After reading the AARP article on Doris' bravery for the duration of the war, including duty on the USS Comfort in convoy on 16 D-Day battles in the Pacific, notably the Battle of Okinawa where she was injured when a kamikaze's plane hit the surgical ward from which she was receiving post-op patients, the philanthropic group, Wish of a Lifetime, made a call and offered Doris something special of her choosing.
Many ideas were tossed around, but Doris kept coming back to a service she had heard of that took Veterans to Washington DC, but the trip of 2½ days, including travel, was not an option for her.
Wish of a Lifetime co-ordinator Jared Bloomfield offered a 6-day trip with a personalized itinerary. Doris now had her dream come true!
Wish Lead Jeremy Garver took over the planning and the trip began to take shape.
That was June 2020.
And then Covid happened.
The trip dates were planned 3 times before a window of opportunity opened for Fall, 2021. The worry that the weather might be too cool to promenade along the National Mall was soon assuaged as 80-85° highs were forecast. For Doris, who loves the desert, this couldn't have been more perfect. Son Bill got Brooks' (canine) needs settled and helped his mother get ready for her Wish of a Lifetime journey.
(Doris DC Trip Announcement)
The Journey Begins
Doris after her first manicure since her wedding in 1947, Sparks Marina, NV.
Bouquet awaiting in her Crystal City hotel suite. She was so sad to leave the flowers behind. Red, white and Blue!
Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
Wish of a Lifetime planned for the war memorials, but asked Doris what one thing would she like to do or see in Washington. Without hesitancy she opted for the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.
Doris wore a bracelet her Pyramid Lake Paiute friend, Ivy Wright-Bryan, made for "Little Mama" years before. Can be seen in the last Botanic Garden photo.
Doris has long felt that the treatment of Native Americans by the government was wrong. As a child who grew up on an island in Kenosha, Wisconsin, she learned about the Fox and the Potawatomi tribes that had lived on the island ahead of her ancestors who arrived in 1860.
Jeremy Garver of Wish of a Lifetime takes Doris around the enormous museum. Though he's hosted many trips for Veterans, the museum was a first for him, too.
These beaded shoes really caught Doris' eye.
Outside the National Museum of the American Indian
Native American Veterans Memorial. Doris knew a Navajo nurse briefly on the USS Comfort. She had wanted to get to know her more, but the busy life of 12 hour shifts didn't leave a lot of room for socializing.
The United States Botanic Garden
Splendid weather made for a charming tour of the gardens. Doris loves warm weather and sunshine and we had it in abundance touring the exterior gardens of the Botanic Garden. The Arboretum was closed to the public due to the pandemic.
Wish of a Lifetime purchased a Pacific Northwest Native-inspired shawl/blanket at the Museum of the American Indian for Doris which she loves.
Jeremy Garver poses with Doris in the gardens on a splendid day.
Doris enjoyed the Autumn weather in DC so much, she would like to move there. Jeremy reminded her that Summer weather is brutal.
Enjoying a lovely day.
The Capitol was closed to the public due to the pandemic.
Doris really wanted to watch how the wheels of government turn in the Senate and/or House, but was happy at least to see the building.
One of three limousines Doris was treated to by Wish of a Lifetime's first-class treatment.
On the way home, Jeremy had us stop by the Marine Corps War Memorial, a.k.a., the Iwo Jima Memorial. Doris' husband's brother, Les, claimed to be a model for the statue.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
A lifelong lover of large rivers, Doris was delighted to sit near the banks of the Potomac.
Doris and son Bill had a take out picnic dinner at sunset near the banks of the Potomac.
The reflecting pool in The Reach area of the Kennedy Center.
For her one evening free, Doris opted to see a performance at the Kennedy Center.
Doris preparing to hear the National Symphony perform at the Kennedy Center.
National Mall and Memorial Parks
In front of the oh so familiar Lincoln Memorial. A penny for her thoughts.
Jeremy Garver's kind heart on display as he delights every time he can take a Veteran to a spot they've always wanted to see.
Seeing the seated Lincoln up close. Doris was in awe of his spectacular size.
National World War 2 Memorial
Doris telling one of the many stories she remembers from her time during the duration of WWII.
Enormous Medal of World War 2
A surprise meeting: 2 centenarian WWII RNs.
Doris' son Bill was amazed at how quickly and deeply the two bonded. It seemed as if they had known each other for years. They have shared experiences only a WWII RN would.
Cameras came from all over the Memorial to snap a pic of the 2 WWII nurses.
Doris feeling proud to be part of the Victory at Sea
Remembering her fallen comrades. Here we mark the price of freedom.
Lincoln Memorial from the WWII Remembrance pool.
Doris at the remembrance pillar and wreath for her enlistment state of Wisconsin.
One of the many friezes embedded in the WWII Memorial, this one depicts women in service.
Friends of WWII Memorial Facebook post.
Doris' husband of 59 years was named Texas. With son Bill.
Memorializing the War in the Pacific where Doris participated in 16 D-Day battles.
Women In Military Service For America Memorial, Arlington Cemetery
Passing the National headquarters of the Red Cross.
Doris stopped by the White House on the way. Pandemic closure kept her from going in and offering advice.
Early history of women helping with war efforts.
Honorary Herstory web page at the Memorial.
Touring the museum.
First class personal tour of the inspiring history of women in the military from Marilla.
Hall of Honor where Doris was presented with three certificates and a flag raised in the hall in her honor.
American flag raised for Doris in the Women In Military Service For America Memorial at the entrance to Arlington Cemetery.
Certificate declaring Doris a Living Legend.
Doris receives flag raised in her honor from Marilla Cushman.
Tour of Arlington Cemetery starting with the Military Women's Memorial.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was meaningful for Doris having tended to hundreds of soldiers in post-surgery wards for the duration of WWII where they were on their way to recovery; but also some were lost, too many upon arrival. Also especially meaningful the memorial to combat nurses where Doris remembered her friends lost in the bombing of the USS Comfort.
Doris with one her many limousine drivers.
The National Mall after taking off from Reagan National Airport.