India 20A - Our Peace Corps Group


Volunteer Selection-1965

India 20A Program Background

Our History From Letters

India 20A Training

Photos From Training

India 20A On-Site in India

India Photos 65-67

Reunion Photos

India 20 Group Photos

After Peace Corps

India Revisited

Peace Corps Links

Served 1965 - 1967   

After Peace Corps Service

In 1965, less than two years after the death of President John F. Kennedy from whose vision and insight the Peace Corps was created, the people of the United States invested in the training and support of the members of India 20A. The citizens of the United States made certain that India 20A trainees learned new skills and extended skills that they already had, sharpened their understanding of the culture and customs of the United States and provided them with insights and knowledge regarding the cultures, customs, and languages of the people of India. In short, in 1965 the newly minted India 20A volunteers were well prepared to represent the people of the United States to the people of India and to initiate and participate in a variety of health projects in rural India that would eventually leave a set of positive impressions with the citizens of both countries about each other.


Now at the start of the 21 Century, the returned volunteers of India 20A have provided another contribution in the United States. During the almost 40 years since their completion of service in India, they have compiled a record of service to the people of the United States, both within the public and private sectors. Their accomplishments are notable in the United States and in several foreign countries in which they have lived and worked. In essence, the initial expenditure on the training and maintenance of the India 20A volunteers has received a generous return on investment for the American people.


The Record of Post Peace Corps Service

Peace Corps service for India 20A ended in 1967. The volunteers were released into a year in which the war in Viet Nam was dictating a larger American commitment in terms of material and personnel and a year during which the issue of far greater civil rights on the part of African Americans had become one of the most pressing needs of the century. Thus, the now returned India 20A volunteers (India 20A RPCVs) found themselves in service to American on several tumultuous fronts.


Tom Culbertson served as a United States Agency for International Development Refugee Officer in Quang Ngai Province and later worked with refugees in Laos until 1972. He then served as a police officer in Kodiak, Alaska (probably pre-Peace Corps service as a brig sergeant in the United States Marines was handy experience for that job).


Following his service in India 20A, Terry Ebersole attended Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island followed by Navy Communication School after commissioning.  He was then assigned to the USS Wasp, an aircraft carrier based in-Boston/Rhode Island area. Following his service in the Navy, Terry obtained a masters degree in public administration at Maxwell School. Upon graduation he worked in various positions with the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (later renamed Federal Transit Administration) and served in various jobs with that agency including eight years as the Regional Administrator with responsibilities for agency's public transportation grant programs in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. Terry retired from the agency and federal civil service in 1995 and moved from Seattle to Guemes Island in Washington's San Juan Island chain. He now works part time for Secret Harbor helping to raise funds for this non-profit provider of group home and foster care services to troubled youth and special needs children.  Terry married Janet Ruehl another member of India 20A.


Janet Ruehl worked for large food chain in Boston and also in a Boston art studio. She eventually served as an assistant librarian for the Navy in Iceland where her India 20A husband Terry Ebersole was stationed while in the Navy. Building on her art background Janet eventually started Puffin Productions and turned Puffin Productions into a printing corporation. Puffin designed and manufactured a completed line of social stationery for retail stores nationwide. The product line included gift wrap, invitations, cards and paper gifts. Puffin Productions eventually grew to 25 employees. Today, Janet is retired and continues to live happily with Terry on Guemes Island.


Reid Melton made a career of service in the public and private sectors. After returning from India he studied regional planning and decision making theory at Cornell University. He served as a Peace Corps trainer  for new groups serving in India and then went on to work for the North Carolina Department of Local Affairs on War on Poverty. He later served as a policy researcher at the prestigious Urban Institute in Washington D.C. taking time along the way to help found the Friends of India organization consisting of returned volunteers and others who worked with the Indian people.  Eventually, Reid turned to a consulting career working as an independent and with the Coverdale International Group working around the world with UN, IMF , World Bank, AID in Europe, Sudan, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Kenya and with private (large and small) businesses focusing on space, computer, banking and pharmaceutical industries. At present he lives in Santa Barbara, California where he is continuing his consulting/training practice. Reid serves on the Board of several community organizations including the Santa Barbara Peace Corps Association.


Marilyn Martiny was a registered nurse at the time she entered the Peace Corps. She married Dieter Kuschel who was a community development volunteer from Germany serving in Kerala at the same time as India 20A. Eventually, Marilyn and Dieter moved to Kenya where worked in the intensive care unit at the Nairobi Hospital, did part time work at the United Nations Environment Project's world headquarters in Nairobi, in the health center. Upon the couple’s return to Germany Marilyn worked for at the University Hospital in Erlangen in the Speech and Hearing Department of the ENT Division. Marilyn has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Mexico, and Africa.


After leaving India and arriving in the USA Jerold "Jerry" Hayashida enlisted in the Air Force and trained as a photographer and as a teacher of English as a second language. He taught ESL in Saigon. An interesting fact is that a few days before he rotated back to the States, he ran across Werner Hollstein in the Saigon PX.  Upon returning to his home in Hawaii he earned a masters degree in social work and has remained in that field in various positions on the island of Maui.


Richard Smith, went the complete service route after leaving Peace Corps service in India. Upon his return to the USA he joined the Urban Teacher Corps in Washington, D.C and served two years teaching in D.C. junior high schools.  He earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Antioch University as part of the program. During this period he spent a summer as a curriculum specialist, in Arkansas and Mississippi, for the Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA).  He created public health curriculum that was used with the VISTA trainees in Arkansas.  He also participated in their training. Richard later worked as a volunteer in the Center for Solving Special Social and Health Problems in San Francisco which provided methadone services for heroin addicts, and counseling for people with a wide range of problems. While living in San Francisco, he took a trip to Central America, in order to practice the Spanish he had learned during the summer of 1971 at the Center for Intercultural Documentation in Cuernavaca, Mexico. After six months, during which time he hitchhiked to the Panama Canal and lived in Panajachel, Guatemala, he came back to San Francisco. He then returned to New York City in 1973 to teach at Harriet Beecher Stowe Junior High School (JHS 136) in Harlem. His next step was to obtain a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Texas at Austin. Richard then joined the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College, Columbia University where as a research associate he was responsible for projects designed to interest female K-12 students in mathematics and science courses. He eventually returned to Texas, to help establish Department of Technology at the Houston Independent School District (HISD). After 19 years, when he left the Department of Technology, he was its director. At present, Richard is Clinical Associate Professor of Instructional Technology at the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL) where teaches courses such as Applications of Technology, Interactive Distance Learning, and Management of Computer Resources to masters degree students in instructional technology and instructional design. Richard also serves as the Program Chair for the UHCL Instructional Technology Department and is on the doctoral admissions committee for UHCL's Ed.D. program in educational administration.



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© R.A. Smith