August 19, 2014
At the age of 100 Mildred Pretzer is officially a decorated officer. However, her awards didn't come easy.
Seventy years after serving in World War II as part of the Women's Army Corps (WAC) her son started looking into possible medals that she earned.
"We found that they had neglected to give me credit for my WAC service," says Pretzer.
She then called Senator Tim Kaine's office asking if there was anything they could do about the accolades she so well deserved.
"This particular request to have a 100 year old World War II veteran woman saying 'I think I’m entitled to some medals that I never got, can you help me figure it out.' it was a very special one," says Sen. Kaine, (D) Virginia.
Senator Kaine awarded Mildred Hopkins Pretzer the Army Good Conduct Medal, the WAC service medal, the American Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the Honorable Service Lapel Pin.
"We have women serving now in every capacity of the military,” says Sen. Kaine. “The combat exclusion was dropped back in January of 2013 so now even combat MOS's are being opened up to women.”
“I think it's important for them to know that they aren't first, that there were people who blazed the trail for them," explains Sen. Kaine.
For other women who are serving in the armed forces, “Millie” gave a few words of wisdom.
“Be proud of it, there is much to be offered to them and I think that it's not to be discouraged.”
Pretzer says that this day was one the highlight of her life, but she most proud of being a mother and a wife of 64 years.
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