Honor, heartbreak, camaraderie

The memories of women veterans


Honor, heartbreak, camaraderie

Women veterans tell their stories of service, heartache and what is what like as women in the U.S. military.

"It was just the thing to do.”

Norma Rambow, Marine Corps (1943-1945).

Mess hall cook - Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

"A whole lot of the people here are career people, people who've been in it, and I'm humbled before them with my two years."

Emmy Lu Daly, Navy (1944-1946).

Supply depot worker - Clearfield, Utah.

"When I got a promotion, nobody wanted to take my job. They said, 'Wow, we didn't know you had to do all of this' ... and I was doing it all by myself.'”

Rosebud Archer, Navy and Army, (1952-1993).


- Good conduct metal


"When you're an adventurer and you don't know what lies ahead, you're willing to take on anything if it's in the defense of your country.”

Catharine Deitch, Women's Army Corps (1942-1945).

master sergeant - Daytona Beach, Fla., Boston, Calcutta, India.

"I cried a lot. I wasn't supposed to cry, but I couldn't help it... a lot of things I've forgotten, but I can't forget that.

Muriel Kupersmith, the Marine Corps (1944-1946).

notified families when SOLDIERS were killed in action.

she received notice at work that her then-fiancé's had died.

"... it was the best thing I did, joining the Navy. The camaraderie — you can't beat the camaraderie.”

Helen Sadowski, navy (1952-1971).

petty officer 1st class - San Francisco, Newport, R.I., pearl harbor. 

photos originally published with a Veteran's Day story on npr.org