Peace Corps Director and Ohio Gov. Taft Present Service Awards
April 29, 1999Washington, D.C., April 29, 1999—Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan and Ohio Governor Bob Taft presented special community service awards last night to six former Peace Corps volunteers throughout Ohio. In a ceremony at Ohio State University in Columbus, Gearan and Taft recognized the extraordinary contributions of returned Peace Corps volunteers to their communities in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, and Athens. "I can honestly say that teaching in the Peace Corps was the best job I've ever had," said Taft, who served as a math teacher in Tanzania from 1963-1965. "I hope that other residents of Ohio will be inspired to go into public service, either in the Peace Corps or here at home. These returned Peace Corps volunteers who were honored last night are excellent role models for those who are ready and willing to make such a life choice." Gearan also praised the work of the former volunteers, but said those looking for role models need look no farther than to Governor Taft. "While returned Peace Corps volunteers have gone on to do many amazing things in their lives, Bob Taft is the first former volunteer to serve as a state governor," Gearan said. "By joining the Peace Corps, Governor Taft proved that he was not afraid to take on difficult challenges, to take the indirect but often more rewarding road. As a teacher in Tanzania, he changed the lives of many young students, offering them the promise of a better day." The returned Peace Corps volunteers recognized last night were: Gregory Dus Sault, from Westerville in the Columbus area, who served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia from 1968-70 and 1972-73. He has been an active member of the National Peace Corps Association since 1992, serving on the board of directors and on other committees. Kirt Bromley, from Copley in the Cleveland area, who served a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana from 1967-69. He has collected nearly 10,000 books and other equipment to build a new library in the village in Ghana where he served. Gayle Linkletter, from Cincinnati, who served a Peace Corps volunteer in St. Lucia from 1975-79. She has volunteered at Caracole, a group home for people with HIV/AIDS, since 1996. George Brose, from Kettering in the Dayton area, who served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Tanzania from 1965-67. For more than five years, he has been involved with the Alternatives to Violence Project in the Miami Valley, where he provides training in conflict resolution. Alan and Sue Boyd, of Athens, who served as Peace Corps volunteers in Ethiopia from 1964-66. They have been leaders of the Athens Association of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, organizing roadside litter clean-ups, raising money for homeless shelters and organizing book donations to developing countries.