Whether or not you agree with him, no one can deny that Cedaredge resident Chuck Worley is truly a man of principle.
One of ﬁve children born to Glenn and Emma Worley, Charles Vincent Worley (Chuck) was born in Omaha, Neb., on Feb. 2, 1918. A graduate of Omaha Technical High School, Chuck attended the University of Omaha, where he met his wife to be, Elizabeth Ann Ross (Betsy), and was also a volunteer in the National Guard.
In 1940, both Chuck and Betsy attended a YMCA/YWCA “Fellowship of Reconciliation” Camp in Estes Park, where they heard A.J. Muste, a well known Christian paciﬁst and activist, explain why he was a conscientious objector (CO).
At the time, it never even occurred to Chuck that he might be a conscientious objector. But after listening to Muste, he knew in his heart that violence, including war, is immoral and that all disagreements should be resolved through peaceful means.
“I think everybody, except Betsy, came back from that camp a paciﬁst,” quipped Chuck.
After the camp, Betsy asked Chuck why he felt he was a CO. Chuck told her he was simply “not willing to kill people. That war and killing people does not work. Jesus made that clear, and the early Christians all were paciﬁsts.”
One year later, while in his senior year at the University of Omaha, Chuck was drafted, and as a CO, was sent to work in one of the Civilian Public Service (CPS) camps set up around the country for COs. Noting that he had no problems with being drafted, Chuck explained that during World War II, the CPS offered COs an alternative to military service, for those willing to serve their country in some other capacity. Chuck explained that the COs were usually draftees from the historically peace churches, assigned to the CPS and were credited with bringing about signiﬁcant advancements in forest ﬁre prevention, erosion and ﬂood control, medical science and reforms to the mental health system. For his tour of duty, Chuck was assigned to work in soil conservation, eventually transferring to a CPS camp in Santa Barbara to work with the US Forest Service on ﬁre prevention.