Saturday, August 20, 2011

This Week in SigEp Patriot History, 15 – 21 AUG

"Man has a large capacity for effort. In fact, it is so much greater than we think it is that few ever reach this capacity. We should value the faculty of knowing what we ought to do and having the will to do it. Knowing is easy; it is the doing that is difficult. The critical issue is not what we know, but what we do with what we know. The great end of life is not knowledge, but action. I believe that it is the duty of each of us to act as if the fate of the world depended on him... we must live for the future, not for our own comfort or success." ~ Admiral Hyman Rickover, U.S. Navy (Retired), May 1982
15 AUG 1892
NE Alpha Brother and World War I Veteran Thurl B. Strain, U.S. Army was born on this date in Creighton, Nebraska.

20 AUG 1897
PA Delta Brother and World War I Veteran Russell Sherwood Potter, U.S. Marine Corps (University of Pennsylvania ’18) was born on this date. Brother Potter served in the 80th Company, 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. To read about the WWI service of our Brother and the 6th Marine Regiment click on

15 AUG 2009
Oregon Alpha Brother Thomas Dale Walt, U.S. Navy (Oregon State University ’69) died on this date in Raleigh, North Carolina following a hard-fought battle with cancer.

Brother Walt was born 13 JUN 1946, and grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado. At Oregon State, he was captain of the Navy ROTC Scabbard and Blade honor society, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering.

Following graduation and his commissioning as an ensign, Tom entered the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Washington D.C., where he served for five years in the Division of Naval Reactors under Admiral H.G. Rickover – “Father of the Nuclear Navy.”

A balanced man, Brother Walt was an avid runner and completed the Portland Marathon in 1985. Tom also volunteered a significant amount of time to the Beaverton School District where he served on the school board for eight years including two years as chairman.

17 AUG 2009
OH Epsilon Chapter President / Lieutenant Commander Charles Henson “Chuck” Pulley, U.S. Navy died on this date of complications from Parkinson’s Disease. Brother Pulley was born 22 APR 1917 in Cambridge, Ohio. He received his undergraduate degree from Ohio Wesleyan University, where he was chapter president.

Chuck joined the Navy in 1941, where he attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander (LCDR), trained as a fighter pilot, served with naval intelligence and worked in the research and development of the parachute – a step that set the direction for his life's work as a safety advocate.

His work in parachute research led to his first job with Irving Air Chute in 1950. Brother Pulley became president of the company in 1962, which became Irvin Industries, and began the manufacture of automotive seat belts for General Motors.

This established his life-long mission to promote automotive safety and seat belt use worldwide. His advocacy took him throughout the world to address legislative bodies, safety organizations and national media on the life-saving benefits of safety belts and brought him international recognition. In his capacity as president of the American Seat Belt Council, later the Automotive Occupant Restraints Council, he served as spokesman for occupant safety from 1961 until his retirement at age 82.

During his tenure, the Council worked for the passage of seat belt use laws worldwide and helped to increase seat belt usage in the U.S. from less than 15% to more than 60%, while saving tens of thousands of lives.

19 AUG 2009
OH Theta Brother / World War II Veteran Private Albert Wernersbach, U.S. Army (University of Cincinnati ’51) died on this date.

After graduation from high school in 1945, Albert was drafted into the U.S. Army. He was trained as an infantryman at Ft. Hood, Texas and sent to Washington State to await potential deployment in a possible invasion of Japan. However, he received the news that the war was over while on a train headed for a ship in the Pacific that was to take him & others to Japan. Brother Wernersbach spent his remaining service time of one year on the South Pacific Island of New Caledonia, serving as a military policeman.

Upon returning from overseas, Albert, who had never expected to attend college, enrolled in the University of Cincinnati under the G.I.Bill. There he received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration, and met Judith Elaine Garner, through her brother, one of his chapter brothers.

Brother Wernersbach was founder and chairman of printing & graphic arts supply & service company, Jetcom, Inc. which began in the family basement in 1960. In 1980, the recession led to the only financial loss in the company's history, but by then it was the largest graphic arts supply & service company in the tri-state area with about fifty employees. In 1995, Albert sold Jetcom to a Philadelphia based firm & ultimately the company became a division of Fuji Films.

WELCOME HOME, IL Eta Brother / Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Veteran First Lieutenant Kolby Bissell, U.S. Army! While we were enjoying Conclave, Kolby returned from his successful deployment to Iraq. We are all glad you are back safe. Thank you for your service!

Yesterday, CA Theta Brother Frank Beardsley, Army National Guard (California) successfully completed the 11B Personal Education Course at Camp Robinson in Arkansas.

If you have news, accomplishments or just want to share a story please send an email to

IN Beta Brother / Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Veteran Colonel Robert Lanham, U.S. Marine Corps provided a fantastic leadership presentation at Conclave! When promoting Brother Lanham’s Conclave presentation in the previous edition, Bob was mistakenly listed as retired. For the past 29 years, our Brother has diligently and honorably served our country on active duty and he continues to do so.

World War II Veteran / MI Alpha Brother George Allan Roney, U.S. Army died on 03 AUG 2011.
World War II Veteran / UT Alpha Brother Worth B. McNeel, U.S. Army died 03 AUG 2011.
OH Alpha Brother / Second Lieutenant Emil E. "Skip" Chiles Jr., U.S. Air Force (Retired) died 11 AUG 2011.

At Conclave Phoenix, there was a lot of talk about making a mark. The Project is meant to do just that by honoring Brothers who serve/served our great Nation in the U.S. military, and record and maintain a working history in order to recognize and respect their accomplishments and sacrifices. It is an unofficial effort and no monies are collected or requested.

The Project made great strides at Conclave. There were introductions to Patriots, and at the time of this work the project’s official Facebook page – SigEps Who Serve (SWS) – has increased by seven Brothers and the Patriot listserve has increased by two members. Also, thanks to those of you who had kind words, comments and suggestion for the Project.

Brothers with a military affiliation can join the SWS Facebook group by clicking on To join the SigEp Patriots Project listserve, send an email to All that is needed for both is your home chapter and branch of service.

Thanks to Patriot Brothers UT Beta Brother / Operation IRAQI FREEDOM Veteran Captain Bill Muthiora, Army National Guard (Idaho) and Navy veteran / IN Beta Brother Sean Benge. They recently volunteered to join the Project and serve as a point of contact for their respective chapters.

It is the goal of the Project to work with Brothers – undergrad or alumnus – interested in being the point of contact for information about past and current military SigEps from your chapter. Any Brother can serve in this position that is meant to further the understanding and knowledge of the contributions to your chapter’s history by Brothers-in-arms. Drop an email to for more details on this effort.

Fraternally and Respectfully,

Ed Jones
Founder, SigEp Patriots Project
Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy Reserve
NY Eta ‘96
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