Former sailer leads efforts to help fellow 'atomic veterans'


November 9, 2022

Photos by Scott Swanson

FRED SCHAFER shows off some woven art presented to him by Marshallese residents in the U.S., whom he's tried to help through the NAAV. Above left, Schafer is shown during his Navy days.

Fred Schafer was a young Navy seaman in 1962 when his commanders summoned the ship's crew one day for a briefing while they were in port in Hawaii.

"They told us we'd been selected for a top-secret group," recalled Schafer, 80, of Lebanon. "We couldn't tell our folks, we couldn't tell our families, we couldn't tell our friends. That was what we were confronted with."

The fact that they were told the FBI was doing security clearance investigations for the mission gave him more confidence, Schafer said.

"I felt pretty good that the FBI was doing those checks."

Schafer had grown up in Sale...

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