In addition to honoring our World War II veterans, I want to give credit to the women of that era, whose sacrifices and contributions to the war effort are often forgotten. Let’s consider three examples.

In addition to honoring our World War II veterans, I want to give credit to the women of that era, whose sacrifices and contributions to the war effort are often forgotten. Let’s consider three examples.


The late Martha Baxley of Denison wrote about accompanying her soldier-husband Glenn to New Orleans in 1942 after their hasty nuptials (she was 16). There she learned how to do welding in a shipyard, in order to pay their living expenses.


She spent the month of July in a 3-foot-wide steel cubicle wearing heavy jeans and a shirt, a hard hat and a hood on her head, welding torch in gloved hands as sweat poured down her spine and legs. In three weeks, she was a member of the pipefitters union, earning the unheard-of salary of $45 a week. It wasn’t long, however, before Glenn was transferred to Florida and Martha got a pink slip because the shipyard had too many welders.


Mariam Nolen Graham, who now lives in Gainesville, was one of the early recruits in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, created on May 15, 1942, and directed by Oveta Culp Hobby of Houston. As a statuesque and also very intelligent woman, Mariam rose rapidly through the ranks to become an officer. Their service manual was entitled: "Your Job: To Replace Men. Be Ready To Take Over." The corps was converted to full status as the WAC in 1943, and 150,000 women served in it during WWII. Mariam was deployed to Sydney in 1944.


Ann Van Wynen Thomas completed her law degree at the University of Texas in 1943 and entered the U.S. Foreign Service. After spying for the OSS (our intelligence agency during WWII) in Portugal, she served in South Africa before taking on assignments in London and the Netherlands as the war ended. Her work in reopening an American Embassy in The Hague in Holland resulted in her meeting Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and also making a hazardous drive into Frankfurt, Germany, during the immediate postwar period.


These and many other women should be remembered, along with the men we honor, on Nov. 11.


Happy Veterans Day to those celebrating a birthday today including Dianne Harp of Calera, Okla.; Shirley Waldrum, Kaci Beene, Dylan Matthew Mintz, Horace Mills, Donna Walker, all of Sherman; Shari Gillespie of Hurst; Edward Moore, Linda Murray and Yoana Buchanan, all of Denison; Koby Parsons of Sadler; Joyce Smith White of Walnut Springs; twins Don & Jon Sadler of Leonard; Emily Snider of Van Alstyne.


Happy Anniversary to David Goiner and Micaela Hoops of Sherman — 2 years; George and Beverly DeHorney of Denison — 42 years.