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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.
• 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.
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.
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
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.
Online AARP article →
PDF of physical AARP Bulletin article (different) →
History Channel page →
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.
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!"
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.
See Doris' recent email to her followers.
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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.
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.
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 →
I would say please try and work hard for peace; that's number one.
They say that war is hell and it is.
Too many broken bodies….
Channel 2 News interview
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.
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."
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.
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."
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