February 13, 2002 - The Harrisburg Patriot: Patience will benefit Freedom Corps

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Patience will benefit Freedom Corps

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Patience will benefit Freedom Corps *

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Patience will benefit Freedom Corps

Feb 13, 2002 - The Harrisburg Patriot

We are a Peace Corps family. We were pleased to hear President Bush's proposal to expand the Peace Corps. We understand and endorse the intention to offer Peace Corps programs to more Islamic nations. We compliment The Patriot-News for the enlightened commentary (Jan. 31).

Our daughter is a 1999 graduate of Penn State who has served as an Environmental Education Volunteer in the Republic of Gabon, central Africa, since April 2000. She has had a challenging yet wonderful experience.

She has formed lifelong bonds with her Peace Corps colleagues and adopted Gabonnaise families. Most of her closest friends and professional counterparts are faithful Muslims. She has been accepted and respected because she is there for genuine, grass-roots reasons. It has been our good fortune to support our daughter during an extraordinary experience that permanently has benefited her, her adopted community and us.

The Peace Corps is not perfect. No Volunteer is guaranteed a wonderful experience. It is often frightful and confusing.

That said, the Peace Corps method does accomplish sustained good one little bit at a time. It is not for the impatient. A similar approach with a "Freedom Corps" can have the same ultimate effect within the United States.

The Peace Corps is always invited by host nations and works closely with local counterparts. Bert Myers Newville

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