Article Provided by Linda Mueller
I was born in Wynne, Arkansas which is a farming community in Northeastern Arkansas. My dad was a farmer until his sudden death in a farming accident. After his death my mother became the farmer and with her father farmed both of our farms. Since we lived in a rural area, our school was very small. My graduating class had only 31 students. After high school, I went to college at the University of Central Arkansas where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education with a double major in English and Geography and a minor in History. In college I was a member of Sigma Kappa Sorority, editor of the college yearbook, Young Republicans, Student National Education Association (1st VP), Baptist Student Union Council, and Gamma Theta Upsilon (Treasurer). I was the first person in my entire family to graduate from college.
In 1967 between my junior and senior years of college, the Army was promoting two programs to recruit more women to officer ranks. At that time women were not allowed to participate in ROTC or to attend the Service Academies. The College Junior Program was an eight week introduction to the Army at Fort McClelland, Alabama. More than 100 women from colleges across the country participated and the majority signed up for the Student Officer Program.
My senior year of college I held the rank of Corporal. Upon graduation I applied for a direct commission and was inducted as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Women’s Army Corps. After eighteen weeks of Officer Basic Training I was assigned as a Platoon Officer at Ft. McClelland, training enlisted women in their basic training. At that time I was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. My next assignment was Assistant Adjutant at the Personnel Center at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
During this time period, women in the military were not allowed to have dependents. Since my husband and I wanted children, I elected to separate from the Army and received an Honorable Discharge. The Army had a great effect on my career choices in civilian life. After completing training for a Private Pilots license, I used my GI Bill to obtain a Commercial Pilots license with Instrument and Multi-engine ratings. Prospective employers were always impressed that I was an Army Veteran.
My husband, Don, and I retired to Delaware where we lead very active lives. With four children and eight grandchildren, we spend a great deal of time visiting family. As with many families, I have a proud heritage of military service. My grandfather served in WWI, my father in WWII, two uncles were career, one niece, one sister, and three brothers served. It was my privilege and honor to serve in The United States Women’s Army Corps.
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