Josephine Woytus was born in St. Louis on the sixth day of January in the year 1923.  Normally a woman does not tell her age but Ms. Josephine is proud of her years of accomplishments. Mrs. Woytus had a military oriented family and was very proud of her two brothers who served in the military. She decided to enlist with the Women’s Army Corp. (WAC) in March of 1944 and served at Fort Oglethorp, Georgia, the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and then at Fort Sheridan, Illinois as a Control Tower Operator. In February of 1946, Mrs. Woytus was honorably discharged after earning her American Theater Ribbon, Victory Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

   Two years after serving our country in the Armed Forces Josephine married her childhood sweetheart who was actively serving in the United States Air Corp, Mr. Joseph Woytus. Together they had 5 children and after their military life they settled in St. Louis.

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Young Josephine serving in the
Women’s Army Corps (WAC)

Mr. Woytus was a Veteran who resided here at the Missouri Veterans Home along with his wife until his passing. We are honored to continue in our services to and for Ms. Josephine and she loves to visit with friends and family and reminisce about the “good ole’ days”. She states, “when I remember things during my time in the military, I remember very well that we did not like to be called WACS! We were women in the Army Corp and proud of it!” During the time we interviewed Mrs. Woytus she wanted us to be sure to put that into her bio and reminded us not to exaggerate. Ms. Josephine went on to state, “Don’t make it more than what it was. We served as women trying to do our best for our country but we knew we would not be in harm’s way because of our brave men, like my brothers and husband, who protected us.”

   Josephine Woytus along with about 2000 other women who decided, they would rather be with our soldiers in the fight for freedom as opposed to waiting on the sidelines at home, set a precedence for all woman on the home front. Six million plus women entered the work force during this WWII period, mostly as factory workers or in clerical positions. It was the women such as Josephine Woytus, with their “star spangled hearts” who stood up and let women know that they too could make the difference and stand on their own within a male dominant society and time period.

   I am not sure that Ms. Josephine even considers the impact she and other women of her caliber had on our society. I am sure that each day we are blessed to be in the company of the Veterans, and to share in their stories can be awe inspiring and prompt our gratitude for the things we may not think twice on, such as WOMENS RIGHTS, FREEDOM, CHOICE……all this enlightenment through a simple conversation with a Hero!

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Josephine and her two brothers.

Josephine and her two brothers.