President Bush To Recognize St. Paul Couple For Dedication To Peace Corps Service

August 22, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 22, 2003 – A Minnesota couple and future Peace Corps volunteers, Edward and Jane Bardon, will greet President George W. Bush upon his arrival in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Tuesday, August 26, 2003. The President will recognize 70-year old Edward and 68-year old Jane for their dedication to volunteer service. In September, the Bardons will travel to Turkmenistan to begin their two-year term as Peace Corps volunteers.
The Bardons, who have been married for 48 years, are native Minnesotans who have previously volunteered abroad. During the summers of 2002 and 2003, they served as volunteer teachers in Russia and Romania, teaching English as a second language. When they learned there was no upper age limit to serving in the Peace Corps, the Bardons signed up to travel to Turkmenistan as Peace Corps volunteers. There are approximately 227 Minnesotans currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers. More than 4,880 volunteers from Minnesota have served in the Peace Corps since its inception.

While in Turkmenistan, the Bardons will spend the next two years working in the area of health education. Turkmenistan is one of several countries that has re-opened Peace Corps programs since the President's 2002 call to service and proposal to double the size of the Peace Corps. Today, 95 Peace Corps volunteers work in two program areas in Turkmenistan: education and HIV/AIDS prevention.

Since 1961, more than 170,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS education and awareness, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.


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