August 24, 2003 - Minneapolis Star Tribune: Bush to salute retired Minnesota couple joining Peace Corps

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By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 4:06 pm: Edit Post

Bush to salute retired Minnesota couple joining Peace Corps

Read and comment on this story from the Minneapolis Star Tribune that President Bush will recognize future Peace Corps Volunteers Edward and Jane Bardon, who will greet President George W. Bush upon his arrival in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Tuesday, August 26, 2003. The Minnesota couple have been married 48 years and are traveling overseas with the Peace Corps to live and work in Turkmenistan.

Minnesota Senator Norm Coleman who is a strong supporter of the Peace Corps is in Africa visiting with Peace Corps Volunteers and getting a first-hand look at effects of AIDS.

We hope the President will take the opportunity as he salutes the Peace Corps couple to ask residents of Minnesota to support the introduction of an amendment to the Foreign Operations Bill for the full $359M appropriation for the Peace Corps FY2004 Budget. Read the story at:

Bush to salute retired Minnesota couple joining Peace Corps*

* This link was active on the date it was posted. PCOL is not responsible for broken links which may have changed.

Bush to salute retired Minnesota couple joining Peace Corps

Rob Hotakainen, Star Tribune

Washington Bureau Correspondent

Published August 24, 2003


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In 1962, Edward Bardon, a young psychiatrist at the University of Minnesota, found himself working as a consultant for the Peace Corps.

"I was in charge of the psychiatric evaluation of Peace Corps trainees to see if they were emotionally stable to go overseas," Bardon, 70, said Friday. "I became very intrigued with the Peace Corps at that time."

Next month, Bardon and his wife, Jane, 68, will begin a two-year stint as Peace Corps volunteers in Turkmenistan. After raising six children, he said: "Now we feel we're able to leave."

First they'll meet with President Bush.

The White House announced that Bush will meet with the Bardons on Tuesday before he attends a luncheon fundraiser in St. Paul.

"President Bush is recognizing individuals around the country, like the Bardons, who are answering the call to volunteer service," the White House said in a statement on Friday.

The Bardons said they received the news a couple of days ago, but they waited until Friday afternoon to begin calling their six children, who live in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Oregon.

"Some are real excited, and others are low key about it," Edward Bardon said. "If you know children, it's always a mixture."

The Bardons have never met a U.S. president, and they're uncertain what they'll say to Bush.

"That's a good question. . . . I guess we'll play it by ear," Edward Bardon said. He declined to say whether he voted for Bush, but said, "We're very strong supporters of him."

The Bardons, who have been married for 48 years, are native Minnesotans. This summer and last, they worked as volunteer teachers in Russia and Romania, teaching English as a second language while living with a host family.

"I don't feel like I'm all that important," Jane Bardon said. "There are a lot of people that do volunteer work. And there are a lot of people that go into the Peace Corps."

After learning there was no upper age limit for Peace Corps volunteers, they signed up. They plan to spend the next two years working on health education. Turkmenistan has reopened Peace Corps programs since Bush proposed doubling the size of the corps.

Edward Bardon said the couple wants to spread the message that the Peace Corps "can be a viable alternative for people at our stage of life."

White House spokesman Jim Morrell said the couple would be part of the delegation that meets the president when Bush arrives at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Tuesday morning.

"All we know is that we go there, and we're going to be there when he gets off Air Force One, and we get to have a few minutes to talk to him," Jane Bardon said.

Her husband, who is retired from the university, said the couple feels "pretty honored, to say the least."

Rob Hotakainen is at

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