2010.11.10: November 10, 2010: Andy Burns will be working with local health agency personnel in Niger, compiling vital statistics in the field that will help in the fight against infectious disease

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Niger: Peace Corps Niger : Peace Corps Niger: Newest Stories: 2010.11.10: November 10, 2010: Andy Burns will be working with local health agency personnel in Niger, compiling vital statistics in the field that will help in the fight against infectious disease

By Admin1 (admin) (98.188.147.225) on Monday, February 14, 2011 - 12:16 pm: Edit Post

Andy Burns will be working with local health agency personnel in Niger, compiling vital statistics in the field that will help in the fight against infectious disease

Andy Burns will be working with local health agency personnel in Niger, compiling vital statistics in the field that will help in the fight against infectious disease

When Andy returns home from Africa, he will have added to an already impressive resume in the public health field. He will also have earned the necessary tuition for graduate school to the college of his dreams, Emory University in Atlanta, a top-notch research school that is close to the headquarters of the CDC, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is there Andy hopes to land one day.

Andy Burns will be working with local health agency personnel in Niger, compiling vital statistics in the field that will help in the fight against infectious disease

David Kolb: Veterans Day a bittersweet one for father, son

Published: Wednesday, November 10, 2010, 7:09 AM

David Kolb | The Muskegon Chronicle By David Kolb | The Muskegon Chronicle

This Veterans Day will be a bittersweet one for U.S. Navy veteran Robert Burns and his tight-knit Glenside family. Burns' son Andy has gone abroad in the service of his country.

Andy will, however, be putting in his time in quite a different manner than his dad almost a half-century previously.

As an enlisted man who rose to the rank of petty officer second class in the "War Corps" of the U.S. military, the senior Burns worked below deck as a fire control officer aboard a Navy destroyer, helping to direct accurate and deadly gunfire onto the right targets.

Andy will be doing his bit for America not at sea but on land - and out of uniform.

Moreover, his mission will be peace, not war.

The tall, handsome 23-year-old Mona Shores graduate will be making his mark upon the world through the Peace Corps, which next year will be commemorating its 50th anniversary.

"It's exciting work," Andy told me a few weeks ago, sitting side by side with his dad at a local restaurant. "I'm really looking forward to it."

Before him was a giant plate of omelet, bacon and toast. Understandably, Andy was stoking up as best he could in preparation for a long stay in Niger in northern central Africa. Niger is in the grip of a dire famine, and is one of the poorest nations in the world.

There, Andy will be working with local health agency personnel, compiling vital statistics in the field that will help in the fight against infectious disease.

The Peace Corps, an independent agency of the federal government, was established by an executive order of the late President John F. Kennedy in 1961 as a way to direct the energies of young Americans toward helping the neediest people in the world to better their lives through education, technology and improvements in agriculture and health services.

For both father and son, the incentives of service played a role in their decisions to give up part of their youth for their country.

Robert Burns, in 1963, was fresh out of high school in St. Joseph. The lure of a four-year active-duty stint, capped by financial tuition help from the GI Bill, convinced him to visit the local recruiter.

"I also wanted to get away from home and see the world," Burns recalls. Every morning before dawn on his way to his bakery job, he passed a little reserve destroyer escort based in St. Joseph harbor that wetted his imagination for a life on board ship.

The Navy took him to about half the world through two long Mediterranean cruises, shore leave in exotic ports and a potentially violent excursion into the Caribbean in 1965, where his ship, the USS DuPont, stood by for action.

There, elements of the U.S. Marines (whose "235th birthday" is today, Nov. 10) and later several airborne units were sent into the Dominican Republic to restore order. The sailors aboard the DuPont, including Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Burns, received the American Expeditionary Medal for their efforts.

Andy graduated from Mona Shores 40 years later, in 2005, and went right into Michigan State University. He struggled early on finding a suitable major but then the field of social work beckoned, and with it Andy's particular focus on public health.

Armed with his degree in 2009, Andy understood that his future career path required time in the field and also, most importantly, a master's degree. So he embarked on the path that would ultimately lead him into the Peace Corps.

