The Foreign Service Journal - January/February 2017
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addressed the security problems that continue to pose a threat to

professional diplomats?

James (Jim) Meenan

FSO, retired

Fairfax, Virginia

We Are Honored to Serve

As a medical doctor new to the Foreign Service, I watched our

2016 election from U.S. Embassy Caracas. One fact has become

increasingly clear. Our “America” is not just “there” in the 50

states. Not just “there” in the corridors of advertising, business

and commerce. And certainly not just “there” inside the Beltway.

The United States of America is everywhere we have staked a

claim to a relationship, including at embassies like ours in Cara-

cas. For many here in Venezuela, we are the only “United States

of America” they will ever see. Everywhere that an American post

or citizen is, the United States of America is there, as well.

The paradigm of “the United States of America” causes great

ambivalence in much of our world, both inside and outside our

borders. But it is a concept, a philosophy, a way of living and

being with which virtually all people must contend in our cur-

rent global society.

We at the Department of State serve our country’s freedoms,

democracy and respect for human life and dignity through our

business, our conversations and our relationships, and by advo-

cating on behalf of the interests of the United States of America

with humility and conviction.

It has been a great honor to serve the Obama administration,

and it will be a great honor to serve the newly elected Trump

administration and each democratically elected administration

that occupies our White House.

Robert Bentley Calhoun, M.D.

Regional Medical Officer

U.S. Embassy Caracas, Venezuela