Editorial: Returned Volunteers should be Proud

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2002: 01 January 2002 Peace Corps Headlines: January 25 - Gaddi Vasquez approved by US Senate as Director of the Peace Corps: Editorial: Returned Volunteers should be Proud

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, January 26, 2002 - 6:35 pm: Edit Post

Returned Volunteers should be Proud

The recent debate over Gaddi Vasquez's qualifications for becoming Director of the Peace Corps was historic in nature. For the first time the Returned Volunteer community evaluated a nominee's qualifications. For the first time, Returned Volunteers lobbied effectively against a nominee and Congress took notice. For the first time, Senators on the subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps asked hard questions of a nominee and listened to statements from Returned Volunteers and Directors who opposed his nomination. For the first time members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee cast votes against the nominee for Director based on concerns that Returned Volunteers raised first. Returned volunteers should be proud of the action they took on this nomination and proud of the results of our labor working within the political system to make our views known.

Every Peace Corps Volunteer will tell you that it takes time to make a difference. You have to do the best you can. Nobody says it will be easy. But if you do the right thing, the seeds that sprout on the ground you have prepared will someday bear fruit. That is exactly what will happen here. Returned Volunteers have raised their voice in a political forum and our voice has been heard. We have raised the bar for future Peace Corps Directors. Future Presidents will understand the level of excellence that Returned Volunteers demand of appointees to lead the Peace Corps.

That being said - this particular debate is over. The nomination has been approved. Gaddi Vasquez is the Director - he is our Director - the Director of all of us who care about the Peace Corps. We have nothing to regret in our opposition to his nomination. It was a noble effort and we fought the good fight for what we believed in. The level of debate within the RPCV community has done credit to us all. The struggle was not mean spirited, it was not partisan, it was not personal. The only people who will say it was are the ones who didn't understand what we were fighting for in the first place.

Mr. Vaquez is going to need our support and experience to be a successful Peace Corps Director and we offer it here. We love the Peace Corps. We are not about to let it fail or flounder through our apathy or through our inaction. The Returned Volunteer Community is ready to help Mr. Vasquez. But volunteers have more responsibility than just offering our goodwill and support. Returned Volunteers have the responsibility to continue their involvement in the agency - to preserve and protect her - and to help her grow and prosper. This is our responsibility and it is a responsibility that we take seriously and that we will help carry out.

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By Joanne Roll on Sunday, January 27, 2002 - 1:56 pm: Edit Post

You all make us proud.

By John N Smart on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 8:07 am: Edit Post

Okay, so we lost the battle. Gaddi Vasquez was confirmed, and I agree that we owe it to the Peace Corps to be supportive of his efforts. But I don't intend to let President Bush forget that he used this agency for a political payback, and I don't intend to let those senators who mindlessly approved this nomination forget either.
Business as usual is not good enough!

By Ken on Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 9:41 am: Edit Post

The editorial is well spoken and on target. The battle is ended but RPCV's are far more aware and engaged and will pay close attention to Gaddi Vasquez's performance. Fortunately he will have excellent help with Jodi Olsen as Deputy. We should pay close attention to the policy and personnel decisions which will shape Gaddi's impact on Peace Corps. Most major appointments have yet to be made and they will speak volumes about the nature and quality of Gaddi's decision-making. We should wish Gaddi well and lend our support and help. Ken Hill

By mike osborn (majoroz) on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 - 1:41 pm: Edit Post

We ?
I supported the nomination of Vasquez. As it disagreed with local editorial policy, it was not shouted from the housetops.
But.......I agree with the editorial. It is time for all us RPCV's to get with it and support the agency.
Perhaps with Vasquez in the saddle, PC can return to its original meaning rather than its leaning, in the last twenty years, toward Polically Correctness.



By Joanne Marie Roll (joey) on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 - 9:09 pm: Edit Post

(I don't know if the reply I sent was received, so if I am redunant, I'm sorry)
I have no idea what Oz is talking about....twenty years of "political correctness" with Reagan/Bush/Clinton...and the first RPCV to be Director? and what is the "original meaning"of the Peace Corps that half of us missed?????
"Real" Peace Corps Volunteers don't use jargon or speak in cliches...."Real" Peace Corps Volunteers don't disparage the work of other Volunteers. So, please, honor us with specifics, Mr. Osborn, Sir.

By mike osborn (majoroz) on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 2:05 pm: Edit Post

Sorry, Joey.......perhaps I wasn't clear.

It is the usage of the initials "PC". They were always used to mean Peace Corps. But, in recent times, the initials have been increasingly meant Politically Correct.
It does not reflect any specific administration, but, rather, the increasing tendency for the country directors to require PCV subjugation under the guise of cultural sensitivity.
As to jargon, cliches, or disparagement of other volunteers' work, I don't know what you are referring to.

cheers (anyway)


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