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  • Kevin
    from: http://www.expcvsbrazil.com/pcissues/med_letter_print.htm Senator John Warner U.S. Senate Washington, DC 20250 Dear Senator Warner: A recent series of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 26, 2005
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      from: http://www.expcvsbrazil.com/pcissues/med_letter_print.htm

      Senator John Warner
      U.S. Senate
      Washington, DC 20250

      Dear Senator Warner:

      A recent series of newspaper articles, including the Washington
      Post, ""Data Show Assaults on Peace Corps Workers Up," Associated
      Press, October 26, 2003,
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17596-2003Oct25.html
      have highlighted the danger Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs) face
      abroad. Adding insult to injury, many injured PCVs often do not get
      adequate medical care upon their return to the United States. This
      is because injured returned PCVs must sue the Federal Government
      (the Office of Workman Compensation) to get reimbursed for medical
      expenses.

      As a former PCV myself, I think it only right that injured PCVs
      receive the automatic medical coverage that military veterans
      receive upon their return to the United States. I would like to
      request that the law be changed to allow returned PCVs to receive
      medical treatment at the Veterans Administration (VA). There are
      now about 6,000 PCVs abroad annually, so the number possibly seeking
      medical treatment is likely not great, and therefore would not
      substantially increase VA's cost of operation of covering over 20
      million veterans.

      In this regard, Senators Coleman (Minnesota) and Dodd (Connecticut),
      himself a RPCV, have focused on this problem of Peace Corps
      volunteer safety and medical treatment in the Senate Foreign
      Relations Committee. I am writing directly to Senator Dodd, but as
      your constituent, I request your support to improve medical
      treatment for PCVs who return to the United States with injuries.
      As chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, you are in a
      unique position to support these efforts.

      Sincerely,

      John G. Reeder



      Senator Chris Dodd
      U.S. Senate
      Washington, DC 20250

      Dear Senator Dodd:

      I write you in your capacity as the ranking Democrat on the Senator
      Foreign Relations Committee, and ask for your support to improve
      medical coverage for returned Peace Corps volunteers who sustain
      injuries or other medical problems during their foreign service. I
      know that your service as PCV has provided you with unique
      understanding of the Peace Corps. I also was PCV for 3 ½ years, and
      understand the needs of injured volunteers who need medical
      attention upon their return.

      A recent series of newspaper articles, including one in the
      Washington Post, ""Data Show Assaults on Peace Corps Workers Up,"
      Associated Press, October 26, 2003,
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17596-2003Oct25.html
      highlight the danger Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs) face abroad.
      Related to this, upon their return, ill or injured PCVs often
      cannot get adequate medical care for injuries occurring because
      injured returned PCVs must sue the Federal Government (the Office of
      Workman Compensation) to get reimbursed for medical expenses.

      A friend of mine was a PCV in Ecuador and injured there, and needed
      surgery in to the United States for which that the Peace Corps has
      refused to pay. Another friend told me recently the story of
      volunteer in Seattle, Washington who had to be medically evacuated
      for treatment for what ultimately turned out to be cancer, and for
      which the Peace Corps will not pay.

      I would like to propose that RPCVs be eligible to receive medical
      treatment for injuries sustained abroad from the Veterans
      Administration, similar to that provided to veterans. There are
      now about 6,000 volunteers serving abroad, so it is likely that the
      number possibly seeking such treatment would be small, and not
      significantly add to VA's cost of operations for the over 20 million
      veterans eligible for such service.

      I know that you and Senator Coleman have taken an interest in
      improving the safety of PCVs serving our country, and hope that you
      will take into consideration that injured volunteers often receive
      inadequate medical treatment once they return. I have written my
      own Senator John Warner, the chairman of the Armed Services
      Committee, urging his support of such an idea of allowing injured
      PCVs to avail themselves of VA medical treatment.

      Thank you for your attention,

      Sincerely,

      John Reeder
      Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, Brazil

      --

      I have emailed John Reeder and asked him to join our group. I hope
      that he does. I would love to know what response he got to his
      letters. I'd also love to see the Washington Post article that he
      referred to, and possibly even contact its writer.

      Kevin
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