July 20, 2005: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Older Volunteers: World War II: Married Couples: Salem Statesman Journal: Bill Cox served with the Marines in the South Pacific during World War II, but he and his wife served his favorite tour of duty much later with the Peace Corps in Thailand

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Thailand: Peace Corps Thailand: The Peace Corps in Thailand: July 20, 2005: Headlines: COS - Thailand: Older Volunteers: World War II: Married Couples: Salem Statesman Journal: Bill Cox served with the Marines in the South Pacific during World War II, but he and his wife served his favorite tour of duty much later with the Peace Corps in Thailand

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-23-45.balt.east.verizon.net - 141.157.23.45) on Saturday, July 30, 2005 - 9:54 pm: Edit Post

Bill Cox served with the Marines in the South Pacific during World War II, but he and his wife served his favorite tour of duty much later with the Peace Corps in Thailand

Bill Cox served with the Marines in the South Pacific during World War II, but he and his wife served his favorite tour of duty much later with the Peace Corps in Thailand

In Thailand, the Coxes settled into a two-room bungalow they rented with their combined living expenses from the Peace Corps. Bill taught villagers how to farm their land more efficiently by lining ditches with concrete to conserve water and controlling soil erosion so rice fields could be more productive. Meanwhile, Willoma toured local schools, providing women with essential tools for keeping children healthy.

Bill Cox served with the Marines in the South Pacific during World War II, but he and his wife served his favorite tour of duty much later with the Peace Corps in Thailand

WWII veteran is set to share passion about Peace Corps

[Excerpt]

He will speak about the group during a forum Thursday

BY TIMOTHY A. AKIMOFF
Statesman Journal

July 20, 2005

Bill Cox served with the Marines in the South Pacific during World War II, but he served his favorite tours of duty much later and with a much different corps.

Cox and his late wife, Willoma, did two tours of duty with the Peace Corps. Cox refused to give his age, referring to himself as an "older volunteer."

When Cox retired from his job at the Soil and Water Conservation Service, he thought he would do what normal retirees do.

"After two years, I got so bored," Cox said. "You can only do so much camping, fishing and golfing."

It ultimately was a television commercial that persuaded Bill and Willoma to pack their bags and join a group of people ranging from college students to senior citizens and set off for the Far East, for a rural area about 50 miles east of Bangkok, Thailand.

The two "older volunteers" spent about six years in Thailand, beginning in August 1984.

Salem-area residents will get a chance to hear about Peace Corps experiences and ask questions Thursday at the Salem Public Library. Cox will attend, as will a newly returned volunteer, Neal Hansen of Seattle.

In Thailand, the Coxes settled into a two-room bungalow they rented with their combined living expenses from the Peace Corps. Bill taught villagers how to farm their land more efficiently by lining ditches with concrete to conserve water and controlling soil erosion so rice fields could be more productive. Meanwhile, Willoma toured local schools, providing women with essential tools for keeping children healthy.

"The great thing about Peace Corps is there's no age limit," Cox said with a wide smile.

And though it's not his age that keeps Cox from going back to Thailand, he has found enjoyment in his current pastime of sitting at Starbucks in South Salem every morning and acting as a voluntary Peace Corps recruiter.

"I give everyone the Washington, D.C., toll-free number, and I tell them to go try it out," Cox said. "It's a wonderful experience -- one in a lifetime, really."





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RPCV's "Taking the Early Bus" at Cal State until Aug 15
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See RPCV Musical "Doing Good" in CA through Sept
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Peace Corps announced the suspension of the program in Gabon citing the high cost of the program. In addition, a 2003 Inspector General report documented safety and security costs of $1 million that would be necessary to keep the program operating successfully. Background: In 1998 Peace Corps Volunteer Karen Phillips was was found murdered in the weeds about 100 yards from her home in Oyem, Gabon. Her killer has never been brought to justice.

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Story Source: Salem Statesman Journal

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Thailand; Older Volunteers; World War II; Married Couples

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