The Peace Corps Polyglot—the blog of the National Peace Corps Association, the independent group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV)—announced last week that RPCV Congressman Chris Shays (R-CT) was defeated Nov. 4. Shays served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Fiji (1968-70).
The blog post also follows the fate of other RPCVs up for election this fall.
Shays has been an active proponent of national service in the House and participated in the Service Nation Summit September 12th in New York. He co-founded the bi-partisan Congressional National Service Caucus in 2004.
On the topic of national service, from his Congressional web site:
I believe national service is one of the wisest and least costly investments our government can make. For example, AmeriCorps volunteers provided:
• 3.8 million CNCS program participants;
• 216 million hours of service;
• Recruiting and/or managing 1.8 million volunteers.
According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, 72 percent of AmeriCorps members continue to volunteer in their communities after their term of service ends and 87 percent of former AmeriCorps members accept public service employment.
National service benefits both the recipient and the giver. Volunteers not only address an immediate need, they lead and teach through example, and through that example they learn the value of serving and helping others.
I still remember how I felt as a 14 year-old watching the 1960 Presidential election between Vice President Richard Nixon and Senator John Kennedy. I felt energized listening to Senator Kennedy when he spoke of the Peace Corps and making the world a better and safer place. I wanted to be part of his vision. Years later, that dream was fulfilled when my wife Betsi and I served two years in the Peace Corps.
The same powerful emotion, the same sense of energy, eagerness and anticipation we felt in the sixties, is alive today.
Read the independent Peace Corps Online story about Shay’s loss.