World War II Army Nurse Corp Veteran 1st Lt. Doris M. (Gardner) Howard

Duration of WW2. Onboard the U.S.S. Comfort when struck by a kamikaze off Okinawa. Story →


"Greatest Generation" Coins released for preorder 2/29/24

Depicts a nurse supporting the world and includes the duration of WW2, like Doris. The obverse shows the Pacific War theater in which Doris participated as a surgical nurse in 16 battles and spent countless time in enemy territory: duty she requested.

Some proceeds benefit National WWII Memorial in DC which Doris visited at 101 and was given a royal tour of with Friends of the WWII Memorial Executive Director Holly Rotondi. There she met another WWII RN, Eleanor Rizzuto. It was as if they were old friends, immediately bonding. See Doris Does DC!

Sign up for Coin Preorder

Tribute to Doris by VA Doctor: Still Caring At 103

February 14, 2022

Doris honored to be part of The LogBook Project, concluding her entry with No More War!

LogBook Project

March 2022

Doris honored by Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).

Washington, D.C., staff member Capt. Frank J. Michael, USN (Ret), Program Director, Council and Chapter Affairs, flew to the Sierra Nevada local chapter for the St. Patrick's Day dinner to present Doris with a certificate of honor, a personal note from President and CEO, Lt. Gen. Dana T. Atkins, USAF (Ret), and a MOAA challenge coin.

October 2021: Doris Does DC!

Wish of a Lifetime grants long-hoped for wish.

Doris is declared a Living Legend at National Military Women's Memorial

Flag flown at the Memorial and presented to Doris along with certificate.

Doris tours:

Story, Photogallery →

Palm Springs

May 2021: Doris Returns to Beloved Palm Springs

• Doris fêted at Desert Regional Hospital during National Nurse and Hospital Weeks

• Doris and Bill tour Air Museum and hospital where nurses and staff come out in droves to meet their newfound hero.

• Doris receives Palm Springs proclamation for "Doris Howard Day" PDF

• Spectacular flyover of WW2-era troop carrier C-47 saluting Doris directly over El Mirador hotel tower where she arrived 79 years ago.

• Doris lavished with flowers, gifts, medals and honors from hospital, city, local groups

• Doris and Bill given personal docent tours of closed museums: Ruddy's General Store and Corneila White's house.

Full Story →

Doris and Lauren

May 2021: Washoe County Interview Older Adults Month

Doris was contacted in April by Washoe County hoping to do a story on Doris for a series of interviews for Older Americans Month to be aired throughout the month of May

Doris met Joshua the producer and Lauren Walker, a paid intern with the Washoe County Manager's Office.

Doris was the first interview of Lauren's career. Lauren remarked afterward that she will never forget that her first interview of her career was with a 101 year old WW2 nurse to hear about all the interesting adventures she's had throughout her intrepid life.

Video on Facebook →


Memorial to Brooks, 8/10/2007 - 2/9/2022

Our beloved family member (canine), Brooks, The Happiest Dog in the World, passed away peacefully in our home in early February, the day before his 14½ birthday.

Adopted from the Nevada Humane Society as a 1 year old on 8/10/2008, Brooks was our constant companion for 13½ years, traveling with us on so many adventures including Palm Springs last year.

Having spent the duration of the WW II as a post-surgery nurse in 16 D-Day campaigns, I saw the moment of death many, many times.

I have never seen it so peaceful as when Brooks went to sleep in our arms. —Doris

Memorial page →


March 2021: Doris and Caregiver Son Bill Vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) through VA

Both fully vaccinated as of March 29, 2021.

Doris was in the first tier for vaccination eligibility.

Though Bill is in the general population with no underlying health conditions, the VA offers registered sole family caregivers vaccination when their veteran becomes eligible "to help protect the Veteran."

Both received the booster when available to them.

July 2020: Doris Interviewed in AARP BULLETIN


Online AARP article →
PDF of physical AARP Bulletin article (different) →

May 2020: HISTORY CHANNEL page on Doris/Comfort

History Channel

History Channel interview of Doris →

2020: Worldwide Year of the Nurse

nursing pin

Nurses and midwives play a vital role in providing health services.

These are the people who devote their lives to caring for mothers and children; giving lifesaving immunizations and health advice; looking after older people and generally meeting everyday essential health needs.

They are often, the first and only point of care in their communities.

