98-year-old veteran shares experiences as one of the first WACs during World War II

Catherine Polli: One of the first women to join the women's branch of the U.S. Army (November 18, 2017)

During National Veterans and Military Families Month, we honor the contributions by the men and women who’ve served our country.  

One of those veterans is World War II Veteran Catherine Polli, from Auburn, California. Polli goes by ‘Kay’, and was one of the first 500 women to join the Women’s Army Corps in the early 1940s. 

Members of the WAC were the first females – other than nurses – to serve within the ranks of the U.S. Army.

“We just had a great time. Back in New England, we started the first recruiting office of all women recruiters,” Polli explains.  

That duty took her all over the country. “Philadelphia, Baltimore, the Carolina’s, I was in Texas. I recruited my own sister, I was so proud of her,” adds Polli. 

The 98-year-old recalls meeting First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt as one of the highlights during the two and a half years she served.  

Once a month, Polli meets with other members of the WAC Veterans Association-Army Women United to share their different experiences, and also plan activities of service to civilian hospitals, nursing homes, senior citizens, and other organizations. 

“When we get together at our meetings, we have that comradery, and that is something that nobody else can share like we can as women veterans who have been in the military,” said Lorna Perrigo. 

If you'd like to join the WAC-Veterans Association-Army Women United chapter in Sacramento, email Clara Chapala at clarachapala3916@att.net or call (916) 361-9026. 

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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