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Imagine being 'homeless' for over 28 years, while living in many different countries across the globe.

That has been the life for one particular Riceville native and his spouse, also a Riceville native.

After 28 1/2 years as an ambassador for the United States of America, Larry Miles Dinger, has completed his service to his country and fellow man and is now enjoying retirement and a place to live.

Dinger joined the U.S. State Department in 1983.

He has served as a U.S. ambassador to the countries of the Federated States of Micronesia, Nepal, Fiji, Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, the South Pacific countries of Republic of the FijiIslands, the Republic of Kiribati, the Republic of Nauru, Tuvalu and the Kingdom of Tonga and most recently to the country of Burma, also known as Myanmar.

Dinger recalled his time in Fiji from 2005-2008.

"That was fascinating, most interesting," he said. "We arrived during a time of political unrest.

"The government was fearing another coup would take place."

It was Dinger's job to try to discourage the coup from taking place, since three had taken place in the past.

"The coup still happened," said Dinger. "I was designated a 'persona non-grata'. That meant I could have been immediately kicked out of the country by the dictatorship.

"I was to have committed mutiny because I was discouraging the coup to take place."

He was allowed to stay in the country.

Dinger also mentioned the island country of Tonga tried to become a democracy by replacing its king.

In the country of Burma, he was not called an ambassador due to the very strained relationship the country had with the United States.

"I was called 'chief of mission'," said Dinger. "President Obama's statement was 'extend a hand, open a fist.'

"We (the US) were willing to try to help the country and its government, if they would 'loosen up.'"

Eventually, the country did and an election was held.

"It is a changed place," said Dinger. "I can't take responsibility for the change but I was part of the process."

He added the country of Burma is an amazing place to live and "It's one of the most culturally different country than any other place in the world that I have lived."

The capital of Burma, Naypyidaw, is approximately 2,724 square miles in size, and has roads 20-lanes wide.

"The capital is a strange place," said Dinger. "There is no traffic. The population of the city is less than 1 million people."

Dinger and his wife, Paula Gaffey Dinger, retired in 2011, when he turned 65 years old.

The couple bought a home in the Washington, D.C. area to be close to their children and grandchildren.

His brother and sister both live in the D.C. area as well, within just a short drive from each other.

Dinger's brother, John, also served as a U.S. ambassador across the globe and has also recently retired.

Larry had not planned to enter foreign service. His plan was to work as a public servant in political office in Iowa.

However, it wasn't until after a visit with John, who was serving as ambassador to Brazil, that Larry became interested in foreign service.

"If it wasn't for my brother, I may not have become an ambassador," said Dinger.

The Dinger brothers were the only two brothers in the United States to be serve as ambassadors at the same time.

They are believed to be the only set in U.S. history to do so.

Although retired, Dinger still works part-time for the U.S. State Department with the Office of Inspector General, where he occasionally leads an inspection team.

"We look at diplomatic security services in three different offices within diplomatic security," said Dinger. "We mainly deal with personal investigations, nothing international."

Dinger said growing up in Riceville "made a huge difference in my life."

He credits his strong family base, the school system and Mrs. Donald Johnston, his English and debate teacher.

"Even though the population has changed, we still know lots of people," he said. "We're relaxed when we get here."

In looking back over his almost 29 years of service to his country, Dinger said he was glad with how everything had gone over the years.

"I always enjoyed moving on to something new," he said. "Every experience gave me new knowledge and each assignment was a great experience."

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