Caregiver Honor

Doris' son Bill has been recognized by the VA Sierra Nevada Healthcare Center In appreciation for your tireless dedication as an exceptional Caregiver for a Veteran! for the 2020 Nevada Caregivers Coalition 14th Annual Linda Carr Caregiver Recognition Luncheon (virtual this year). Facebook post. This was particularly humbling as only 5 VA caregivers were recognized in this statewide event. Bill received Congressional recognition from 2 Nevada Representatives and Nevada's Governor Sisolak.

Doris joined Bill for the Zoom recognition event.

"Bill certainly deservers this. In the Army Nurse Corps in 1942, I think we were the first in the medical field to work 12 hours on/12 hours off. Now, that seems to be how most of the nursing medical staff works, except we did that 7 days a week!

But Bill's work is 12 on and 12 hours on! Congratulations, Son! You deserve it!"

Doris, Bill, Brooks

75 Years Ago Today
April 28, 1945

Kamikaze Engine

Wonderful tribute to USS Comfort on the 75th Anniversary of the kamikaze strike with interview of Doris at 100 by noted best selling WW2 author and historian Alex Kershaw on his

Facebook and Twitter

Please give them both a read and likes/loves! They are different stories and pics.


Coincidentally, Nevada National Guard "High Rollers" executed a fly-by of local hospitals to honor Covid-19 pandemic front-line workers, today, April 28, 2020.

"I send my respect and gratitude to the frontline workers of this new war. I hope you are safe and as cared for as you all so richly deserve."

See Doris' recent email to her followers.

Sign up here.

Through Our Eyes - VA My Life/My Story articles highlighting 14 women veterans, including Doris

Our Eyes

VA My Life/My Story with Reno Is Artown
Through Our Eyes exhibit

Doris honored with 13 other women whose life and stories were presented by the Sierra Nevada VA My Life/My Story Through Our Eyes, with portraits by the photography group, in association with Reno is Artown, May 2018, age 98.

Interim Secretary of Veterans Affairs O'Rourke and Disabled American Veterans [DAV] National Commander Metcalf-Foster in attendance.

My Life/My Story 2 My Life/My Story 3

Women’s veterans exhibit in Carson through Nov. 27

Nevada Appeal Article, Nov 16, 2023.

100 Years! 1920 ~ 2020

Doris' 3 big birthday bashes are canceled. She is sheltering in place with her son.

Doris is looking forward to festivities in the future as a survivor of 2 pandemics, Spanish Flu and COVID-19.

‼️ 💯 ‼️
🥳 Email birthday wishes to Doris! 🎂

Poppy Grand Marshal, Reno Veterans Day Parade 🇺🇸

Doris Howard portrait
Veterans Day Parade Portrait by John Knott, 9/13/19.
Sadly, the wonderfully talented photo-artist has passed away. RIP, John. 💜

Photo: Miles Buergin, News Center 4

News 4 story

Today, the city of Reno gave her the honor of being the Grand Marshall of the Veterans Day Parade through downtown Reno.

Mayor Hillary Schieve even honored this Veterans Day as "Doris Howard's Day" by proclamation.

Story, video →

Parade Poster
City of Reno Events page for more information.

Doris receives her WW2 Medals for the first time

On November 1, 2019, Doris received her WW2 medals for the first time, courtesy Starlyn Lara, Northern Nevada Veterans Resource Center, Reno. They were ordered through son Bill's studies with the State of Nevada Veterans Services Nevada Veterans Advocate certification, but they weren't to come until May 2020, well into Doris' 100th year. Starlyn made sure Doris would have them for the parade.

These are:

Doris at 100 1/2

I am so very grateful for the overwhelming parade of honors I am receiving. And especially to Linda Dickerson of Reno Nevada Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 989 for her kind nomination.

I am deeply honored to represent all Northern Nevada veterans who have given so much so selflessly in the service of their country.

And it is such an honor to be Co-Grand Marshall with Ionnis Lourgaris who had done so much for veteran's healthcare throughout the region for so many decades which has resulted in this marvelous VA hospital we are all so proud of."

Doris waited 18 months for her new ribbon. Unfortunately, it is incorrect according to her discharge papers. Doris made 16 D-Days on hospital ships in convoy with invading US forces, taking territory in the Pacific from the New Guinea Campaign, the Battle of Hollandia and the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines north to the Battle of Okinawa. Silver stars represent 5 battles. But the single bronze star for the Philippine Liberation is missing.

