Charlotte Bowman (94), World War II Veteran, is currently a VA client of Hands From The Heart Home Healthcare Services. Her family found our services through our partnership with Vet Assist, a program that helps Veterans, or their surviving spouses, apply for the VA Aid & Attendance benefit that helps those eligible receive home healthcare services.
Charlotte entered the United States Navy in 1943, two years after Pearl Harbor, where she worked on discharge paperwork in an office in New York City. As a young woman (20), she was asked to join the armed forces along with her three brothers, who enlisted in the United States Air Force.
“I knew I needed to help in some way,” Charlotte said. “People were moving from coast to coast to escape the war, but I joined to help.”
Charlotte then joined the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) program of the U.S. Navy, where she was in active duty from May 31, 1945 until April 10, 1946. She was awarded honorable discharge to move home one year later to take care of her ill mother.
“Family comes first,” Charlotte said. “When I found out my mother was not doing well and needed me, I left as soon as I could.”
After the war, Charlotte worked as a waitress, where she later met her husband, Barton (aka Bart), and started a family. Charlotte adored her husband and still spends time with her 6 children, 6 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren as much as she can.
“My mom is such a positive light in so many people’s lives,” Jessica said, proud daughter and caregiver for her mother, Charlotte. “Anytime we go anywhere, she never walks into a room without smiling.”
“I am very thankful that my daughter is able to be my caregiver,” Charlotte said. “We spend so much time together and all of my children and grandchildren take time to come and have dinner with me throughout the week.”
One message that Charlotte would like to share with women during Women’s History Month is one that she has always shared with her family which is that “getting an education is very important for your future.”
“I always wished that I would’ve went to school and had the opportunity to get a better education,” she said. “My parents were not from this country and could not speak English very well. They did not know how to help me with resources to continue my education.”
Charlotte believes that “joining military service could do young people some good.”
“If you don’t have the opportunity to further your education, enlist and go to school after,” she said. “You’ll learn more than you ever imagined.”