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  • Ambassador Richard M. Mills, Jr., Mourns the Loss of Peace Corps Volunteer Hanna Huntley

    09:06 2 November 2017

    I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Peace Corps volunteer Hanna Huntley,of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Like so many volunteers before her, Hanna was answering a calling. She came to Armenia eager to lend a helping hand, looking forward to building personal connections and bridges between our two nations. She served in Sevan as a Community Youth Development volunteer, providing much-needed support to her community and investing in young Armenians, the future of this country.

    Hanna shared her American experience and values with her Armenian host family, colleagues, friends, and community. And just as importantly, she learned about Armenia and communicated her experience as a volunteer with her friends and family back home.

    I had the privilege of swearing Hanna in to Peace Corps service this past June. She raised her right hand and took the same oath that all public servants take – an oath I myself took many years ago. While my official title is “Ambassador,” I consider Hanna an ambassador as well. For many of the Armenian people she interacted with every day, and particularly for the youth at the Sevan Youth Club where she volunteered, and at the Bohem Tea House she helped open, Hanna was their first exposure to the United States. For them, Hanna Huntley was the United States: her actions, words, values, and the help she gave them were representative of our entire nation. She will leave a lasting, positive impression on her community in Armenia.

    Serving as a Peace Corps volunteer is not easy, but few callings are. President John F. Kennedy said, when he signed the Executive Order that established the Peace Corps in 1961, “But if the life will not be easy, it will be rich and satisfying. For every young American who participates in the Peace Corps--who works in a foreign land--will know that he or she is sharing in the great common task of bringing to man that decent way of life, which is the foundation of freedom and a condition of peace.” Those are lofty words, but as Peace Corps volunteers will tell you, they remain as true today as ever.

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