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Elsie Sees her Photo and Interviews in Library of Congress

Elsie K., age 88, is a resident at Freedom Inn at Scottsdale. Her Wish of a Lifetime was to go to Washington D.C. to view her pictures and interviews in the Library of Congress.

Some years ago when Elsie was living in Yakima, WA, a woman by the name of Susan Chadd was visiting a veteran who had served in WWII with her father. Susan wanted to learn more about her father for a project she was doing. While there, she ran into Elsie. Susan found Elsie’s story worthy of documenting and wound up interviewing her. Eventually Elsie’s photos and story were added to the Veteran’s History Project at the Library of Congress.

Elsie, who went by her maiden name at the time, served as a nurse and 1st Lieutenant for the U.S. Army aboard a hospital ship named the “Aleda E. Lutz” during WWII. This converted French luxury liner transported wounded American soldiers from Europe back to San Francisco. During her time on the ship, Elsie recalls vividly the time a soldier suffering from battle fatigue jumped overboard but they were able to turn back around in time to save him. As the nurse on the top deck, Elsie was there waiting topside to calm the nerves of the distressed soldier with a bottle of whiskey. Elsie was also known to be an entertainer as she sung for the ship’s band during the long voyages. She even sewed her own gown for these special performances.

After being honorably discharged in 1945, Elsie moved to Colorado where she eventually met her late husband John. They then settled in Yakima Valley, WA where Elsie was a school nurse for the Toppemish School District for 25 years. After she left, they needed to find 3 nurses to replace her. Obviously Elsie knew her craft!

Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale Senior Living not only recognize Elsie’s service but also recognize what a special person she is. We were so happy to grant Elsie’s Wish of a Lifetime on April 28th, 2012 by sending her to the Library of Congress to see her photo and story preserved for the benefit of generations to come. The Library even presented her with a special certificate to thank her for her service to our country!

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