Seniors Helping Seniors Honors Client Who Served in WWII
During World War II, a select group of young women pilots became pioneers, heroes, and role models. They were the Women Airforce Service Pilots, WASP’s as they were known, the first women in history trained to fly American military aircraft. The WASP program was born in 1942 to create a corps of female pilots able to fill all types of flying jobs at home, thus freeing male military pilots to travel to the front.
Thirty-eight WASPS were killed in service in World War II. But they were long considered civilians, not members of the military, and thus were not entitled to the pay and benefits given to men. The WASP’s were afforded veteran status in 1977 after a long fight. It’s estimated that about 100 of the more than 1,000 WASPs are still alive.
Seniors Helping Seniors is proud to serve one of these brave women, Beverly Beesemeyer, and honors her service to our country as we celebrate Independence Day. In 2010, Beverly, along with 174 of her colleagues, received the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the highest civilian awards in the United States, in Washington, DC.
Beverly kept her pilot’s license until the ‘80s and confesses to “rubbernecking” anytime a big plane flies by. “It’s impossible to tell you what it’s like flying in the clouds,” she said. Even six decades after suiting up with fellow WASPs, Beesemyer has not forgotten the camaraderie of the experience. A framed drawing of the WASP winged-gremlin mascot designed by Walt Disney still hangs on the wall in her upstairs office along with a bronze replica of the Congressional Gold Medal.
Seniors Helping Seniors caregivers have helped Beverly, who turns 96 on august 25, as she catalogues her mementos and records to provide to museum and university historical collections. They also assist Beverly with her daily activities, drive her to appointments, and prepare meals, which Beverly describes as “the best. “ Beverly has been a client for over two years, “ I am so happy with the services Seniors Helping Seniors provides, they do everything and I don’t have to worry about a thing.”
“Beverly is a delight, one of our most popular clients among our senior caregivers, who understand and value the sacrifice Beverly and her fellow WASP’s made during WWII,” said Sue Erskine, co-owner of Seniors Helping Seniors, serving San Diego and Orange County. I enjoy visiting Beverly as she has a wicked sense of humor and a tremendously positive outlook on life.” Learn more about the WASP program at www.wingsacrossamerica.org.