Lucy Coffey, an Army veteran who also happens to be 108 years old, recently visited Washington, D.C. on a mission to finally visit our nation’s capital, and pay a final tribute to her fellow World War II soldiers.
At the peak of World War II, Coffey answered the call to join the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. With poise and strength, the San Antonio native served her country, eventually being awarded the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with a bronze star.
On Friday, July 25th, Coffey was flown from Austin, TX by Honor Flight Network, a non-profit organization that transports our nation’s Veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at their memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.
Coffey’s trip of her dreams began with her first stop at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. She was accompanied by a small entourage, including several family members.
Also with Coffey were volunteers from the Bexar County Veterans Service Office. They helped her get around quickly and easily, as her mobility had been greatly diminished due to a stroke last year. With an oxygen tube attached at all times, speaking is difficult, but she managed to communicate just fine, with fervent nods and smiles.
Coffey toured the memorial and enjoyed time with members from the Women’s Memorial Foundation. At a small ceremony, she received much appreciation and applause for her military service.
In 1945, Lucy was honorably discharged from the Women’s Auxiliary Corps as a sergeant, keeping her post as Army accountant and statistician for the next 13 years, serving at Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio.
Historically, women have had an uphill battle serving in the military. They have had to deal with gender stereotypes, prejudice and animosity. Recent changes that have given women a broader role in the military, with more responsibility and control than they previously had, create controversy.
Luckily, female Veterans such as Lucy Coffey provide strong role models for young women entering the military, offering a high standard of conduct, bravery, and perseverance.
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Military Connection: Army Veteran, 108 year old, Sets Precedence for Service: By Debbie Gregory