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"We didn't know what was going on in the world other than what they fed us." (Audio interview, 14:32)

   Helen Minor
Collection image
Helen Minor, circa 1944-1947
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: WAC (Women's Army Corps)
Unit: O'Reilly General Hospital; Beaumont Hospital; Halloran General Hospital
Service Location: Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia; Staten Island, New York; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Springfield, Missouri; El Paso, Texas
Rank: Technical Sergeant
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For Helen Minor, military service meant extensive travel--not abroad, but to posts all around the United States, from Georgia to Missouri to Texas. When she dropped out of college in 1944 to enlist in the WACs, Minor was promised training in occupational therapy. She taught wounded soldiers how to regain the use of their limbs through simple handicrafts; she also observed the fortitude of men who remained amazingly upbeat in spite of their injuries.

Interview (Audio)
»Interview Highlights  (13 clips)
»Part 1 | Part 2 
Download: audio(1) | 
Download: audio(2) (89 min.)
»Photo Album  (1 photo)
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (13 items)
Terms of her enlistment; training as good discipline. (03:44) Army chow. (01:23) Welcoming new recruits; Spartan conditions. (01:49)
Moving to a new camp; KP duty. (03:40) Working with patients at Staten Island hospital. (03:35) Life at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. (04:23)
Description of occupational therapy. (04:13) Non-fraternization rules. (02:59) Flying cross-country on leave. (02:46)
Working with psychiatric patients. (06:07) Adapting a craft to a specific injury. (02:49) Advantages of military service for young people. (02:11)
Why she joined the service. (05:17)  

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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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