|By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-25-123.balt.east.verizon.net - 188.8.131.52) on Monday, March 06, 2006 - 1:44 pm: Edit Post|
1965: Howard L. Graham served in Costa Rica in Parrita beginning in 1965
Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Howard L. Graham can be contacted at grahamhl1aaoldcom
Country of Service: Costa Rica
Training Group: IV
Cities you served in: Parrita
Arrival Year: 1965 November
Departure Year: 1967 August
rural community development
Other Countries you served in, Training Group Name Arrival Year, Departure Year, Work Description:
Bring us up to date on your life after the peace corps:
I spent two years in Peace Corps in Parrita, Costa Rica, a small community of 500 Ticos on the Pacific coast doing community organizing. The town, Parrita, is about 30 miles up the coast from the Manuel Antonio Resort if any one has been there.
I returned home to attend law school in at Wayne State University in Detroit in fall of 1967, was drafted soon thereafter and spent my two years on an Army bomb disposal team in South WEST Asia, near Instanbul Turkey and points east, in lieu of South EAST Asia. No complaints from me.
I returned home in 1970 after traveling across southern Europe for ten weeks. That summer I married Ruth Witte, CR IV. In September of 70 I reenrolled in Wayne State U Law School and graduated in 1973. I began my legal career by starting an OEO Legal Aid Ofiice in Farmington N. Mexico providing legal representation to primarily Navajo, Hispanic and other low income people in the Four Corners area. I later worked in legal services programs managing legal aid Offices in Kingsville and Browns ville Tx, for Texas Rural Legal Aid and at the Legal Aid Society in Albuquerque NM and finally settled in Tacoma WAshington 1980 -86 as the Legal AID Program Director for six years.
I then enterted provate practice focusing on disability law, fair housing and access to health care where I still actively practice law. I served the last three years as a member of the Washington State Bar Assn. Board of Governors( another volunteer job that took 50-75 hours per month).
In 1994 WEST Publishing Co (then Clark Boardman Callaghan) published my Federal Employees' Compensation Act Practice Guide, a "how to" publication of 1800+ pages for federal employees injured in the course of federal employment. One interesting fact I learned was that PCVs were covered for on the job injuries, a fact that escaped me as I am sure it did other PCVS of the 60s.
Ruth Witte and I divorced in 1986. Our two sons Brian age 31 and Tom, age 29 are doing well.
In 1989 I had the honor, another volunteer project we lawyers call pro bono publico work, to represent the various HIV/AIDS Foundations in the State of Washington as one of a team of four lawyers that obtained the first court order in the US legalizing HIV/AIDS syringe(needle) exchanges In Tacoma WA.
I married in 1990 to Jeannie Darneille and live in Tacoma with our son Will, age 18.Jeannie has been the Director of our County AIDS foundation since 1989, and has served (part time)as an elected Representative in the Washington State Legislature since 2001. I will undoubtedly continue to practice as long as possible since I am not sure what I would do in retirement.
Any thoughts you have now looking back on peace corps days?:
The two years spent as a PCV were certainly the formative years of my life. Had it not been for the PC experience, I probably would have accepted the job offer of my Uncle, VP General Counsel at Chrysler Corporation in Detroit upon graduation from law school. The experiences I had and the values I developed while working in Costa Rica led me to work in grassroots community groups throughout my legal career and led me to specializing in subsistence/safety net areas of the law/food law/income maintenance, access to health care, housing for the disabled, all basic civil/human rights as see it, the last 32 years.
An example of that value laden PCV work was litigation on behalf of community groups that coerced the State of New Mexico into starting a school breakfast program for 300,00 low income children in 1979 through out New Mexico, litigation of food stamp cases in NM and Texas that opened up the foodstamp roles for 10s of thousands of poor families in the 70s, and significant work in domestic violence areas of the law. I continue to express those PCV learned values by representing people with HIV/AIDS and groups homes for people with AIDS for free, as well as many other causes.
Anyone you are looking for or would like to hear from?:
I would love to hear from other RPCVs in Group IV before our memories fail us.
Any message for returned volunteers?:
Lets talk more now that we are older and can reflect on life in general and our PCV experiences in particluar.contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally posted: March 6, 2006
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