JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. --
A World War II veteran and her family visited the 36th Intelligence Squadron and the 497th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group at Joint Base Langley- Eustis, Virginia, Nov. 8, 2016.
Jeanne Benedict, former U.S. Navy Specialist 2nd Class and former member of Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service served as a cartographer in WWII for 22 months.
Established in 1942, members of WAVES were some of the first female recruits accepted into the U.S. Navy.
While on her tour of the base, Benedict witnessed how the work she did in WWII is done today. Much has changed since Benedict served, but a lot of the same things are still done today -- just in a different way.
“What you can do today compared to what I did, is like a jet plane to a horse and buggy,” said Benedict. “But, that horse and buggy did a daggum good job, with what we had and the technology we had at that time, it is absolutely amazing.”
During the tour Benedict recited her version of “It Is The Soldier” by Charles M. Province:
“It is the veteran, not the minister
who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the veteran, not the reporter
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the veteran, not the poet
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the veteran, not the campus organizer
who has given us freedom to protest.
It is the veteran, not the lawyer
who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the veteran, not the politician
who has given us the right to vote.
It is the veteran who salutes the flag,
who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protester to burn the flag.”
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col Denise Hamilton, 36 ISR Wing inspector general, helped organize the tour with Bendict as a way to honor all veterans.
“By celebrating and remembering Veterans Day, we honor veterans for selflessly answering our nation's call and ensuring the freedoms we enjoy today,” she said.