Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Dale Mabry Project Rough Draft #9: Gray Ladies

War World two played a significant part in everyone’s life. All walks of life lived here, from being a child of a soldier to being a mechanic that works on aircrafts. The war was a major event that left its mark on many places in America, one of those places being Dale Mabry Field:
“In November 1929, the City of Tallahassee celebrated the grand opening of Dale Mabry Field. Named after the famed World War I Army pilot and Tallahassee native Captain Dale Mabry (1891-1922), the airfield became the city's first municipal airport. On January 24, 1941, Dale Mabry Field became an Army base where officers and enlisted men trained, lived, and socialized in barracks and buildings located onsite. Once the United States entered World War II, thousands more soldiers entered the base and Dale Mabry Field took on an important role in the country's war effort. Not only did Americans train at Dale Mabry Field, but Chinese and French cadets also travelled to the base to complete their training.”(Florida Memory 1)

This field was home to many soldier and people who contributed to producing the many aircrafts that took off into the war from here. The women of the war became the backbone in many ways. “The Gray Ladies” played one of the more traumatic roles but they are the reason many soldier made it through the war.

             Being a Gray Lady wasn’t the easiest job to have. Many of them took care of mangled men that were wounded during battle and hospitalized at Dale Mabry Field. Many of them went through rigorous trainings in order to perform medical care. Most of their services were to provide blood centers for major disaster. They served overseas and in several hospitals all across America.

“The term "Gray Ladies" refers to American Red Cross volunteers who for many years provided friendly, personal services of a non-medical nature to sick, injured, and disabled patients in American hospitals, other health-care facilities, and private homes. Their work ranged from writing letters, reading, tutoring, and shopping for patients to serving as guides to visitors and as hostesses in hospital recreation rooms and at information desks. Gray Ladies also provided hospitality services in Red Cross Blood Centers and joined forces with other Red Cross workers in caring for disaster victims.”(Watson 1)
The soldiers very well knew the Gray ladies they cared for one of these soldiers was Don Murtha. He served during the Korean War as an U.S. Air Force chief. After a bomb on a plane, that was suppose to have fallen during previous flight, exploded it left Murtha on fire and temporarily blind. 
After this accident he was no longer able to serve as a soldier. “He would spend months in hospitals in Korea, Japan and San Francisco. He would undergo 18 operations and various skin grafts.” (Steven 1). Every day “The Gray Ladies” would entertain him bringing him crafts, making phone calls to his relatives, and keeping him company until he recovered.
Even though “The Gray Ladies” name died out as the war ended, to this day Red Cross is still thriving in Tallahassee. They gave many men hope during the war and it is a well know volunteer program to this day that has helped give back many lives to people with diseases, disasters and continues to help with the armed forces. 

The women who provided care for Dale Mabry Field not only left there marks on Tallahassee but on many of the citizens who lived here during that time. Today the Red Cross is the number one trusted profession in the United States and continue to provide comfort to people in need.

Works Cited:

Florida Memory. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. .

Mayar, Steven. “TheBakersfieldCaliforinian.com “The Bakersfield Californian. N.p., 29 Dec.2009. Web. 11 Apr. 2014.

Watson,Susan. “Red Cross Retrospective- The Gray Ladies Service.” Red Cross Retrospective - The Gray Lady Service. N.p., 18 Nov. 2013. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. .

Comments: Fantastic start, 99% of the way done. This reads like a report and it needs to be adjusted a little to become a story that has never been told before.