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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • Chamber announces 2013 Veterans of the Year

  • Two war veterans who met in Austria during Word War II will be honored as the 2013 Veterans of the Year and will serve as parade marshals during this year's Waynesville - St. Robert Chamber of Commerce Veterans Day Parade.
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  • Two war veterans who met in Austria during Word War II will be honored as the 2013 Veterans of the Year and will serve as parade marshals during this year's Waynesville - St. Robert Chamber of Commerce Veterans Day Parade.
    James and Wilma Tucker met in 1947 at the Zebra Club in Vienna, Austria. James, a U.S. Army Soldier during World War II, was stationed in Vienna when he met the love of his life Wilma.
    Wilma was proudly serving as a Staff Sergeant in the Women's Army Corps in Vienna. She served from 1943-1948, in the Army Air Corp and Women's Army Corp and was among 150,000 other women that served during World War II so that the men were free for combat.
    James was drafted at the age of 25 and started his military career in Fort Hood, Texas for basic training and then proceeded on to Europe. He was one of the first to cross the Rhine River in Germany and worked in the 813th Tank Destroyer Battalion. James also served as an advisor to the Iranian Army for a year and was stationed at a NATO base in Turkey, working with the Greek, Italian, French, British, and Turkish armies.
    On Valentine's Day in 1948, James and Wilma married at a chapel in Vienna, Austria. That was just the beginning of a marriage that would last more than 65 years, which included three sons, six grandchildren, and two great grandchildren.
    James and Wilma moved to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in 1962. James retired after 30 years and 11 days in 1974. James' highest decoration was when he received his 'Legion of Merit' medal and the 'Purple Heart'. He also received other Service Awards for his duty in Europe. After their Military Service, they continued to serve. James has been an American Legion Commander in Ironwood, Michigan and volunteered as a Retiree Assistance Individual with the General Leonard Wood Army Hospital for four years.
    Wilma worked for the Waynesville School District for 10 years and volunteered for OATS for 14 years. Her other volunteer work included a Cub Scout Den Mother and Army Community Service Volunteer. She was also an Honor Flight Participant and has visited the WWII Memorial in Washington DC.
    After 65 years, Wilma and James are still happily married.
    Look for Wilma and James in the Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce Veterans Day Parade that takes place in St. Robert at 11 a.m. on Monday.

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