WWII nurse honored guest at Twilight Tattoo matinee

By Denise CaskeyMay 9, 2024

WWII nurse honored guest at Twilight Tattoo matinee
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Commander Col. Tasha Lowery (left) poses with 2nd Lt. Regina Benson, who shows off the challenge coin she was presented, during a brunch reception for community leaders May 8 at Patton Hall on JBM-HH. (Photo Credit: Jason Goselin) VIEW ORIGINAL

JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, VA – Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall honored one of the few remaining WWII Army veterans during a matinee Twilight Tattoo performance May 8 at Summerall Field.

2nd Lt. Regina Benson, 104, travelled from McLean, Virginia, to attend the matinee with her daughter Phyllis Benson.

Before the matinee, Regina and Phyllis made a brief stop at Patton Hall where JBM-HH Commander Col. Tasha Lowery was hosting a brunch reception for community leaders.

While at the brunch, they enjoyed music performed by the brass quintet from The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” and Lowery presented Regina with a challenge coin to commemorate the occasion.

Guests at the brunch were eager to talk to and have their picture taken with Regina. Phyllis said with all the attention her mother got, she had not seen her smile so much in a long time.

After the brunch, Regina and Phyllis took in some of the Twilight Tattoo performance at Summerall Field, where she was also recognized in front of the crowd for her service.

WWII nurse honored guest at Twilight Tattoo matinee
Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Commander Col. Tasha Lowery (left) chats with 2nd Lt. Regina Benson and her daughter, Phyllis Benson, before the Twilight Tattoo matinee show May 8 at Summerall Field on JBM-HH. (Photo Credit: Jason Goselin) VIEW ORIGINAL

Regina had a strong sense of patriotism growing up and with four brothers serving in the military she also felt duty bound to serve her country.

When she was 24, along with three of her close friends, she joined the Army Nurse Corps right out of nursing school and served in Japan, Hawai’i and Okinawa from September 1944 until April 1946. After the war, she continued working as a civilian nurse.

WWII nurse honored guest at Twilight Tattoo matinee
Army 2nd Lt. Regina Benson, a member of the Army Nurse Corps during WWII, poses for a photo in 1944. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

“Mom always says the most important things she did while she served was give comfort to the troops who were dying and write home to their families to let them know their loved one didn’t die alone,” said Phyllis.