Strictly G.I. Letters from a WAAC is a woman’s historical World War II Memoir created from an actual collection of letters and Vmail. Wanda served in the 149th WAAC Post Hq. Co., the first group of Womens Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) during World War II to be sent overseas. “Strictly G.I.” is a phrase my grandmother used to describe herself. She advanced quickly in the ranks, and shared her proudest moments in the letters, beginning with her initial training in Des Moines to marches before the general in North Africa. She also shares more humorous moments and interesting observations.
Here is a quote from one Vmail:
“We have a radio in our “room” and whenever we get a short wave station from the states, it makes a person stop and think. You don’t know – you can’t possibly know what war really is – in all reality.”
These historical letters have been transcribed in chronological order. Also included are a forward and “postscript” from Wanda’s grandaughter. The letters have never been published until now. The letters document Wanda’s training in 1942 at Fort Des Moines, Iowa to the dispatch of her unit overseas to French North Africa. Wanda’s portrayal of life as a teletypist is lively and descriptive. The letters also record her perspective of the media’s portrayal of the WAACs. Also unfolding in the letters is her concern for her male counterparts, and her growing affection for one special soldier.
Women in America will be inspired Wanda’s witt and resilience. Unlike servicemen, the auxiliaries could not receive overseas pay or government life insurance. If they became sick or wounded, they would not receive veterans’ hospitalization. If they were killed, their parents received no death gratuity.
Enjoy this first person account of WWII from the perspective of a hard-working and very human female soldier.
Patricia (Patti) Arnold has always enjoyed writing and grew up reading books. She was born in Owosso, Michigan and raised in Bancroft, Michigan. She traveled the United States during her early adolescent years, occasionally living in remote places like Kalaloch, Washington and warmer settings such as Seminole, Florida; the home of her grandfather, aunt and uncle. She graduated from Owosso High School in 1988.
In 2005, she moved to Fountain, Michigan where she lives today with her two daughters, Jessica and Lisa Arnold. Both girls are also artists and authors of books for children. Patricia is also is an accomplished graphic designer and artist. She has excelled academically, receiving degrees in art, graphic design and marketing. She will receive her Masters Degree in Computer Science in April of 2012.
Her collaboration with her grandmother, “Strictly G.I. The WWII Letters of Cpl. Wanda M. Renn” was written posthumously and has been released for Kindle and in print. The work is Patricia’s first non-fiction novel of her grandmother’s WWII letters. This work commemorates her grandmother’s service in the Womens Army Auxiliary Corp (later renamed the WAC) as one of the first recognized female soldiers.
Recently, Patricia has teamed up with her daughters Jessica (J.L. Arnold) and Lisa (L.R. Arnold) to write and illustrate books for young readers, something she has always wanted to accomplish ever since she first sat down at her aunt’s typewriter in Florida and started churning out stories at the age of ten.
Patricia has finally merged her abilities by producing books that she is able to write, illustrate and design. Patti has always been known for her imaginative mind, thorough research and engaging characters. She plans on a continued collaboration with her daughters, Jessica and Lisa.
Readers can expect a variety of works from Patricia Arnold. Whichever project Patricia undertakes, she seeks to entertain readers of all ages with her illustrations, imaginative cover designs and creative prose!