We Can Do It! Lina Mae Revisits Her ‘Rosie’ Past

Rosie the Riveter serves as a traditional icon of the United States, representing working women during WWII. Lina Mae, 92, has achieved many accomplishments after becoming a Rosie at 18 years old. Her hard-working efforts were acknowledged, which allowed her the privilege to help build the p51 Jet fighter planes that were used to force Japan to surrender and ultimately end WWII. On April 29, Wish of a Lifetime partnered with Brookdale Senior Living to honor Lina’s services and grant her a visit to the Rosie the Riveter Museum.

Lina serves as a woman who persevered towards success throughout her entire life. When she was growing up, her family’s status affected the way she was perceived by others. “I was 1 of 10 children, and we were looked down upon because we were a sharecropping family,” she said. Lina always had an urge for learning, pestering her siblings when they came home from school to relay what they were taught. Her yearning for education enabled her to graduate high school at the age of 16, hoping to revisit college later in life due to lack of funds. At the age of 18, Lina became a “war-wife” as her newly found husband was sent overseas to serve. 

Shortly after, she attended the Jackson State Fair where they were recruiting to train people for plane-building. Acquiring an interest, she applied for a job with North American Airlines in Dallas, TX where she found her niche in manufacturing jet fighter planes. Lina worked 12-hour night shifts aiding the United States to its overall triumph December 29, 1945. 

As a member of the Brookdale community, Lina has achieved more than a lifetime of accomplishments. At 42, she went back to college to obtain a Bachelor’s of Psychology, all while raising a family. In the midst of her achievements, she wrote a book—”Determination and Application”—which truly captures her positive attitude towards life. Lina is the epitome of perseverance and symbolizes everything the Rosies stand for. Ever since the museum opened in 2000, Lina has received mail from them. It has been her dream to visit the museum and share her story ever since. Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale Senior Living were happy to be sending Lina and her family to the Rosie Museum in Richmond, CA.

“You could never in 1000 years know how much this means to me,” Lina said, “My heart is beating out of my chest!”

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June 8, 2016