2767

William Harbour

William Harbour writes: I have been on the email list for several years but couple years ago we changed home address and email address and I failed to notify you. Would like to be back to receive information. Thank you.

Address is: 600 S. Main
Lockhart, TX 78644
Email and Phone: , (512) 359-4089

James Fair

James Fair writes: I am currently in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I am a disabled Vet, still fighting the VA, and participate in Facebook group: VA Is Lying. I also help in DAV. Always in that aura of being the former 71 Mike Chaplain’s Assistant in helping Vets of all branches from Vietnam to now. I still miss being active duty, and being in Mainz, Germany (my favorite place of being a UMT with Chaplain Kenneth L. Kerr). I am married to a lady from Honduras, where I may live at in a few years. Loved seeing some names that I remembered why on active duty. I am a AOH in the Catholic Church and still read books and manuals I had while active duty.

Address is: 5714 E. 71st Place, Apt # 204
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74136
Email and Phone: , (918) 565-4330

George Schwantes

George Schwantes writes: I am using this form to update you on my new address.

Address is: 3647 Nottingham Dr
Richland, WA 99352
Email and Phone: , (509) 396-7018

Carl H. Burton

Carl H. Burton writes: Retired. The phone # is my wife’s.

Address is: VAMC, Room 250, Bldg 138B
1400 Black Horse Hill Road
Coatesville, PA 19320
Email and Phone: (717) 314-8047

Robert Bush

Robert Bush writes: Since my retirement I have served as a Program Analyst in Soldier and Family Programs Division of the Installations Services Directorate of for the Assistant Chief of Staff of Installation Management. I have responsibility for such programs as Army Sponsorship and Army Emergency Relief from a policy perspective. I oversee numerous program audits and work closely with a team of professionals that work very hard to ensure Soldiers and Families have the highest quality of services and programs they deserve.

Address is: 600 Army Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20310
Email and Phone: (571) 256-8691

John Green

John Green writes: I have retired but preach where invited. I celebrated my 85th birthday, on April 15, 2015.

Address is: 70 Lake Windsor Circle
Conroe, TX 77384
Email and Phone: (903) 570- 7279

Ron Bowren

Ron Bowren writes: The San Antonio, Texas Chapter of USACCRA is alive and well. We are meeting on a monthly basis and have had some very successful meetings and programs. It has been announced that next year’s reunion will again be held here in San Antonio by popular demand. I hope we can be a gracious host for all our friends. WE NEED YOUR HELP! If you live in the San Antonio area, we need your help getting our contact list corrected and updated. We know there must be hundreds of friends in our area but don’t have a current email/mail list. If you would be so kind as to contact myself or Ken McCalvey. We want to invite as many as possible for next year’s reunion and we want to start by have our own area list correct. If no email just give us a phone number and postal address. San Antonio is a great place to visit so make plans now to come to Texas!!

Address is: 6114 Robin Forest
San Antonio, TX 78239
Email and Phone:  (210) 913-0928

Mini Reunions

The members of the chaplaincy family find regular informal gatherings to be both useful and lots of fun. They become something like “mini-reunions” that are enjoyed nationally every two years. Local chapters of the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Regimental Association (USACCRA) provide this opportunity. As a result, at least two new chapters are in the making.


Chaplain 2

Barry Bowden agreed to coordinate the start of a chapter in the Fayetteville, NC area where so many of our number have retired to be near Fort Bragg. A small, but interested, group gathered for lunch at Luigi’s on July 23 and made the decision to meet again in about three months—this next time with some effort to spread the word to those who are not aware of what USACCRA is doing and would enjoy participating.


Pictured are those who attended the lunch: Anita Cottingham, John Cottingham, Melanie Bowden, Barry Bowden, Tom Smith, Tim Leever, and Jim Johnson. Not pictured but present was Jerry Powell.

A group who live in the Augusta, Georgia, area met on July 21 at Macaroni Grill for lunch. This combination of retired and active duty chaplaincy family members demonstrated the value of sharing information between the two groups and supporting their common goals. Suzanne Hall and Gloria Smith agreed to share the coordinating roll in getting the ball rolling there. The task is a simple one, since local chapters are free to decide how often, when, and where they will meet. Keeping the process as simple as possible is the key, with the most challenging task to locate and notify all those in our group who live in the area.


