The Foreign Service Journal, March 2020

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | MARCH 2020 57 AFSA NEWS Support AFSA’s Legal Defense Fund AFSA’s Legal Defense Fund has continued to grow due to the outpouring of sup- port from both the Foreign Service community and the American public. By mid-January, the fund had raised $712,000. About $600,000 remained after disbursements to private attorneys representing Foreign Service members testifying before Congress. Accompanying their donations, we have received many letters of support from concerned citizens and members, including the let- ter on this page from Teresa Amott. Donations may be made online at donate or by mailing a check made out to “AFSA Legal Defense Fund” to AFSA, c/o LDF, 2101 E Street NW, Washington DC 20037. n Dear Ambassador Rubin, Enclosed, please find my contribution to the Legal Defense Fund of the American Foreign Service Association along with a pic- ture of my father, shortly before he and my mother were presented to Emperor Hirohito at my father’s posting to the reopened U.S. embassy after the Allied occupation ended. I make this donation in his honor, but with a deep sense of sadness and anger that it should be necessary to defend so many honorable public servants in this troubled and polarized time. My father, John C. Amott, was a Foreign Service officer. That sentence defined him from the time he entered the Service in 1947 until he died at the age of 91 in 2014. He is buried in the DACOR section of Rock Creek Cemetery, alongside my mother, whom he met in the American embassy in Rio de Janeiro, where she was a local employee. For my father, the Foreign Service was more than employment, more than an agency. A son of the Midwest who grew up in very modest circumstances, he was the national high school debate champion in 1938, and entered Georgetown University on a scholar- ship, where he discovered the Foreign Service. He served in the U.S. Army as a Japanese translator at Arlington Hall during World War II. Displayed on his wall in the assisted living facility in which he lived his final years were commissioning documents signed by Presi- dents Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy. I lived with my parents in postings to Bolivia, Japan, Peru, the then-Littauer School, Honduras, Mexico, Germany and Portugal. After I left for college, they served in Argen- tina and Paraguay. During the 1970s and 1980s, my father and I were frequently at odds over the course of U.S. policy towards Latin America, but he defended that policy fiercely. I never knew what his own views were. Although my father was never appointed as an ambassador, he served with pride, pride not for himself, but for the privilege of representing abroad the country he loved. To be the face of the United States to countless foreigners gave his life dignity and meaning. I offer this contribution in support of all that you and the association are doing to uphold the values by which he lived and that define the integrity, character and pro- fessionalism of today’s Foreign Service officers. In my career as a faculty member, administrator, and president at several small liberal arts colleges, I wrote many a letter of recommendation for students aspiring to join the Foreign Service, and I have been immensely proud of their service. In gratitude for the Foreign Service and its dedicated officers, Teresa L. Amott President, Knox College Galesburg, Illinois A Letter to AFSA Ruth and John Amott, Tokyo, Japan, shortly after the U.S. Embassy reopened there in 1952. COURTESYOFTERESAAMOTT