Article: Reno Gazette Journal

RGJ article

USNS COMFORT Change of Command Ceremony

Comfort 2010

Baltimore, Maryland

July 2010

Age 90

Story: Aboard the USNS Comfort, 2010 →

Newspaper Clippings

Doris in RnRLife stories: A new program documents the lives of local veterans
Reno News and Review
August 1, 2019

I was so honored when my VA doctor, Helena Russell, whom I love, suggested I speak with the My Life/My Story people. Then I got to meet Christina Burr and we became fast friends. There couldn't be a more perfect person, it seems to me, to be at the helm of this wonderful program. She's been a soldier, knows what it's like to be in service to our county and knows what it takes to navigate the corridors of the many VA programs that benefit those who gave so much.

I not only got to know wonderful Chrysta through this program, but it was so good for me to get the whole story of my fascinating time in the war out finally, 75 years later. I left the war unexpectedly with an honorable discharge and went home, but no one in my family wanted to hear the many things I had been through and no one else had come back from the war yet, so there was no one to talk to. I moved to San Francisco within a month to be near some of the nurses from the Comfort. But they had families starting. The VA in San Francisco told me they didn't care for women, but I could go down to Palo Alto, a long way away. So I just let the years go by, tending to my own family and let go of the war years, though I remember every minute as if it were yesterday.

Now, all of a sudden, since I started my story with Chrysta, many people want to hear it. At 99, this is something new for me! And it's opened many doors with organizations I'm now associated with and I re-started my application for Service Connected Disabilities for a third and hopefully final time with the help of people I met through this program. It truly has been life-changing for me. So very grateful.

Do take a look at this wonderful article and the amazing stories My Life/My Story is capturing.

Reno Gazette Journal article, July 14, 2010


Reno Nurse, 90, Recalls Kamikaze Attack on Hospital Ship, page 1 [pdf]

Reno Nurse, 90, Recalls Kamikaze Attack on Hospital Ship, page 2 [pdf]

Doris on the Floor of the Nevada State Assembly

Howard introduced as a special guest by Assembly Member Chris Edwards of Las Vegas

Military & Veterans Day, 3/20/2019

Three days before her 99th birthday
The "60th celebration of her 39th birthday," as Assembly Member Edwards put it

I was excited to be at the Legislature to honor veterans on Military Day. When Assemblyman Edwards got up to speak and mentioned someone special he wanted to introduce, I looked around anxious to see who this might be.

When I heard my name I was floored! I wanted to crawl under his desk! One of my hearing aids went out and I wasn't able to hear all he said, but then I was really astonished when the clapping started and I looked up and there everyone was on their feet! For me!

And then I realized that they were clapping for all the veterans of Nevada, old and young, female and male, all those who gave so selflessly to give so much to our country. I, too, thank each and every veteran and am so grateful for their service, their sacrifice and that of their families.

A big thank you to Assemblyman Edwards who was great to speak with that day and who did a wonderful job of researching my life and recounting it in a unique and humbling way.

It was wonderful to see so many people. I've never shaken so many hands in my life! A lot of people took photos with me near my biography and portrait in the lobby of the Admin building with 13 other wonderful women veterans. I was delighted to see all of them.

Recap of the day in the Nevada Department of Veteran Services article,
"If It's Veterans and Military Day, It Must Be Carson City."

Nonagenarian Birthdays

In Sedona 96
95 RGJ photo

Challenge Coin Collection

The story of Challenge coins goes back to WWI when a lieutenant minted special coins for all those in his unit as a symbol of unity and loyalty. A member of this unit was mistaken for a German saboteur and presented his coin to French soldiers as proof of his allegiance to the Allies. Because of the coin, his life was spared. Other members in his unit then started always carrying their coin.

Today the Challenge coins are an important part of unofficial military honors. Many military and veteran organizations have their own coins and even NCOs and officers will create their own coins to hand out to persons they respect or want to recognize.

It is my honor to have been able to give Doris one of our Chapter coins.
— Linda Dickinson, Past President
Vietnam Veterans of America, Sierra Nevada Chapter 989

VA Coin VA Coin Flip VVA Coin VVA Coin Flip MOAA Coin MOAA Coin Flip

Doris is proud to be have memberships and associations with

AUSA MOAA American Legion
Together We Served Rally Point
Nevada Department of Veterans Services Adopt A Vet
Post 1
American Legion Nevada Department Darrell Dunkle Post 1, Reno. Photo by John Knott. Doris seated at right.
license plate WW2RN

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