Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Coast Guard Veteran Lois Bouton. Lois served from 1943 to 1945 during World War II.
In 1943, Lois joined the U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserve, also known as SPARS for “Semper Paratus—Always Ready.” After completing boot camp in Palm Springs, Florida, she went to San Francisco followed by Atlantic City, New Jersey, for radioman school where she learned to translate Morse code. She met her husband, a member of the Army, during her time in Atlantic City.
Lois spent over two years in the Coast Guard, during which she began writing letters to people overseas. After her service, she wrote to servicemen in the Korean War. Later as a first grade teacher, she taught her students to write letters to patients at Naval Hospital Great Lakes during the Vietnam War. She visited the Veterans there often, and they gave her the nickname “Coast Guard Lady.” When she retired, she started writing to isolated Coast Guard stations and eventually expanded to writing to Coast Guard members all across the country. She has now written over 40,000 letters and sends well over 1,000 cards on Coast Guard Day, August 4th, each year. Lois celebrated her 90th birthday in September 2009 and received hundreds of cards from Coast Guard members, both current and retired. When asked how she would like to be remembered by future generations, Lois responded, “As the Coast Guard Lady!”
Thank you for your service, Lois!
Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can put together, along with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Graphic by Julia Wang: Julia Wang is an Economics and History of Architecture Major with a Certificate in Civic Leadership at Rice University.