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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)

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   Helen Minor
Image of Helen Minor
Helen Minor, circa 1944-1947
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: WAC (Women's Army Corps)
Service Location: Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia; Staten Island, New York; Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; O'Reilly General Hospital, Springfield, Missouri; Beaumont Hospital, El Paso, Texas
Rank: Technical Sergeant
Place of Birth: NY
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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)
»Complete Interview  (89 min.)
Download: audio (1) | audio (2)
»Transcript
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 Audio (Interview Excerpts) (13 items)
Description of occupational therapy. (04:13) Life at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri. (04:23) Working with patients at Staten Island hospital. (03:35)
Moving to a new camp; KP duty. (03:40) Welcoming new recruits; Spartan conditions. (01:49) Army chow. (01:23)
Terms of her enlistment; training as good discipline. (03:44) Why she joined the service. (05:17) Advantages of military service for young people. (02:11)
Adapting a craft to a specific injury. (02:49) Working with psychiatric patients. (06:07) Flying cross-country on leave. (02:46)
Non-fraternization rules. (02:59)  
  
 
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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