Iraq vet turned peace activist taking message on road through Maine

Posted Oct. 08, 2012, at 6:06 p.m.
Paul Chappell
Paul Chappell

BELFAST, Maine — Iraq War vet and now peace activist Paul Chappell will speak in Orono, Belfast and Farmington during an Oct. 25-27 tour through the state.

Chappell, a West Point graduate, was stationed in Baghdad during his military service, leaving the Army with the rank of captain.

He is the author of three books: “The End of War,” “Will War Ever End” and “Peaceful Revolution.” He was named Peacemaker of the Year by the Independent Booksellers Association and was the subject of an April 2011 Sun Magazine interview. He’s also appeared on Book TV and been interviewed by Tavis Smiley, among others.

Chappell is half Korean, and a quarter each black and white native of Alabama who entered West Point believing war is an effective means of resolving conflict; he left Iraq convinced that it is not, according to a press release distributed by the groups sponsoring his visit to Maine. Chappell now tours the country speaking about what he believes are better ways to resolve conflict and keep our country safe.

He will speak at 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at the University of Maine in Orono; at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26, at the University of Maine at Farmington; and at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, at Waterfall Arts on High Street in Belfast.

Maine artist Robert Shetterly has included Chappell in his “Americans Who Tell the Truth” portrait series, which is featured in the “War On Peace” exhibit running from September to November at Waterfall Arts in Belfast.

The exhibit includes Chappell’s portrait, along with those of several other soldiers and peace activists. Maine Master artist Alan Magee also will display war-inspired works in the exhibit.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu said of Chappell: “Captain Paul K. Chappell has given us a crucial look at war and peace from the unique perspective of a soldier, and his new ideas show us why world peace is both necessary and possible in the 21st century. ‘The End of War’ can help people everywhere understand why war must end, and how together we can end it.”

Chappell currently serves as the peace leadership director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, a consultant to the UN working for the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons.

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