In the month of November the Springs’ community proudly celebrates Veterans Day. We are given the opportunity to show our appreciation to the men and women who honorable served and protected our country with upmost valor and vigor.
Adrienne Freeman is one of those unique soldiers and rare veteran examples. Adrienne joined the Auxiliary Navy just before the end of the war in 1945. She wanted to join the Navy sooner but her father was a strict authoritarian type and delayed her enlistment until she was 21 years of age. During WWII women were placed in onshore military career positions to free up the men for combat duty overseas. Her first stop was Hunter College Boot Camp where she endured the rigorous disciplines of military life. After boot camp it was on to the Great Lakes Hospital Training School in Chicago, Illinois, developing her career as a Pharmacist Mate 2nd Class. Once her 8 weeks of training was complete, she boarded a train from Chicago bound for Long Beach, California.
Adrienne found it very interesting that the train hopped north of the U.S. border into Canada before bending back south down the pacific line to Southern California. The explanation that she was given is that the troops earned an extra $100 stipend bonus for crossing over into Canada. Adrienne was eventually placed in her first job at the maternity ward of the Independence Naval Hospital. She was a little nervous to take the assignment without having any prior birthing experience. Later she was assigned to S.O.Q. (Sick Officers Quarters) duty where she had the opportunity to assist a wounded elderly officer. The older Admiral commented about Adrienne working in the military, “I have always believed that serving in the military is a man’s job but now I’m convinced that woman have an important place nurturing us back to health.“
Adrienne respectfully replied, “Sir, women are a lot better in a lot of places!”. Adrienne is grateful for the opportunity to serve her country and the many military experiences that better prepared her for life’s challenges. This is especially true after being given the chance to work for the Army civil service in Japan. It is there that she met her husband George Herbert Freeman.
They married in Yokohama, Japan on February 24th, 1949 just before Lent celebration. Adrienne commented, “I was always reminding my husband regularly how I out ranked him!” and then she chuckled.
Adrienne currently serves on the Employee Christmas Fund Committee and is an active bridge player. Adrienne we are grateful for your service & commitment to our country, family, and the Springs’ community. The full life you have enjoyed as a soldier, wife, grandmother, and current resident is very commendable. Have a delightful Veterans Day celebration. Carry on our good lady!
Interviewed by T.S.M.