While I was working on the newspaper Monday, I was reading an obituary (See Page 2) about a woman that was in the Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II. As we like to do for veterans who have passed, we put an American flag with their obituary. I looked to see if the Cadet Nurse Corps were considered veterans. What I found out caught my interest.
For some background, the Cadet Nursing Corps was authorized by the Congress in 1943 and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The purpose of the act was to alleviate the nursing shortage that existed during World War II. The program was open to all women between the ages of 17-35 and graduated high school.
The women would go on to serve the military, VA and private hospitals and in public health agencies until the end of the program in Dec. 31, 1948.
Anyway, flash back to 2021. I discovered that the Cadet Nurse Corps’ veterans status was originally in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). It looked as if these women would finally receive recognition for their service. But as the bill passed through Congress, the provision ended up on the cutting room floor. The reason suggested on why the provision was removed was due to the fact that it would require additional funds to provide benefits for these veterans and their families.
While hope still remains as Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, see a chance for a standalone bill to pass on its own. The bill itself would required the Pentagon to consider the service of women who served in the corps from July 1, 1943 to Dec. 31, 1948 “active military service” and no later than a year after the bill became law, the Secretary of Defense would be required to issue each member of the Cadet Nurse Corps an honorable discharge. That recognition would then qualify Cadet Nurses for burial benefits, medals and other commendations, but not for major veteran benefits such as Veterans Affairs pensions or health care provided to other vets, according to connectingvets.com.
After reading several stories online, I hope that these women and their families will be able to receive the recognition they deserve. During a time when the world was at war, our country pulled itself up by the bootstraps, pitched in and sacrificed for the betterment of our country. These are the people that made America great.
Jared Allen — my favorite Viking
Last week, former Minnesota Viking defensive end Jared Allen was named one of 15 finalists for the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. Allen, in his first year of eligibility, joins names like Calvin Johnson, Torry Holt, Peyton Manning, John Lynch, Zach Thomas, Charles Woodson and others on the list that will be whittled down to 10 then to the five selected for induction. Allen’s credentials are there as he has registered 136 sacks, including a season with 22, 648 career tackles, 19 fumble recoveries, six interceptions, five Pro Bowl selections and four First Team All-Pro nods.
On a personal level, Allen became my favorite player a year after he had joined the Vikings. I was watching MTV’s “Cribs” and saw his Scottsdale, Arizona home on there. The thing that made him become my all-time favorite player is his humor. As he was showing the film crew around his house, he went to his gym and got an ab machine and started doing reps. “Pool season, pool season,” he chanted after each rep. I loved that he was a guy that was goofy and didn’t seem to take things too serious.
Later in life, I got a brief meeting with Allen as a friend and I went to training camp. We stood in line and got his autograph and wished him a great season. Once again, just a laid back guy, having a great time.
With my love of football and the mulleted end’s play, I even named my son, Jared.
While it is a big hill to climb for Allen to make it to the final five, I hope that the Hall of Fame takes a good look at him for the 2021 Class. And if they let him in ... like he has said before “things are going to get weird.”
Zach Stich is the managing editor at the Fergus Falls Daily Journal.