President Obama paid respect to Emma Didlake, the nation's oldest living veteran on Friday, July 17. Didlake, who dedicated her time and service during WWII, is 110-years-old.
"We are so grateful that she is here with us today," he said while she sat beside him. "And it's a great reminder of not only the sacrifices that the Greatest Generation made on our behalf, but also the kind of trailblazing that our women veterans made, African-American veterans who helped to integrate our Armed Services. We are very, very proud of them so that's why we've got to make sure we do right by them."
ABC News reports that Didlake, who was born in Boligee, Alabama in 1905, joined the Women's Army Auxilliary Corps in 1943 at 38, while serving as a wife and mother of five. Her decision to join the army wasn't easy for her as she lived during a period when the south was severely segregated and women were expected to remain at home. During her time in the army, she earned the rank of Private and served for seven months stateside as a driver.
Following the war, her efforts to serve her country, and more specifically, her people, didn't stop. She joined the NAACP and marched with Dr. Matin Luther King Jr. in 1963. Just two years ago, the local chapter of the organization honored her with a lifetime achievement award.
During her service, she has earned many awards and distinctions for her military contribution including the Women's Army Corps Service Medal, American Campaign Medal and World War II Victory Medal.
President Obama shared his special moment with the American heroine in this tweet:
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