“She is wearing an American flag shirt today, and she has a story to share,” exclaimed one of our Food Hub team members. And Linda does have quite a story to share. She has been coming to the Lancaster County Food Hub for over 4 years.
“I am an original WAC, Women’s Auxillary Core. I went in basic training in 1973 in Fort McLelin, Alabama. I was a WAC then. I wore the Palace of Thena, that was the name of the solider you wore on your brass. And then your identification was the United States Army. I think I was in basic training for about 3 or 4 weeks, and then we were no longer WACs anymore, and I said what’d they do that for? and they said, ‘they phased it out,’ to what they call the new modern army.
I was in the service for 7 years.
I went to Fort Jackson, South Carolina, for admin school. After I graduated from admin school, I became a clerk, because this is where they began opening up basic training. Not only that, a lot of things also caused me to take up other responsibilities, such as a rape counselor, and I’m also a chaplain.
I’ve had the opportunity to help a lot of people.
And those that are civilians out there, in areas that are less severe, you don’t know. Because everything you think about in the military is “peachy-keen.” They have sexual harassment, I had my journey and episode in that. Back then, everything was put under the rug, and I said well, this is not happening.
When I got out of the military, I worked at the York Hospital. And I became a chaplain there. I just couldn’t get away from this chaplain [role]!
That’s where my heart’s desire really is. To be a chaplain, and go back to school, because that is what I will have to do. There is a chaplain school in Virginia Beach. I’d have to go there and get my piece of paper. And then I can sit down and listen to people and pray.
Being a chaplain is different. There are a lot of beliefs out here and what I believe has nothing to do with you and me. It’s the fact that we have to sit down and listen to what people have to say, and that helps them.
I didn’t go in there looking for some bold experience; I just went to help people. I’ve been taken away from those positions by people. I’ve had doors shut in my face, and I thought, well, just walk away.
Chaplains really changed the way people looked.
They’re there to help.
You need to be where your heart is.
I’ve always known through all this, where I am supposed to be. And that’s why I serve.”
In closing, Linda shared, “I hope this helps a lot of people.”
At Lancaster County Food Hub, we are blessed to be able to serve people like Linda, who have served our country. We are filled with gratitude for all who have served our country, and for those who continue to serve in the military. We remember those who have died while serving our country with honor and respect.