HANOI, Vietnam (AP) -- The Peace Corps is at last coming to Vietnam.
President Barack Obama announced Monday during his visit to Vietnam that the Peace Corps will be invited to establish operations in that country.
"Our Peace Corps volunteers will focus on teaching English and the friendship that our people forge will bring us closer together for decades to come," Obama said.
It's a striking turnaround from the years when some young men joined the Peace Corps in an effort to avoid serving in the military during the Vietnam conflict.
The Peace Corps has been working on gaining entry to Vietnam for years. In 2012, then-Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams made a three-day visit to the country to explore the possibility of an invitation to establish a program there.
The Peace Corps was established in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy to promote world peace and friendship. Since then, more than 220,000 Americans have served in 141 host countries. Currently, volunteers work in 63 countries.
Peace Corps volunteers live in host communities overseas for 27 months and work in areas such education, environment, health, agriculture, youth and community development.