Close, Ginny

Ginny Close grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.  Her father came from a farm family and was a veteran of WW2, and Ginny’s mother was from Madison; Eau Claire seemed the perfect compromise for the two to raise their own family.  Ginny attended the University of Wisconsin right at the time when the postwar generation was calling into question some of the nation’s values, and a new young president – JFK – was issuing a challenge to young Americans.  Ginny took him up on that, joining the Peace Corps for some rural development work in Turkey.  Still wanting more, she interviewed with the Red Cross, learning about the Clubmobile program; given the choice of work in Korea or Vietnam, Ginny opted for Vietnam, a choice that surprised her parents.  Once there it became her job to engage the troops and to get their minds off the war, whether it be through playing games or simple conversation or food or books.  The soldiers, so many of whom were just teenagers, treated her well.  Ginny remembers her time in Vietnam as a transformative part of her life, and for the nation as well.  Crestwood students were lucky to be able to zoom with her and Vietnam veteran Pete Mecca in April 2021.


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