EIU to sponsor historic Women's Army Corps seminar
Eastern Illinois University (EIU) will give a presentation from 4 to 5:30 p.m. tomorrow, March 11, at Coles County Airport in Mattoon, featuring a Women’s Army Corps (WAC) member’s experiences as retold by her daughter.
This special event, based on Cyndee Schaffer’s book, “Mollie’s War,” will draw on true-to-life accounts of her mother, Mollie Weinstein Schaffer, who served as one of the first women besides nurses to serve overseas during World War II.
Schaffer will draw on excerpts from her mother’s letters written throughout the war as she offers the audience a realistic look into the life of a woman in uniform during this significant era.
From Mollie’s basic training in Florida in October 1943 to her return in November 1945, the talk will trace the footsteps of women serving in Europe, stationed in London, England, before D-Day and during the post-D-Day Nazi buzz bomb attacks.
The WACs were transferred to Normandy two months after D-Day, then to Paris after its liberation by the Allies, before ultimately traveling to Frankfurt, as part of the Army of Occupation. There they witnessed the graphic devastation of Germany before returning home to the U.S.
EIU hopes the presentation will inspire contemplation of women’s crucial roles in the U.S. military.