He joined AmeriCorps, a service organization authorized by the National and Community Service Trust Act, signed into law by former President Bill Clinton in 1993. This took Andy into the poorest neighborhoods of the city of Pittsburgh for a year of public health work and research, which contributed to the study of epidemiology, or patterns of illness.

"It gave me a taste of what public health services is like," Andy said.

In the meantime, the younger Burns had applied for a more rigorous assignment overseas with the Peace Corps. During his tenure in Pittsburgh, his application was approved and he was assigned to Niger, which is now his home for the next 27 months.

Late last month, after training and briefing in Philadelphia with fellow volunteers, Andy's plane took off for Africa.

His dad, his mom Beth, a probation agent for the state Department of Corrections, and his sister Emily, a student at MSU, wished him all the best as left the United States and Michigan for his service abroad.

"We're going to miss him very much. It's going to be a fair amount of deprivation, especially for someone who eats as much as he does!" father Robert joked. "It'll be hard work at times and the living conditions where he's going will not be the greatest."

When Robert Burns left the Navy in 1967, he earned his way into MSU with the help of the GI Bill and graduated as a full-fledged Spartan. In 1971, he joined The Muskegon Chronicle and there launched a distinguished 38-year-career that saw him earn praise and awards for his reporting and commentary. Even now, in retirement, the occasional "Robert Burns" byline still appears in The Chronicle when the editors need a trusted veteran to assist on deadline.

When Andy returns home from Africa, he will have added to an already impressive resume in the public health field. He will also have earned the necessary tuition for graduate school to the college of his dreams, Emory University in Atlanta, a top-notch research school that is close to the headquarters of the CDC, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is there Andy hopes to land one day.

Service to their country has made, and is making, the dreams of both father and son - one a Navy veteran, the other a future veteran of a different stripe - possible.

David Kolb is former editorial page editor of The Muskegon Chronicle. E-mail: writersgroupllc@aol.com






Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: November, 2010; Peace Corps Niger; Directory of Niger RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Niger RPCVs; Public Health





When this story was posted in February 2011, this was on the front page of PCOL:




Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers RSS Feed

 Site Index Search PCOL with Google Contact PCOL Recent Posts Bulletin Board Open Discussion RPCV Directory Register

How Volunteers Remember Sarge Date: January 18 2011 No: 1487 How Volunteers Remember Sarge
As the Peace Corps' Founding Director Sargent Shriver laid the foundations for the most lasting accomplishment of the Kennedy presidency. Shriver spoke to returned volunteers at the Peace Vigil at Lincoln Memorial in September, 2001 for the Peace Corps 40th. "The challenge I believe is simple - simple to express but difficult to fulfill. That challenge is expressed in these words: PCV's - stay as you are. Be servants of peace. Work at home as you have worked abroad. Humbly, persistently, intelligently. Weep with those who are sorrowful, Care for those who are sick. Serve your wives, serve your husbands, serve your families, serve your neighbors, serve your cities, serve the poor, join others who also serve," said Shriver. "Serve, Serve, Serve. That's the answer, that's the objective, that's the challenge."

PCV Murder Investigated Date: January 18 2011 No: 1477 PCV Murder Investigated
ABC News has investigated the murder of Benin PCV Kate Puzey. Read our original coverage of the crime, comments on Peace Corps actions, the email Puzey sent her country director about sexual incidents with Puzey's students and with another PCV, the backstory on how RPCVs helped the Puzey family, and Peace Corps' official statement. PCOL Editorial: One major shortcoming that the Puzey murder highlights is that Peace Corps does not have a good procedure in place for death notifications.

Support Independent Funding for the Third Goal Date: November 9 2010 No: 1460 Support Independent Funding for the Third Goal
The Peace Corps has always neglected the third goal, allocating less than 1% of their resources to "bringing the world back home." Senator Dodd addressed this issue in the "Peace Corps for the 21st Century" bill passed by the US Senate and Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter proposed a "Peace Corps Foundation" at no cost to the US government. Both are good approaches but the recent "Comprehensive Assessment Report" didn't address the issue of independent funding for the third goal at all.

