|By Joanne Marie Roll (joey) (cache-da08.proxy.aol.com - 126.96.36.199) on Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 1:42 pm: Edit Post|
I was a member of one of the few all female peace corps groups. We trained in the summer of 1963 and we were tested and stressed and pushed well beyond what we had previsously thought we could do. I remember, once, one of the staff waving computer generated results at us and saying that no one knew what it meant but that on the Minnesota Manpower Personality Inventory Tests, we women had scored the same profile as the GIs of 1942.
Standing there, that hot day, with stale camel cigarettes hanging from our lips, wearing combat boots, carrying 50 lb backpacks and beginning to sprout muscles that peace corps had promised we would never develop, those conclusions did not surprise alot of us. It was years later that it dawned on me that, “Of course, we were the daughters of those GIs of 1942.”
People who have seen war, try and stop war. We had been raised by those very men and women. When Kennedy talked about a “new generation” and “bear any price”, he was preaching to the choir. He gave direction to the responsibility we had been raised to assume. I think it is self indulgent to allow memories of muted drums and eternal vigil lights and a tv- united nation to blunt the obligation of that responsibility which doesn’t quit just because the music died.
People doing difficult work develop their own black humor. In-country, we were no exception. The saga of PT109 gave us some of our funniest moments. During the war in the Pacific, Kennedy had been in command of a small boat which was sunk by the Japanese. He and his remaining crew had to swim through shark-infested waters searching for some safe landing. Kennedy towed one of his wounded men all during those twelve hours. Finally, they reached an island and it was the wrong island. We used variations on the phrases “they sunk my boat” and “it was the wrong island” alot. They seemed apt; but, then, maybe you had to be there. What was really remembered; however, even if not said out loud, was after all of that, Kennedy got back into those shark-invested waters.
|By daniel (0-1pool136-91.nas12.somerville1.ma.us.da.qwest.net - 188.8.131.52) on Sunday, November 23, 2003 - 9:00 pm: Edit Post|
I enjoyed that Joey. I didn't know you were one of the first groups.
I did door to door today in New Hampshire. Reached out to 70 potential voters. I needed to do something positive. The economy is down and the whole PC safety thing has been wearing on my nerves.
His legacy remains in all our memories who served in Peace Corps.
Boy, I didn't know you had to go through all that training for Peace Corps service then.
Thanks for your contribution.