Thursday, March 29, 2007

Last Woman's Club

Charlotte Barry Winters died the other day at 109. She was the oldest female military veteran, as well as the last female World War I veteran. That leaves four surviving U.S. vets from the War To End All Wars.

She argued her case in favor of women with Navy Secretary Josephus Daniels. He did not admit she influenced his decision, but he’s also the guy who said radio made a surprise attack in the Pacific impossible. He may not have admitted to that, either.

Charlotte became yeoman 3rd class (F), for female and, after the war, joined the American Legion in 1919 -- the year it was founded -- and was a member for the next 88 years.

My grandfather was also a vet, he of the Spanish-American War. He served proudly, belonged to the Veterans of Foreign Wars and wore his cap in all parades. As I understand it, the war ended before he left the training camp in Connecticut. That made little difference to him; however small his contribution to the war effort, he made it to the best of his ability. He was linked to Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders on San Juan Hill; he helped Remember The Maine.

Everybody has a story.
Theodore Pawlowski passed away recently. He was a teacher locally for 42 years. During WW2, he was captured and imprisoned in Schubin, Poland. While imprisoned, he helped organize several escape attempts before being freed by the allies.


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