Jan 9, 2011: Push for the Peace Corps Date: January 9 2011 No: 1464 Jan 9, 2011: Push for the Peace Corps
Rajeev Goyal Pushes for the Peace Corps 20 Dec
Denis Dutton founded Arts & Letters Daily 2 Jan
Jim Carter promotes organ exchange 29 Dec
Bob Hollinger embraced the Toyama-ryu style of karate 27 Dec
Anthony Siracusa is Riding a bike around world 27 Dec
Marianne Combs writes: Another Upheaval in Ivory Coast 25 Dec
Kathy Rousso documents weaving methods in Guatemala 24 Dec
Ramsey Nix writes: Christmas in Mongolia 23 Dec
Leanne Moore writes: Coming Back to America 23 Dec
Cancer Victim Linda Lahme dreams of Africa 23 Dec
The RPCV Who Changed American Parenting 22 Dec
Dick Holbrooke at the Peace Corps 22 Dec
Mahlon Barash publishes "Imágenes del Perú" 20 Dec
Susan Luz writes "The Nightingale of Mosul" 18 Dec
RPCV arrested in alleged Sandinista 'Land Grab' 17 Dec
Peter DiCampo captures village life in Ghana 16 Dec
John Coyne writes: Peace Corps Prose 16 Dec
Kathleen Stephens presses China to rein in North Korea 15 Dec
Greg Parsley writes: PC taught me to bypass bureaucrats 14 Dec
Pat Waak writes: Peace Corps Pays Off 8 Dec
David Matthews wins NATO medal for work in Afghanistan 7 Dec
Ralph Bolton wins award in Anthropology 9 Nov

Nov 8, 2010: The 50th Begins Date: November 9 2010 No: 1457 Nov 8, 2010: The 50th Begins
University of Michigan commemorates 50th 16 Oct
Wittenberg University also has claim on 50th 31 Oct
Historical Marker Unveiled to Celebrate 50th 15 Oct
Directors Discuss Impact of Service 13 Oct
Mary Morgan writes: Some thoughts on the 50th 16 Oct
Colombia I Holds Reunion at Rutgers 31 Oct
Remembering the Early Program in Ghana 23 Oct
George Packer writes: Meaning of the Mid-Terms 2 Nov
Steve Driehaus Defeated for re-election 2 Nov
Michelle Obama's Uncle was PCV in India 1 Nov
Chic Dambach writes "Exhaust the Limits" 31 Oct
Alrick Brown Directs Documentary on Rwanda 31 Oct
Rajeev Goyal writes: Obama Does Nothing for Peace Corps 31 Oct
Dr. Paul Frommer Created Language for 'Avatar' 20 Oct
Cy Kukenbaker Directs Movie about Soccer in Malawi 15 Oct
Peace Corps has no Institutional Memory 14 Oct
Kristof and Stacia Nordin demonstrate permaculture in Malawi 9 Oct
Volunteer Stephanie Chance dies in Niger 8 Oct
Peace Corps volunteer Census hits 40-year high 4 Oct
Malaysia PM wants Peace Corps to Return 25 Sep
Volunteer Thomas Maresco Murdered in Lesotho 4 Sep
Johnathan Miller launchs Airborne Lifeline 26 Aug

Memo to Incoming Director Williams Date: August 24 2009 No: 1419 Memo to Incoming Director Williams
PCOL has asked five prominent RPCVs and Staff to write a memo on the most important issues facing the Peace Corps today. Issues raised include the independence of the Peace Corps, political appointments at the agency, revitalizing the five-year rule, lowering the ET rate, empowering volunteers, removing financial barriers to service, increasing the agency's budget, reducing costs, and making the Peace Corps bureaucracy more efficient and responsive. Latest: Greetings from Director Williams

Join Us Mr. President! Date: June 26 2009 No: 1380 Join Us Mr. President!
"We will double the size of the Peace Corps by its 50th anniversary in 2011. And we'll reach out to other nations to engage their young people in similar programs, so that we work side by side to take on the common challenges that confront all humanity," said Barack Obama during his campaign. Returned Volunteers rally and and march to the White House to support a bold new Peace Corps for a new age. Latest: Senator Dodd introduces Peace Corps Improvement and Expansion Act of 2009 .



Read the stories and leave your comments.








Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: MLive

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Niger; Public Health

PCOL46674
18


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: