December 12, 2003 - Salt Lake City Tribune: From Pride to fear to anger

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By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Friday, December 12, 2003 - 2:58 pm: Edit Post

From Pride to fear to anger

From Pride to fear to anger

Pride to fear to anger

As a teacher of history and a lifelong liberal Democrat, imagine the pride I felt when my 29-year-old son left a lucrative and satisfying accounting position with a major corporation to join the Peace Corps -- proof positive of the finely honed social conscience that his father and I have nurtured and cultivated in him since birth.

Imagine our fear and distress when he returned home with not only the gratitude and love of the people he worked to help in the tiny island Republic of Vanuatu but also a case of life-threatening malaria.

Now imagine our anger and frustration that, eight months later, the United States government has yet to pay for his considerably expensive medical care.

If American largesse can finance the destruction and reconstruction of a third world country out of highly questionable motives, why can it not also provide my child with more than a "Certificate of Appreciation?"

Oh, and get this: He's planning to re-enlist and return to the Pacific. Imagine.

Linda Zabriskie

West Jordan

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Story Source: Salt Lake City Tribune

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Vanuatu; Safety and Security of Volunteers



By ( - on Saturday, December 13, 2003 - 11:48 pm: Edit Post


Peace Corps service is hard and has its hazards in terms of health. I had many diseases while in service guardia 6 times, bacillary disentary (a form of Clorea) and Phenomonia which was very serious. I will have to admit, personally the above diseases and illnesses were treated very well by Peace Corps and their staff.

However, I agree with your frustration and anger about treatment in general and post Peace Corps. The Peace Corps is horrible in this area. There are thousands who have been sent home with illnesses, been misdiagnosed wrongfully, thus creating other health problems, been a victim of violence and then are not provided adequate care for their service related illnesses or illnesses created by their service and or Peace Corps wrongful actions toward their health and safety issues.

What is the most frustrating is trying to get the health care one should be getting for Post Peace Corps service illnesses, treatment and or thier cases which are wrongful separations, thus getting no health care because of that decision. Where are we turned to? We are turned to the FECA program within the Deparment of Labor for Workmen's compensation. Thus another chapter of service to our government trying to prove we should get health care for service related injuries.

In doing so we have to fill out so much paper work that we are serving all over again documenting every little detail of our life just to get health care. We fill out the paperwork. We re turned away for the most part, write more detailed information about ourselves and our service which the government documents even further intruding in on our lives, then are for the most part turned away ultimately through the hearing process.

What are we left with? A Volunteer who served his or her government altruistically, then must pay out of pocket for thier experiences in Peace Corps.

By Daniel ( - on Sunday, December 14, 2003 - 9:52 am: Edit Post

I wasn't able to finish my comments to you Linda.

So Here goes.

We ultimately have to pay for our service. Our health care is not provided while other volunteers who served get great care. People who work for Peace Corps often never served in Peace Corps and then administer over our health cases and get great health care.

Peace Corps is well aware they are frustrating and angering you and family members of volunteers of former volunteers. At times, they enjoy providing intentional infliction of emotional pain. The Peace Corps as an Agency should be held accountable for these wrong actions and actual destructive procedures toward people who served with them. They are not held accountable and actually get help in the Congress and from former members of the Peace Corps.

Linda, you watch, people will come on here and try to disfuse our concerns. When these former volunteers and staff feel nervous about their jobs, their beliefs that peace corps doesn't do anything wrong, and the fact that people with real medical concerns and wrongful separations will be redeemed. They start to pile on. In the articles about safety, they organized to write in and disfuse these truthful reports and incidents. They want to shut people like you up.

The National Peace Corps Association is one of the worst perpetrators of aiding and abetting the preservation of the Peace Corps system at medical services, the FECA program, job development after service, and not providing a lawyers to us. They won't help you or your son. They won't help me and my family. They won't help any volunteer who has had problems with the agency. The don't want change. Their friends are there and they want to try to control any kind of change.

If they really wanted to help you and your family and other volunteers, they would have gone to the hill years ago with legislation written to reinstate volunteers and provide health care to volunteers post peace corps. If they were, really for former volunteers, they would at least have an office at their National Peace Corps Association headquarters who directly deals with the Department of Labor and have a lawyer to protect volunteers from civil rights violations and medical negligence against them as former volunteers.

Finally, they know we are somewhat divided, writing from all different parts of the United States trying to get redress. What the National Peace Corps Association and their friends do is to make us keeping writing in. They then can can use our issues for thier needs and get more funding for programs these volunteers and staffers want. Using our concerns as the basis for more funding for their pet Peace Corps projects and programming which don't work truly hamper us in getting real health care coverage and justice in our cases.

I will be filing in court again in Boston soon against the Peace Corps. The Congress is only partially listening, 27 Volunteers killed, died or missing since 1996 and 2000 plus victims of violence since the early 1990's and thousands not properly served by Peace Corps, post service is an injustice.

What people who are former volunteers will do is to come on here and say there needs to be reform and then attack our concerns. They will tell you how well they were treated. They just make us write more and do nothing to change it.

Call Senator Bennett in Utah 202-224-3121, Mention my name Daniel Pailes who has called him many times about these issues. Tell his staff that we have contacted him in the past about Larissa Jaffee who served in Zimbabwe, alone. She was from Utah. Tell him that in the Foreign Operations, Appropriations committee we need radical reform in health care post peace Corps and that the FECA program doesn't work. Tell them DOL employees never served in Peace Corps and thus don't have the experience to administer over your son's health. I will write again.

Thanks for writing in. Daniel

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