DEFENSE HEALTH HEADQUARTERS, Falls Church, Va.-- Lt. Gen. Nadja Y. West, U.S. Army Surgeon General and Commanding General, U.S. Army Medical Command, hosted the Twilight Tattoo at Fort Meyer, Virginia, on May 9, 2019. West invited several World War II Veterans, all in their 90's, and one Vietnam Veteran to bestow individual recognition and heartfelt appreciation of their service. For the World War II veterans, the Meritorious Unit Commendation was also presented.
World War II Veterans included Pvt. 1st Class (ret.) Delores Ruddock and Pvt. (ret.) Indiana Hunt-Martin. Ruddock and Hunt-Martin served with the 6888th (the Six Triple Eight) Central Postal Directory Battalion within the Women's Army Corp. The Six Triple Eight was one of a kind--the first African-American female battalion and the only all women battalion to be deployed overseas. The Six Triple Eight received a Meritorious Unit Commendation for exceptionally meritorious service for the period from March 4, 1945 to February 15, 1946 while deployed to England and France as part of the Women's Army Corps.
West also recognized Chief Yeoman (ret.) Mildred Fitzpatrick, who was one of the WAVES--Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. The WAVES was the women's branch of the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II. Fitzpatrick enlisted in 1943 and had duty during World War II in the Combat Intelligence Division and Fleet Air Locations of Navy planes. She was honorably discharged in 1946.
Sp. 4 (ret.) Charles Shyab, Vietnam Veteran and combat medic, was also an honored guest. Shyab served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968 at the battle of Chu Moor Mountain with Company C, 1st Infantry Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. Shyab was awarded a Bronze Star for his valor. He received the Purple Heart in 2012 as well.
The Twilight Tattoo is a live military pageant featuring Soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment--better known as The Old Guard--and "Pershing's Own," the U.S. Army Band. The performance takes guests through Army and American history, featuring Soldiers in period costume and on horseback.
Short vignettes of American heroes for each war bring sentiment and clarity to how Soldiers felt as they were in or about to enter battle. Performances by vocalists from the U.S. Army Band, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, and the U.S. Army Drill Team are highlights of the evening.