By Jane Stoever
Charles Carney, of the PeaceWorks-KC Board, has been peace-walking from Wichita since Aug. 10. By Sept. 9, he realized he would most likely reach his destination—in KC MO—on Friday, Sept. 17. Given decent weather and no sprains, he will arrive by foot at the KC MO National Security Campus about 3 or 4 pm Sept. 17. “Only 60 miles left!” he said Aug. 9, a day that he surprised himself by walking 15 miles, a mix of morning and afternoon jaunts.
“When I started out, in Wichita, I could hardly walk 5-6 miles per day,” Charles said. “But now, I’ve done 15 miles, the furthest I’ve ever walked, and it wasn’t a chore! Days like this are good for the soul!”
Reflecting on Peace Pilgrim, Charles said she was in her 70s when she could still walk up to 20 miles a day. Indeed, she was on her seventh cross-country journey when she died at age 73. “She wasn’t attached to anything,” said Charles. “If someone gave her money, she’d pay it forward almost immediately,” giving it to someone in need. One of Charles’s supporters asked him to cover his Peace Walk housing-and-food costs from funds being donated to him. No way, he said.
If someone wants to contribute, they should donate to the Missouri Peace Foundation, the 501(c)3 arm of PeaceWorks-KC, and should write Peace Walk on the memo line of the check. His supporters suggest giving a certain amount per mile. If the walker is one of Charles’s colleagues, that might be a quarter a mile for 6 miles—a cool $1.25. But if Charles is the walker, a quarter a mile for 253 miles could set you back $63. (Checks for the Missouri Peace Foundation may be mailed to PeaceWorks-KC, 4509 Walnut, KC MO 64111.) To date, $600+ has been donated.
Members of PeaceWorks-KC plan to walk with him as he closes in on the National Security Campus, where parts are made for US nuclear weapons, with some parts sold to England. “Recently,” says Charles, “I took a look at 25 ‘near-miss’ occasions since 1956, where nuclear weapons almost accidentally exploded. In many of these situations, having the extra time to assess before acting was the only thing that stopped an apocalypse.” So time counts. He’s taking time on his walk. He slowed down to drink in the beauty of the Flint Hills and, in city after city, to talk with passers-by.
9/10 Pleasant Grove
9/15 Overland Park
9/17 KC MO National Security Campus, 14510 Botts Road, with Charles speaking at 3 pm or later
As Charles walks, he shares fliers on climate crises and nuclear weapon and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) “modernization” programs that raise the risk of nuclear annihilation. He has met with members of the Wichita Peace Center Board, has spoken at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church in Goessel, and has talked with shop owners, police, Kansas Highway Patrol, and Center of Commerce staff … and with drivers asking, “Need a ride? Need water?”
Back home in Kansas City, KS, Charles and his wife, Donna Constantineau, call their home the St. Lawrence Catholic Worker, open to those in need. On his walk, Charles prays for certain persons each day and thinks of those praying for him. He says, “I can literally feel the prayers and presence of people who are sending their bright human spirits my way.”
Do you have questions about being a co-walker, a support driver, or a donor? Contact Charles at 913-603-2483 or firstname.lastname@example.org.