In Honor of those who serve - Ruth Ezell
Now 90 years old, Ruth Ezell quit school and signed up for the Women's Army Corps (WAC) in 1942.
"They were only training WACs for office work and cooking," Ezell said, "and I didn't want to cook. I went to administrative school instead. I wasn't too happy about that either."
Talking to her, a person gets the impression Ezell would have preferred a more exciting option. Still, after basic training in Des Moines, Iowa, Ezell ended up going to radio school in Kansas City to learn how to receive and send coded messages.
"All the dits and the dots, you had to type at a certain speed because it came through that way," she said, adding that she was in charge of the radio station in Scott Field, Ill., after she graduated. "All I did was listen to coded messages and send coded messages. I had no idea what they said, you just automatically hear and type, put down the letters. You don't really get to see the message.
"I sat at a typewriter with earphones on my ears, that was my job. I never did go back with the cooks and the bakers."
Ezell met her husband when she was a radio operator, so she chose not to re-enlist when given the option. He was sent overseas shortly after they married and they wouldn't see each other again for two years.
"I was so excited when he got to come back a little bit early," she said. "I was nervous, too, I didn't know if I would know him. Of course I did."
She said she signed up for the WACs because she was patriotic. She still is.
"I never regretted my service," said Ezell, who lives between Carlton and Wrenshall. "I was proud of that and proud of my husband's service."
How does she suggest folks show gratitude or respect for veterans?
"You should be thankful for everything we have," Ezell said. "People should be happy and satisfied with the life they have. Quit complaining. You can't blame the whole country if you have a problem - it's your own."
~ Jana Peterson/