By Phil Restino and Harold Saive - Veterans For Peace.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a great Patriot and a great friend to so many of us in the struggle for peace and justice in our world.
America's friend and patriot, Dr. Bob Bowman passed away at his Melbourne, FL home on Wednesday night August 22nd at the age of 78 after a long, courageous 8 year battle with cancer.
Bowman leaves behind his wife of 57 years Maggie Bowman, their 7 children and 21 grandchildren. The Colonel was National Commander of the non-partisan veterans organization The Patriots ...where the motto "Follow the Constitution. Honor the Truth. Serve the People." reaches out.
He was well known nationally and internationally as the Pentagon insider who courageously blew the whistle in the early 1980's on the U.S. government's plans to use as an offensive "first-strike" weapon the "Star Wars" missile defense system which he had directed during much of the 1970's.
Dr. Bowman's efforts led to his self-published book on the matter in 1985 entitled "Star Wars: Defense or Death Star?".
Prior to directing the "Star Wars" programs while they were top secret and classified programs during the Ford and Carter administrations, Colonel Bowman served as a USAF pilot with service in Korea and Vietnam, having flown 101 combat missions as a fighter pilot in Vietnam. It was Colonel Bowman's war experience in Vietnam that led him to work for peace as a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War and later as a celebrated member of Veterans For Peace, serving as its keynote speaker at 4 separate Veterans For Peace National Conventions.
In 2007 Dr. Bowman wrote "An Open Letter to the New Generation of Military Officers Serving and Protecting Our Nation" - By Dr. Robert M. Bowman, Lt. Col., USAF, ret., National Commander, The Patriots. (PDF)
Military service officers and others are encouraged to read Bowman's warning.
As has been the case with so many of our Vietnam Veterans, the cancers that eventually took Colonel Bowman's life can be traced to his exposure to the toxins of the Agent Orange he was exposed to during his war service in Vietnam.
The Central Florida chapter of Veterans For Peace (VFP Chapter 136), Bob Bowman's home chapter, is asking all its members as well as members of Veterans For Peace and Vietnam Veterans Against the War throughout Florida and surrounding areas passed along this notice to our brothers and sisters so that we can turn out as many in our ranks as possible for Friday and Saturday, August 30-31) for the services in Melbourne, FL.
VFP's Chapter 136 provided VFP "Helmut & Dove" lapel pins to VFP members attending the services.
Kathy Bracewell of the East Central Florida chapter of CODEPINK Women for Peace put together a scrapbook display of photos and written testimonials that we received from Dr. Bob's friends and colleagues.
Andy Steele, host of the weekly radio program "9/11 Free Fall" used previously recorded interviews from,8/25 - 8/26 to be used on his special broadcast of "9/11 Free Fall" on Thursday, 8/29 that payed tribute to our recently departed friend and courageous comrade Dr. Bob Bowman.