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Arizona City Celebrated WWII Veteran’s 105th Birthday with Amazing Surprise

Athena Wright was a younger girl in her 20s when she launched into the journey of a lifetime and the best sacrifice of all: enlisting within the US navy throughout World War II. Nearly 80 years after the top of the battle, Wright is a residing instance of the highly effective influence that selflessness and serving to others can have.

Athena Wright discovered her calling early on

Athena Wright was born on August 25, 1915 in Massachusetts. At that point, the First World War was raging in Europe. Soon after, the United States joined the battle. After graduating from highschool, Wright moved to New York City the place she hoped to turn into a registered nurse. Their huge metropolis desires had been quickly sidelined because the world plunged into yet one more warfare in 1939.

In September 1941, Wright enlisted as a second lieutenant within the US Army Nurse Corps. It was then that she felt known as to serve her nation, two months earlier than the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbor. She noticed that the lads who served wanted nurturing, she stated 12 messages in a 2020 interview: “They get sick. You will get hurt. Someone has to take care of her. So I said, ‘I’ll go.’”

Supporting troopers on the New Guinea entrance

US Marines march through the jungles of New Guinea
US Marines marching by New Guinea, World War II. (Image credit score: Bettmann/Getty Images)

After a stint at Fort DuPont, Delaware and a posting with a medical unit in Australia, Athena Wright was posted to an outpost in New Guinea the place the New Guinea marketing campaign had raged for months. She was assigned to the 18th Station Hospital, on the frontlines of one of many bloodiest offensives American forces confronted in all of World War II.

Even within the midst of the warfare, Wright fell in love with a serious within the US Medical Corps, who finally grew to become her husband. She returned residence and retired from service in 1944 after being awarded two bronze stars for her bravery in a fight zone.

Wright continued her work as a nurse at Mount Alto Veterans Hospital in Washington, DC, serving to troopers. She spent the following 17 years of her life caring for women and men who had been injured within the line of obligation. She then labored on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) earlier than retiring and settling in Scottsdale, Arizona, the place she grew to become a well-liked citizen and neighborhood member.

Celebrate a neighborhood hero

Athena Wright’s local people knew her lifelong achievements had been value celebrating, in order her 105th birthday approached in 2020, they deliberate a really particular occasion. There was only one downside: the pandemic was nonetheless a serious well being menace, in order that they needed to plan one thing that might meet security pointers however nonetheless stand as much as a neighborhood boy.

To mark the World War II veteran’s 105th birthday, town of Scottsdale hosted a parade for her, with the crowning glory being a birthday cake from Deputy Mayor Solange Whitehead, who declared August 25, 2020 as Athena Wright Day.

More from us: US Army Veteran handled to ballroom dancing, pinning ceremony in recognition of service

Wright stood in amazement in entrance of her retirement residence and watched numerous vehicles honking and cheering. The native police and fireplace brigade additionally celebrated. To finish the massive shock, the veteran gave a heartfelt speech and inspired her neighbors to take up her trigger and assist others in want.

Elizabeth Edwards

Elisabeth Edwards is a public historian and historical past author. After finishing her Masters in Public History at Western University in Ontario, Canada, Elisabeth has shared her ardour for historical past as a researcher, interpreter and volunteer at native heritage organizations.

She additionally helps make historical past enjoyable and accessible with her podcast, The Digital Dust Podcast, which covers subjects from artwork historical past to graduate college.

In her free time, she enjoys tenting, mountain climbing, and exploring new locations. Elisabeth is particularly excited to share her love of historical past with readers who like to study one thing new daily!

The digital mud podcast


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