Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Women’s Army Corps Veteran Helen Horvath. Helen served during World War II from 1943 to 1946.
Helen was very interested in joining the Army, as she had been around a lot of servicemen and her brothers had also joined the military. She wanted to enlist before she turned 21, but the recruiter wouldn’t even talk to her. The day after her 21st birthday, Helen enlisted, despite the protests of her father. Her father felt, like many others at the time, that women should not be in the military and those that wanted to were labeled loose women. Helen’s father told her that if she joined, she did not need to bother coming back home, but Helen decided to enlist anyway. While taking her physical, Helen fainted for the first time ever, cutting her chin and making the doctors question whether she was fit to serve. Helen did pass her physical and she went to basic training at Fort Des Moines in Iowa, and then was assigned to Norfolk, Virginia. In Norfolk, Helen was a file clerk and she remembers reading files about the D-Day invasions.
At one point during Helen’s service, she saluted a second lieutenant who had just earned her bars and the custom was to give the first person who saluted you a dollar, so Helen earned a dollar. Helen was also a smoker during her time in the military and she once got three days suspension for smoking in bed. Later in her service, Helen was assigned to Newport News, Virginia where she worked in the hospital as a nurses’ aid. Newport News was a major port, so Helen got to see many soldiers returning home as well as prisoners of war. One Christmas at the hospital, Helen made each of the patients a stocking and got them some wine. Helen was discharged in 1946.
Thank you for your service, Helen!
More of her story can be found at http://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.91473/.
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? 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 Cynthia Tong: Cynthia is a senior at New York University studying Public Policy.