- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 10, 2002

RICHMOND Beth Barkley and her white shepherd Fearghas spent 11 days scouring the rubble of the Pentagon for victims of the September 11 attack.

She said the "grim work" helped find "many, many" remains that led to the identification of some of those killed when terrorists crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon. The attack killed 125 persons in the building and 64 on the hijacked airliner.

Miss Barkley, 58, of Falls Church put in countless volunteer hours with Fearghas, and it is that spirit of volunteerism that Gov. Mark R. Warner praised and encouraged yesterday as he announced the creation of Virginia Corps, a program designed to make it easier for Virginians to become involved in volunteer service.

Mr. Warner called Virginia Corps a "living monument to the lives of those who perished a year ago" in the attacks that killed more than 3,000 people in Washington, New York and Pennsylvania.

Miss Barkley took Fearghas (pronounced Fergus) to the Pentagon on Sept. 16 and remained there until Sept. 27. She said the dog was 18 months old at the time and was most likely the youngest search-and-rescue dog at the scene.

Miss Barkley, a site supervisor for Tyco Electronics, trained the dog herself.

"I've been doing it for 23 years," she said. "I love it. We find people."

Virginia Corps includes a new Web site (www.virginiacorps.org) and a toll-free telephone number (1-866/239-4868) for hundreds of volunteer opportunities around the state.

"Virginia Corps represents our effort in state government to help capture the renewed spirit of civic duty that has grown in the wake of September 11," Mr. Warner said. "That is why we created Virginia Corps to make it easier for people to find ways to contribute in order to strengthen the commonwealth, serve their communities and unite as a people."

The governor urged Virginians to show the kind of volunteer spirit that led them to stand in line for hours to donate blood just after the attacks.

"There's no shortage of ways to help people," he said, predicting that Virginians "will step up and say 'I want to do more'" over the next weeks and months.

Mr. Warner made the announcement on the south portico of the state Capitol, where he was joined by volunteers, as well as Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore, legislators and members of the Cabinet.

Virginians interested in getting involved in homeland security and emergency preparedness activities can do so through the national Citizen Corps, which is establishing chapters locally around the state.

Arlington County, where the Pentagon is located, is the state's first locality to establish a Citizen Corps Council, Mr. Warner said. The council, the model for other local councils in the state, is made up of community groups and leaders, government agencies, volunteer and faith-based organizations and businesses.

Virginia expects to receive about $300,000 in federal funds to implement the Citizen Corps program.

Mr. Warner noted that there already are more than 3.3 million adult volunteers donating the equivalent of $14 billion in time and services in the state.


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