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This special answers for elders podcast honoring military veterans is sponsored by carriage. For more information about carriage, the website is see AAR EA gecom. Oh, welcome to answers for elders. I’m chuf homestead down here at Patriots landing in Dupont and our weekly veterans interview and with me today is Elizabeth Osborne and she’s a resident here at Patriots landing and served at the US Navy as a first classy six Yeoman and Elizabeth, welcome to answers for elders. Thank you. Yeah, well, we like to hear the stories of our veterans, those that have served, and I always like to have stories with a beginning. So where where did you come from? Where were you born? Well, I was born in New York, but I was raised all over the United States. My father was an immigrant from Germany and he had to wander lust. So I was in fourteen schools in twelve years. Wow, what’s what states do you recall? New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida, California, back to North Carolina, back to New York. We would just all over the place. Yeah, and what did your father do at the father was a cabinet maker from Germany and he was a real craftsman. HMM. Yeah, so he would go to the various jobs and move the whole family family and he figured as long as we kept us in school, it wasn’t hurting us. But after the third grade it’s not fun to be the new kid in the class, right, right. So, but you got it to see a whole bunch of the country. It’s pretty good at your was geography. I bet you were. I bet you were. So where? Where did you finally land then, as a senior in high school? As a senior in high school, I landed an Ashville, North Carolina. Uh Huh. And I graduated when I was seventeen and I wanted to go back to New York, but my folks said no, you couldn’t do that. And my father said college was for boys. Girls would cut. Some man was going to come along and marry me take care of me the rest of my life. So joining the navy was my only way out of North Carolina. But I loved every minute of being in the navy. So what year was that? I was nineteen fifty eight. Fifty eight. So Korean War was over H and Vietnam hadn’t hadn’t started yet. So what did your dad think about you joining the navy? Well, he was more concerned about the supervision and he figured that in the Navy I’d be supervised and I didn’t bother to Chell him that as long as dice did my duty and was at my desk a date o’clock in the morning, they didn’t care. HMM. I had good duty and I loved every minute. I’m yeah, so where did you do your your original training, and do you have ther the same kind of training as the men did at those days, except the shipboard stuff at that? In those days women didn’t go to see unless they’re on a hospital ship and so, but we had to learn all the rates and the ranks and you know, and the different ship designations and all of that, and we marched and did the gas mask thing and dumped in a tank and that. And that happened in Bainbridge, Maryland, and it was for like nine weeks and what I got out I was sent to San Diego to class, a school. So that was a school for, if you want, if you were striking for a particular rate, and I was striking for Yeoman, and so I went to this class a school. so forgive me. What is a Yeoman? A yeoman basically is a clerical worker. Uh Huh. And so I worked in personnel a good deal of time. I worked in legal and then when I was an e five I got sent to London and there I was assigned to the comptroller’s office, but because there was only three or four of us on the staff of a couple of hundred that could take shorthand, I was quite often with some other senior officers office taking shorthand. Uh Huh. Yeah, but it was good duty. I it was interesting because we couldn’t wor civilly. We couldn’t wear our uniforms because of the Cold War and sailors being attacked out on the street. So we did not wear our uniforms and if we stood the duty and had to either go home at midnight or come in at midnight, the Marines had to pick us up and take us home to just for safety reasons. So this was probably nineteen six, one thousand nine hundred and sixty one. Yeah, and so it was that dangerous as a military person in London at that time. Interesting. So what were they afraid would happen. It would that you’d be abducted or that would be harassed and injured in some way, because evidently several sailors had been attacked and, you know, landed up in the infirmary and all that sort of stuff. So especially there was a probably a large contingent of women, service women there, and our safety was MMM, probably a little bit more so earning. So what was the navy doing in in London in the S was? I mean we’re well, I worships what we called we lovedly called it syncus never, but it was commander in chief US naval forces Europe. I see. So I was on that staff, basically for the comptroller, but was often in the admiral’s office as a relief feldman or taking shorthand or whatever. HMM. And course those are the days before computers of any kind, all right, so you you know, everything was shorthand and then of course then you had to type it out. He’s in a Rainbow and yeah, Uh Huh, Uh Huh. Those are things that most young people don’t even know what that is. You know, shorthand is not even I don’t even know if that’s taught anymore. People know shorthand. Were you good at that? I could do about two hundred words a minute. Wow. And what was your typing at that time? Like typing was some words in the S wow. So you were pretty good. I was pretty good. Yeah, in fact, I don’t really want to Brag, but by time I hit a five, I was excelling at a rate that my commanding officer recommended me for Propay, and so I took the test and so I got proficiency pay, which meant I was paid for one rank higher than what I could wear on my sleeve. Interesting. Yeah, I did that. Yeah, five, six, Uh Huh. So how many years in London? Two and a half. I fell in love with a sailor and in those days you got out, because then I got pregnant right away and that was the rule. You got out. My daughter just retired from the army and she had all three of her kids on active duty, and that amazing, the changes that occurred in those that many years. Yeah, so total of five and a half years and your husband was did he stay in the navy then? Yeah, he was discharged after twenty four and six and he had been injured in Vietnam and he had been exposed to age and range, which of course we didn’t know at the time, and he was dead within a year of retirement from pancreatic cancer which they didn’t catch on his retirement physical. MMM. So what year was that? That was nineteen. Let’s see, Britt was born in Sixty nineteen, seventy one, nineteen sixty eight. Nineteen sixty eight is when he died. Interesting, so I mean seventy eight. Sorry. Okay, yeah, so that was a few years after Vietnam, but not too long after he retired. Right. How many years was he in Vietnam? He was over there for two years and then he was on a ship. We were transferred to Japan and so the kids