CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — A World War Two veteran from Streamwood is being featured on an upcoming Discovery Channel documentary.
Opal Waldman of Streamwood made history when she enlisted in the Army during World War Two, one of the few women who did. She was 22-years old and followed in her brothers’ footsteps. Now, the 94-year old’s story is being told. WBBM’s Michele Fiore reports.
When Opal Waldman looks back on life, on her highlights reel is the year 1945, the year she joined the army.
“My father, he thought that was very neat that I would choose the army,” Waldman laughed.
Her father already had two sons serving in World War Two.
“My brothers did everything and I was the tomboy. I had to do everything they did, so I could not let them get ahead of me,” she said.
Six weeks of training and then, she was off, serving in military hospitals in Walla Walla, Washington and Camp Roberts, California. Waldman was on the front lines of helping injured soldiers, not as a nurse, but by taking care of their hospital equipment.
“It was just a great time for me,” she said.
Waldman served for 18 months. She fell in love and got married to a Navy man, which ended her military career on the spot.
“In those days, a woman in the service got married and was discharged that very same day,” she said.
As a veteran, she’s been on the Honor Flight to Washington DC.
“That to me was an honor because I got to see the ship that my brother was on,” Waldman said.
You can hear more about Waldman on the Discovery Channel’s “Operation Fishing Freedom” this coming Sunday.