Story below by Tech Sergeant Thomas Swanson of the 102nd Intelligence Wing...
Over a dozen Airmen from Joint Base Cape Cod’s 102nd Intelligence Wing kicked off Veteran’s Day weekend by wishing U.S. Army Air Corps veteran Della Sassa a happy 102nd birthday, on November 8, 2019, at the Royal Cape Cod Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Buzzards Bay, Mass.
Originally from Glidden, Wis. Sassa is part of “the greatest generation” of World War II servicemembers, and one of the first women in U.S. History to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps, an organization which would become the U.S. Air Force in 1947.
Surrounded by fellow Airmen, Sassa shared memories of her service from 1941 to 1945 helping injured soldiers while working as a physical therapy nurse at Maxwell Field, Ala.
“It was a wonderful experience and I was glad I could do it. I look back with a lot of happy memories, in spite of the fact that there were a lot of people injured. We gave everything we had to them... I think I probably made a difference by doing that... We really did work hard, but I enjoyed every minute of it, every single minute.”
The Airmen offered their sincere thanks and appreciation for Sassa paving the way for them to serve as women in the U.S. military.
Master Sgt. Erica Griffin said, “All of us women in this room, we wouldn’t have ever been able to join if it wasn’t for people like you.”
Master Sgt Regina Baker continued, “We want to thank you very much, if you weren't able to do your job, we wouldn’t be able to be here and do our job... we’re indebted to you forever.”
Sassa expressed her appreciation for the visit saying, “You’re a grand group, you all look so handsome... Really and truly, this is a great country isn't it, it’s great to be an American!”
Sassa then led the room in a chorus of the Air Force Song and reminisced about losing her service cap in the wind while riding a motorcycle.
“I’m having so much fun today, even my feet are going!”