Pictured are those who attended the luncheon. Front Row: Suzanne Hall, Gloria Smith. Back Row: Tom Smith, Bob Hall, Randy Dillard, Charlie Smith, Herman Cheatham, and Tim Mallard.

Anyone living in an area where other chaplaincy family members are also located can start a local chapter where you live. You may obtain a list of a few in your area from Tom Smith, VP for local chapters of USACCRA, whose e-mail address is

Drones – needed a broad ethical, moral and legal discussion

The first person to fire a Hellfire missile from a Predator drone in combat and destroy a target, wrote an article in Air, Strategy and Policy in November of 2014. From his experience “War is no Video Game – not even remotely.” He describes two experiences while piloting a Predator. The first instance was before the Predator was weaponized. It happened, in September 2000, when he and his sensor operator saw Osama Bin Laden, exquisitely framed on their screen. They followed him as he moved on the compound, but all they could do was watch, because at that time no Predator was armed. He regretted not being able to kill our arch-enemy.
He describes avoiding being shot down by a MIG. The evasive actions were demanding and they had to preform maneuvers as difficult as any done as a helicopter pilot. While the pilot of a Remotely Piloted Aircraft doesn’t hear the plane’s engine, feel its motion, smell the airplane smells; and while he has a joystick, throttle, and is sitting in a Ground Control Station in a Virginia parking lot viewing TV screens, mentally and emotionally he is at war.MQ-9_Reaper_taxis
His second experience was when his crew fired the first-ever intercontinental air strike by a UAV. After the missile was fired they saw a “bright white bloom of light. As the bloom dissipated, we saw an object move quickly across the screen, flailing like a rag doll tossed in the air. It was a body, twisting and contorting and glowing from the heat of the blast. Nearly a decade-and-a –half after, that fleeting image remains burned in my memory.”
That last statement re-enforced my dedication to the work I had been doing for the last 5 years. I have been working on “Moral Injury after War.” This hidden injury from war was identified by “A Truth Commission on Conscience and War,” recommending more moral and ethical research needed on ‘Selective Conscientious Objection’ to a particular conflict and the ‘Moral Injury’ resulting from Warfighting. (Google the Truth Commission to see the entire story of the Truth Commission.)
The recommendations of the Commission led to a book by Rita Nakashima Brock and Gabriella Lettini: Soul Repair: Recovering from Moral Injury after War and the establishment of the “Soul Repair Center” at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas. Rita and I were Co-founding Directors of the Center ( I retired from the Center last May.
At the Center we did research and public education on Moral Injury. One of the groups we talked to and did research on were the Drone Pilots. Many of them suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress, some experienced it as a Disorder and as a Moral Injury. I have many questions about the use of Drones and the morality of these weapons. My major concern is what the Robotization of War will do to Military Virtues.
One of the things I stressed in our Public Education efforts at the Center was that the Military is a moral system. A value system markedly different from the value system in civilian society, but a moral system non-the-less: designed to make it possible to survive on the battlefield. Some values are these: courage is the virtue we need to preserve in the face the horror of war, not allowing fear to obscure our judgment of what needs to be done in our conduct on the battlefield; (The Drone Pilot may not need physical courage, because the drone operator operates without physical risk.) but moral courage is an important value for the drone operators to enable them to make the right decisions despite some countervailing pressures and temptations in the conduct of warfighting; the value of Loyalty to the leadership and to fellow combatants; the value of being just and acting justly; the value of self-control so acts will not be deflected by passion or emotion; and the virtue of practical wisdom – a habit of sound judgment about practical situations. These values are essential in wielding the deadly force entrusted to them by the society that sends them to the field of battle.
These were some of the issues that I carried to the “Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare” at Princeton Seminary, January 23 – 25, 2015. About 150 religious leaders, scholars and community activists attended the Conference. Speakers from a wide diversity and range of expertise provided informed input to the Conference which resulted in a document with several recommendations. One impression that was most meaningful to me as a Just War adherent and as a Chaplain who served 40 years in the Army, was the disconnect between the International Laws of War from the moral tradition that helped form these laws. One very important task for the future is to rediscover the ethical basis for the international laws. We are at great risk to move from “what is” to what “ought to be.” We have tremendous potential to create automatic weapons, but should we risk deploying autonomous weapons, not controlled by human actors and moral agents?

Herman Keizer, Jr.
Chaplain (Col) US Army (retired)