Any woman who’s ever served her country knows what it feels like when other people assume that couldn’t possibly be you. The complete look of surprise, the automatic glossing over, even the occasional angry assumption that you don’t belong. The subtle (or sometimes blatant) distrust that spurs people to challenge women on their Veteran status, while taking men at their word.
Women in the US Navy.
To join the Army and fire a gun would have been surprising enough, but when people learn that Fowler is a Navy Veteran and once drove a ship, eyes grow big and mouths hang open. “I can’t see you doing that!” is a common response. She is proud but casual about her service and responds with a smile and a shrug. It was just what she did, and she doesn’t regret it for a moment.
Being stationed in the Philippines was a tropical dream in the early 1940’s. American military personnel found themselves with easy work days that left plenty of time to play in paradise. But in December of 1941—just 10 hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor—the Japanese Imperial Army invaded the Philippine Islands.