Pro-military and pro-Peace Corps

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Special Reports: August 2, 2005: Headlines: Speaking Out: Military: Intelligence Issues: Washington Post: Peace Corps Option for Military Recruits Sparks Concerns : Director Vasquez says the National Call to Service (NCS) program will not have an impact on the Peace Corps : Pro-military and pro-Peace Corps

By desert52 ( - on Thursday, August 11, 2005 - 8:54 pm: Edit Post

I am an RPCV. I am also retired military. I wholeheartedly support the NCS. If more PCV's and PCV staff had the self-discipline the military has to offer, the Peace Corps would be a better run organization.

When I was in the Peace Corps the staff was disorganized. They failed to communicate with the PCV's in the field. One could always find them at the American Rec Center hobnobbing with the Embassy bureaucrats. Yet they just couldn't find time to visit in the field unless there was a problem. If there were no problems they made one. If there were problems they ignored them until they were so out of control they were on the verge of an international incident. When they did do something about them they were always quick to criticize and slow to recognize. Many of them spent most of their time comode hugging drunk.

PCV's were allowed to take the oath without the phrase to "...defend the Constituion against all enemies foreign and domestic..." and " help me God," because they were offended by the use of the words Constitution and God. I never did understand this mentality. After all, we were working for the US government. Of course, many Peace Corps volunteers and staff are self-proclaimed atheists and communists. They hate America and are ashamed to call themselves Americans. I never did understand that mentality either.

What many PCV's and civilians in general, don't understand is that both the military and the Peace Corps have their place. How many times have we seen the military secure an area followed by the Peace Corps to build up an area? When I was in West Africa, the Iranian Students had taken over the US Embassy in Tehran. They had a C-141 on standby ready to come to the rescue of any country where there was a chance of the same thing happening. We had our bags packed sitting by the door, ready to bug out in a moment's notice. I don't remember anyone complaining then. I remember when the volunteers in Chad had to leave. No one was complaining then when that C-141 did come in and pick them up.

By allowing prior service men and women to join the Peace Corps, they will be better able to serve war torn areas like Iraq, because they know the area, and they know what to expect. In fact many on duty now are doing many of the same things we did in the Peace Corps, such as building schools, hospitals, roads, and other infrastructure. The only difference is that they wear a uniform and do it under fire.

To those who say not only "no but hell no" are probably those same people who were anti-military pukes who used to beat up me and my friends when I was in school because we were military brats. To those I say get a life and a clue.

By Kay Dixon ( - on Friday, August 12, 2005 - 8:04 am: Edit Post

Many RPCVs have served in the military, either before or after their PCV experience. That is not the core of the problem. I, too, am RPCV (from the '60s in South America). As a PCV, in our sites, we were continually explaining we were an independent agency, not associated or affiliated with any other branch of the US Government. Now to link the two branches together in any way can jeopardize the trust that Volunteers work so hard to achieve at the local level. The lack of trust at the local level makes the work and initiatives of the Volunteer nearly impossible to achieve. My concern is not due to a lack of appreciation for the work and training of the US military, it is for the success of the volunteer being able to state, without qualification, that he is an independent person there to work at the local level to help improve the quality of life. He is not a spy or a secret agent or a part of the US military. The active PCV has enough explaining to do about the US without adding this dimension. (Try defending your position on civil rights to a group of dark skinned host country nationals when all the newspapers are featuring photos of US marshalls spraying black folks and protestors in the American South.)

By MajorOz ( - on Monday, August 29, 2005 - 7:55 pm: Edit Post

yeah, yeah, yeah

Locals at my my assignment swore they saw me deep in the jungle transmitting on a radio to the CIA.
I didn't care. They were self-eliminating themselves as recipients of the help THEY ASKED ME TO BRING TO THEM.
If more of us would have treated those problems that way, we wouldn't have had to bother with the problem.
I was good for the people I helped. They were good for me in expanding my horizons. The crazies stayed on the sideline and bitched (and they weren't all HCN's -- some of them were PC staff).


oz, it's a rain forest because no one will contribute to "Save the Jungle"

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