Veterans for Peace, Chapter 001
Doug Rawlings, the President of VFP Chapter #001, welcomed
the twenty five attendees to the all-day Saturday session (Ten VFP members
spent Friday night chatting by the fireside, listening to Dan Ellis pick
tunes on his guitar, after about sixteen showed up for a delicious pot luck
supper). The Chewonki Foundation facility was perfect for this kind of event:
roomy, good accommodations, and a very supportive staff. Breakfast and lunch
on Saturday were superb.
Notes from Retreat
20 January 2007
Held at the Chewonki Foundation
From Bob Lezer and Doug Rawlings
Notes on the Saturday Meeting:
We closed off the retreat at 3:00pm with some members
going on a quick tour of the grounds with Chewonki staff members. A few
members stayed to discuss 9/11 with Jim Nesbitt. We all headed home by 3:30pm
at the latest after cleaning up the facilities. Total cost for the retreat
is still to be determined (we’re awaiting the invoice. It should be under
- We’d started the day by asking folks around the table
to tell us where they were born, when they were born, the branch of
service they were in, and something about themselves related to VFP.
Ages ranged from 42 to 85, places of birth from California to Maine,
anecdotes about life as a VFP member were all over the map. Great fun.
- Doug announced that Michael Uhl has a book being published
this spring entitled Vietnam Awakening. Michael spoke briefly
about his book. Sounds like it is a must read. Congratulations Michael.
- A draft prototype of the planned 18 month VFP Chapter
# 001 calendar was explained and a sample passed around with a request
for comments. We hope to have the calendar distributed to selected Maine
high school teachers by mid-August. The calendar features the portraits
of “Americans Who Tell the Truth” by our own Rob Shetterly with a brief
quote by or statement about the individual. Great work by Doug, Dan
Ellis and Kristina. Dan is our chief designer and Kristina is providing
the “peace activist” information for many of the dates. Our plan is
to get some foundation funding to help pay for the costs (Doug will
write two grant proposals); we’d like to have an initial “run” of 500
calendars – 250 for high school teachers and 250 to sell to generate
more money for printing more copies. We discussed printing options.
- Art Whitman announced that we have $11,711.00 in the
- Tom Sturtevant mentioned the Service Aptitude Battery
Test being administered in high schools. This is a recruiting tool designed
to assist recruiters in selecting students to target. San Francisco
has thrown the JR. ROTC out of its high schools, and Tom would like
us to work on getting it out of Maine schools as well.
- Doug acknowledged Dan Ellis for doing a great job as
our Web “Servant.” He received a round of applause for his good work.
If you haven’t been to it lately, check it out: www.vfpmaine.org.
- Smitty Smith has agreed to be our chapter archivist
and is seeking all archives anyone might have pertaining to Maine VFP.
Doug will send him material he received from the estate of Howard Hede.
- Organizational Structure: There was considerable
discussion around this topic. Art presented a draft for discussion of
a structure and officers that he and Tom had worked on. This plan featured
a President (Dud Hendrick in 9/07) , Tri VP’s (Richard Clements, George
Goodwin, Suzanne Hedrick), Treasurer (Art Whitman), Secretary (Bob Lezer
with helping recorders, Membership (Tim Blanchette), other Board Members
Peggy Akers, Jack Bussell, Stan Lofchie, Doug Rawlings, ????? Lots of
excellent discussion followed including but not limited to election
of officers, Board, By-laws ours nationals, other chapters term limits
(1 year). And more. This subject will continue to be discussed at our
next regular meeting in February. Dud impressed upon the group that
we would be well served to look for other Presidential candidates as
he is not sure he would be able to perform as he would like due to his
busy work schedule and other commitments. Options are good.
- Responses to Iraq Occupation & general discussion followed.
- Doug announced that on March 22nd, students at UMFarmington
will be holding a Teach-In about war. The plan is to hold concurrent
workshops/presentations/films from 9:00am to 9:00pm. Faculty members
and students will be holding some workshops; we also have a commitment
from Shenna Bellows of MCLU; but we’d love to have VFP members present
as well. Tabling will also be available. Please contact Doug if you’re
- There was discussion about a call for the removal of
John Libby, the Adjutant General of Maine’s National Guard, for sending
the National Guard to an illegal war.
- Dud has initiated the Maine effort to impeach George
Bush and Dick Cheney. Go to maineimpeach.org.
The goal is to get 10,000 signatures by the end of March to present
to the Maine legislature. Petitions are circulating around the State.
- Having a quorum of directors present, we convened and
by unanimous vote of all present and by acclimation following a motion
by Don Hardin donated $500.00 to the Maine Impeach campaign, seconded
by Jack Bussell. Following vote returned us to the retreat.
- Dud will appear on Maine Watch on 1/24. Other guests
include Major Libby of Maine National Guard, and the wife of a Maine
National Guard person serving in Iraq. Susan Sharon hosts.
- Imperial Life in The Emerald City, is a book worth reading.
- True Cost Of War symposium scheduled for Saturday, June
2nd in the Portland Library. Jack will see if he can reserve the function
rooms and auditorium at the Portland Public Library for the event. This
is seen as a follow up to last year’s highly successful PTSD Symposium.
Don will work on CEU’s for professionals. Scope: PTSD, Depleted Uranium,
Agent orange, Assault of women, land mines, cluster bombs,, economic
loss, social costs, loss of national reputation and diminished industrial
capacity are among subjects that may be included. Symposium costs. Last
year $6,000. Much of this covered by grants and fees. This year will
be much less since the space will be less expensive. Possible speakers
discussed Congressman McDermott, Charley Clements, James Carroll, Howard
Levy or Paul Farmer.
- Tom: Blue Angels are coming to Brunswick Naval Air Station
9/15 and 9/16. Another demo opposing their presence should be planned
Our next business meeting will be held on Thursday, February 22nd from 7:00pm
to 9:00pm at the Lewiston College.
Maine Veterans For Peace
13 Soper Road
Chesterville, Me 04938