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Physical Therapists: The Girl Next Door Goes to War

During WWII, thousands of American women served their country on the front lines and on the homefront as physical therapists (PTs). PTs served in every theatre of war: the European, Pacific, Mediterranean, and China-Burma-India. They served in combat zones, on hospital ships, and at stateside hospitals. They served with courage, ingenuity, dedication and the "can-do" spirit that has come to symbolize their generation.

 
As Major General Jeanne M. Holm (USAF ret.) writes,
 
"They served selflessly ­ healing the injured in locations more global, more varied, and more distant from their homeland, than had any American women in their professions before them. They were awarded military decorations for heroism in North Africa, Sicily, and the Pacific. They were all volunteers, either as civil service personnel at the war's beginning or volunteering to serve as commissioned officers afterlegislation was passed. They were well educated. Some were married, some single, and, yes, some met their husbands in the military. They loved their country and enriched its traditions with their bravery. They were the girls next door."

­ From: In Defense of a Nation: Servicewomen in World War II by Major General Jeanne M. Holm, USAF (ret), Vandemere Press, 1998.

Patricia Stewart in uniform    Patricia Stewart with some of her friends who strike a pose in the Pyrenees Mountains
Lt. Patricia Stewart in uniform (on the left) and (on the right) with some
of her friends who strike a pose in the Pyrenees Mountains.

 

  
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