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Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | FEBRUARY 23, 2012 6:30 AM

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Peace Corps benefits U.S. as much as Americorps

I disagree with the editorial in The Daily Iowan pitting AmeriCorps against the Peace Corps by Rebecca Abellera from Feb. 15. The choice is individual one, and it should rest there. Both are good programs, and both benefit both America and the world. Each has a role. 

It is a mistake to believe that we can first put the United States in order and only then think about the rest of the world. It is a mistake to believe that Peace Corps does not benefit us here at home. An understanding of other countries and other cultures makes us stronger. It also helps us to understand and make better our own country and communities.

Our resources are not dwindling, and anyone who has been overseas working in developing countries knows this. And the experience overseas makes one realize that it is not material resources that will make us better or stronger.

Think about both options. Returning Peace Corps volunteers have an enormous impact when they return home. They have a global perspective that makes future leaders, a continuing ethic for service that builds communities, as well as a perspective that includes the world.

In the article there are also errors in the specific information of benefits. I suggest that anyone looking at volunteer service look at both Peace Corps and AmeriCorps. They are different and will satisfy different yearnings. Both are very valid, and both will give back to our country and our world while also enriching ourselves for our life ahead.

Kathryn W. Hansen
Iowa City resident


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