and I lived on the base and he was at sea most of the time. I think I saw him fifty seven days a year, and that wasn’t all at once, of course. It was, yeah, ten days here and days there. So for you, you’ve had the experience of not only being in the military but also being the spouse of someone who’s in the military. So you experience both sides of it, didn’t you? Yeah, and the previous interviews that I’ve done we were talking about we’ve spoken about the the technology changes as far as being able to communicate with family, and we’re talking about most young people don’t even realize that in those days most of it was letters. You, I mean you might record a cassette tape and send it to them for Christmas, but phone calls were pretty limited. I mean even in London, probably in the S, it was so expensive. Yeah, you didn’t call, you wrote letters and you learn to number them because, especially when he was at sea, you’d get a group of letters, Uh Huh, and so they were numbered so you knew which one to open first, interesting, and the same one. I would write him. He gets in a bunch, and so they were all numbered. Yeah. Yeah, so you might not hear his voice four months at a time. Correct. Yeah. So different than it is now because with text and skype and phone calls of people can have almost instantaneous communication the times. Yeah, which is a good thing, which is a good thing. Yeah. So after your husband a past in seventy eight then, have you been still connected with the military in some way? You said your daughter. What? Yeah, my daughter, she went check. She got an UROTC scholarship to wsu and it was an army scholarship, so I won’t hold that against her. But I stayed single for eleven years and then I met a man. We dated for eight years because we’re both raising teenagers and weren’t going to mix that up right. So we’ve been married twenty nine years now and I don’t have a lot to do with the military anymore, but I believe in service, and so for the last ten years or so I’ve been acting as the chaplain down at the Family Justice Center, which deals with domestic violence, and then one afternoon a week I also go to court and stand with the victims because they don’t have a lawyer or anybody with them, so I stand next to them to give them the moral support that they might need. Wow, how valuable that is. Incredibly valuable, isn’t it? You know it’s not your happiest day of the week, but it’s your most rewarding. MMM, yeah, well, what what? Why did you decide to do that? What was what was your motivation for? I had a friend who was doing yet and you know you got that friend that whatever she’s doing, you’re doing and vice versa. And we had both worked together for thirty years for the archdiocese of Seattle and parish ministry and I retired and I said I’m bored and she said, well, I’ve got the thing for you as well. I’ll give it ninety days and it was ten years. Ten years now. Yeah. So what would you say are the the major issues that are that domestic violence? Is a reason for domestic violence? Is it? Alcohol? Is a drugs? Is it all, and drugs fuel it. It’s a learned behavior and basically the abuser was abused. HMM. And women marry abusers because they think it’s okay there mother was abused or their aunt was abused. I tell my clients I can’t tell you to get a divorce, can’t tell you to stay, but if you stay you’re teaching your daughter that it’s okay to be abused, you’re teaching your son it’s okay to abuse. But most of the people it’s a learned behavior and it’s fueled by drugs and alcohol. It’s a power thing. And what’s really sad, as you see the military wives coming in and they’ll say to me, well, he was just fine until his third duty. HMM, their tour duty over there and it comes back and you can’t keep it together. MMM MMM, have you seen a change in the mindset of the military as far as domestic viol I’ve talked with my daughter about it and she said yes, and she said but the service man has to go ask for the help. MMM. And they don’t want to do that, of course. MMM, yeah, because they’re going to get in trouble. Right. Yeah, but it is interesting to see how this is as much more open probably than what it used to be as far as all of domestic violence and the fact that people are taking like yourself, are taking an active role to help. HMM. Yeah, I mean it was something that nobody ever talked about. My mother would whisper I I think he’s beating her or you know, something like that, but you just never talked about it. MMM. And you know, verbal abuse isn’t just physical, it’s mental, financial, social, it’s what’s the word I’m looking for? Emotional. So emotional. And then an affects is not only the spouse but the children and everybody else. Yeah, well, what a what a great thing to do. I mean you’re investing into the lives of others, you know on the military, you know with military families and helping them, and you know that that’s got to be very, like you said, very rewarding, but yet probably some days you come home and come home and say yeah, yeah, because it’s not the most fun thing in the world to do. Well, tell me about your move here to patriots landing. Well, we’ve lived in the North Enda Tacoma for twenty five years and we’ve been talking about, well, we should begin to downsize and then I fell two years ago and the kids started to make noises and I was doing the stairs on my rear end and we thought, well, we’d better move while we can make the choice, and so we looked at several other places, but we looked here and we like this the best, and so we moved here and we are very happy here. We like the ease of life and yet there’s plenty to do to keep us busy and we’ve made friends and it’s a great place. HMM. Well, Elizabeth Osborne, first class, E six Yeoman with the US Navy, I want to thank you for joining me today answers for elders and thank you for your service. Thank you. This has been a special honoring veterans. Presentation of answers for elders brought to you by carriage. For more information, about carriage. The website is sear agecom
Suzanne Newman, host of the Answers for Elders radio show and podcast, proclaims often, “Caring for my mom was the hardest thing I ever have done, but it was also my greatest privilege.” Following a career of over 25 years in sales, media, and marketing management, Suzanne embarked on a 6-year-journey caring for her mother. Her trials and tribulations as a family caregiver inspired an impassioned life mission outside of the corporate world to revolutionize the journey that so many other American families also find themselves on. Answers for Elders provides education, help, and support to families, caregivers, and seniors across the country who are experiencing their own unique journey within the complicated world of Eldercare. Each week, Suzanne is joined by vetted professional experts in over 65 categories including health & wellness, life changes, living options, money, law, and more. Suzanne lives in Edmonds, Washington with her husband, Keith, and their two doodle dogs, Whidbey and Skagit.