JOHN O. DWYER BACKGROUND
The wanderer’s star must have been shining on the day I was born in Los Angeles, CA. My dad was a career navy man and my mother a born nomad. All of the extensive travel in my childhood was domestic as WWII was raging but the seed for international rambling was there. Reading was my favorite pastime – travel and adventure my favorite subjects. My service in the army found me in Okinawa for six-months and in Japan for a year-and-a-half. When I returned from the service an army buddy of mine and I drove an old Chevv from Los Angeles to Mexico City to attend Mexico CityCollege on the G.I. Bill. Personal reasons took me back home early and my subsequent marriage, a new family and earning a living occupied my life. But I never lost the desire for travel and service. In 1991, already over 50, I joined the Peace Corps. My Peace Corps service in Guatemala in 1991-92 led to work as a United Nations Volunteer in the first elections in Bosnia and Herzegovina after the Bosnian War. I have since volunteered on 16 other international elections. A particular highlight of my international work was managing camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in 2002 in Herat, Afghanistan. Development work in Kandahar, Afghanistan also stands out. I have travelled to 53 countries in total. In the U.S. I have worked with FEMA as a reservist for the past ten years and have worked on most of the major domestic disasters; currently in a disaster survivor assistance management capacity. I continue to both travel and volunteer internationally. As a writer my work has appeared in Transitions Abroad, The Orange County Register, Pakistan Link, Peace Corps Online, International Travel News and various other online and print publications.