Peace Corps humanizes U.S. image

12/09/2007 2:38 AM

12/09/2007 2:44 AM

As a former Peace Corps volunteer (Philippines, 1968-70) and just recently returned from three months in Western Europe, I can only support the decline in world opinion of America overseas suggested by Arthur Obermayer and Kevin Quigley ("Peace Corps can raise overseas opinion of U.S.," Dec. 3, Page B-5). If the Peace Corps does one thing well, it humanizes us as a caring, thoughtful and "peaceful" country.

I was struck by how easily it was for Europeans to chastise President Bush and our war policy to me, and moments later, ask me about my life in America, my family and what I liked about their country.

As we reduce our troop commitment in Iraq, doesn't it make sense for Congress to consider strengthening (from 8,000) our forces of peace by fulfilling President Kennedy's wish for 100,000 Peace Corps volunteers?

MICHAEL O. SULLIVAN
CEO, Golden Valley Health Centers

Merced

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