Simons Center Director Bob Ulin welcomed the ARNSF members, some of whom also introduced their guests. He also introduced one of the namesakes of the Forum, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Robert Arter, Chairman Emeritus of the CGSC Foundation, who attended this presentation, and then introduced the guest speaker, Steven Woelk.
In this presentation of the forum, Woelk, one of the 83 crew members of the USS Pueblo, told the story of the North Korean capture of his ship on Jan. 23, 1968, and how he and his fellow crewmen dealt with their brutal treatment as prisoners of war.
Then just 19 years old, Woelk was the last crew member to leave the ship because he was seriously wounded by cannon fire during the incident. After 11 months of captivity, he and the rest of the crew were released two days before Christmas in 1968.
The USS Pueblo remains in control of the North Koreans to this day.
To frame his presentation, Woelk showed a video about his story. View the video here: https://www.patriotfeatures.org/portfolio/steven-woelk
Woelk was a crewman on the USS Pueblo from 1967-1969. Born in Eldorado, Kansas, and raised in Alta Vista Kansas, he joined the Navy in October 1966 at the age of 18. His first duty station was the USS Pueblo. He medically retired from the Navy in 1969 after serving three years on active duty and worked as a commercial electrician for 14 years. He ultimately worked in the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers retiring in 2008 as an electrical inspector at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Woelk currently lives in Basehor, Kansas with his wife Kathy.
After the presentation and a question and answer period, Ulin presented Woelk with a new CGSC/Simons Center coffee mug and Simons Center coin in appreciation for his time with the Forum. Ulin closed out the luncheon with a short brief about the schedule for future gatherings of the Forum.
The Arter-Rowland National Security Forum (ARNSF) is led by the CGSC Foundation’s Simons Center and is an exclusive professional information sharing and networking forum for senior executives.
Members of the Forum and their guests meet periodically at guest speaker events in downtown Kansas City. National and regional guest speakers representing all elements of national power (Diplomatic, Informational, Military and Economic) highlight the meetings. The Forum is nonpartisan, but elected government officials may present from time to time.
The Forum is named after Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Robert Arter, Founding Chairman of the CGSC Foundation, and Mr. Landon Rowland, the Foundation’s first major donor who was well-known in Kansas City for his keen interest in national security issues and his leadership in business and philanthropy.
ARNSF events are only open to ARNSF members and their guests. If you are not a member but are interested in joining, contact Bob Ulin at email@example.com or visit the Forum page on the Simons Center website for more information.