Respect for Peace Corps Volunteers Act

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    Mobilize others to sign this petition to Congress see more

    We share a letter from members of the Peace Corps community urging support for the Respect for Peace Corps Volunteers Act. Take action after you read it!
     

    Dear Members and Friends of the Peace Corps Community,

    We write to you as Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and/or former staff who served in the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s.

    As many from our generation of service are growing older, we imagine many share our view that we would like to be able to have our Peace Corps service recognized by allowing the placement of the official Peace Corps seal or emblem at gravesites and in death notices.

    Unfortunately, the use of the seal or emblem for this purpose is not specified as an allowed use under the Peace Corps Act. Because of this, it is illegal to use the Peace Corps symbol for this purpose.

    Thankfully, a bill in the House of Representatives – H.R. 1411 – has been introduced in Congress to make a simple fix – change the Peace Corps Act so the seal or emblem can be used at gravesites and in death notices.*

    The bill has not yet passed – not necessarily because of opposition, but more likely because of limited attention given to it.

    We are working with National Peace Corps Association to pass this bill. But we need your help.

    Please follow this link so you can sign a petition to Congress, offer a comment and help us pass this simple, sensible legislation to honor Peace Corps service.

    Thank you for your Peace Corps service and your consideration of this request.

    Sincerely,

    Robert C. Terry, Staff, East Pakistan/Bangladesh (1961-63)
    Judith H. Whitney-Terry, Honduras (1987-88)

    Orleans, MA

     

    Jack Wilson, Liberia (1962-64); Staff, Sierra Leone (1966-68); Director, Fiji (1970-72)
    Angene H. Wilson, Liberia (1962-64)

    Lexington, KY

     

    Will Irwin, Afghanistan (1966-67)
    Frances Hopkins Irwin, Afghanistan (1964-67)

    Bethesda, MD

     

    * Work is underway to have a similar bill introduced in the United States Senate

  • Jonathan Pearson posted an article
    This simple legislation to honor Peace Corps service can pass - but only if you act! see more

    When one thinks of legislation before Congress, thoughts come to mind of hundreds, even thousands of pages of text, quite often confusing to the general public with arcane references to legislative definitions, the United States Code, and subsections.

    But that’s not the case with House Bill 1295, legislation that would allow for a simple, no-cost fix to honor Peace Corps service.

    Introduced by Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ) and David Young (R-IA), the heart of the legislation is this: “The official seal or emblem and the name ‘Peace Corps’ may be used on any death announcement, gravestone, plaque or other grave marker of any person who served as a volunteer or as an officer or employee of the Peace Corps…”

    The original Peace Corps Act – signed into law 56 years ago tomorrow, September 22nd – did not include the iconic Peace Corps logo as an allowable use to honor service at the time of death. The Sires – Young legislation, all 143 words of it, would correct that.

    Take Action Now!

     

    This is a piece of legislation every member of the House of Representatives can get behind. But they won't act unless you ask them!

    • Follow this link to see if your rep is already a co-sponsor. If s/he is, send them a thank you message!
    • If they are not signed on, ask them to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1295.  Call your rep or send an automated message (be sure to edit and personalize your message)
    • Reach out to others you know and ask them to take similar action!

    Want to get more involved in efforts to pass this legislation? Contact us at  jonathan@peacecorpsconnect.org.

     

    (Photo: After meeting with constituents earlier this month in suburban Chicago, Congressman Peter Roskam agreed to become the next co-sponsor of the Respect for Peace Corps Volunteers  Act!)