The Mom Photo Essay Project On Instagram: Two

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To use a bit of cliched pop psychology, we are the sum of our past. In order to understand who my mom is at 91, to appreciate what it is like for her to grow older and more frail, it is important to understand those past things that defined her. In 1944, my mother joined the Army: the Women's Army Corps, as it was then known. Serving her country during World War II was, I think, the most defining aspect of her life. At that point in time, the career options for women were still rather limited: teacher, telephone operator, factory worker, secretary. The WACs gave my mom an opportunity to break out of the expected roles for women, she found a sense of purpose, of pride, and even now, at 91, those years in the Army are the memories she shares most readily, and bring the biggest smile to her face. When she speaks of her time in the WACs, her sense of pride and patriotism is tangible in the air. This is a photo of her regiment. My mom can be seen two people behind the woman at the farthest point on the right of the photo (the woman is in the third row, my mom is in the fifth. They did their training in GA, and were then sent to Eglin Field in Florida.

A post shared by John Francis Nooney (@john_francis_nooney) on

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