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Print/ E-paper exclusive: WW II Army Nurse recalls nation pulling together

Nov. 11, 2012 @ 08:00 AM

HUNTINGTON — Under normal circumstances, Ruth Sullivan would have had to wait a year between graduating from high school in her hometown of Lake Charles, La., and beginning studies at Charity Hospital School of Nursing in New Orleans. She couldn’t start nursing school in the fall of 1941 because she was still 17.

Then, in December 1941, everything changed. She got a call from the nursing school, inviting her to start Jan. 2, 1942. Suddenly, nurses were badly needed.

So began Sullivan’s role in World War II, as of one of the less-often-highlighted but ever important female veterans, after serving as a member of the Army Cadet Nurse Corps.

It’s absolutely true that the men who served deserve gratitude and accolades for their bravery and sacrifice, Sullivan said. There’s no match to the sacrifice of the men on the front lines.

But she remembers a lot of women who deserve thanks as well.

In the early 1940s, Americans in general were simply pulling together. It was a time like no other, she said.

Read more about hers and local Navy veteran Michelle Hale's experiences in the print or e-paper edition of The Herald-Dispatch.

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