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WWII veteran recognized at senior center

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SHOHOLA, PA — Barbara Child is a World War Two and Korean War veteran who has been a resident at Twin Cedars Senior Living since 1994.

Child joined the Women’s Army Corps after a year at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The year was 1944, and Barbara wanted a career. The army was happy to have her, and she embarked upon a 20-year stint in the armed forces, which allowed her to continue her education in the field of drafting and drawing.

Her travels took her to Frankfurt, Germany, a city in ruin after bombings. The one standing structure, the IG Farbin Pharmaceuticals building, was converted for U.S. military use, and Child worked as a draftsman there for three years. She qualified for officer candidate school and she became a second lieutenant at the age of 23.

In 1950, she was sent to Japan and spent time in Yokahama and, later, Etigima, an island on the inland sea. Her skills as an artist and draftswoman allowed her to do sketches, technical drawings and cartoons for various military projects and publications. She eventually was sent back to the States and moved from base to base until 1964 and the onset of the Vietnam War.

Child decided to retire after 20 years and enjoyed a successful post-military career working for NASA and North American defense electronics contractor Tracor. Her drafting talents were used in the rendering of designs for Velcro and the very important NASA invention, the space human waste receptacle.

Pennsylvania State Representatives Mike Peifer and Rosemary Brown and Sen. Lisa Baker, will acknowledge Barbara for her many years of dedicated service to her country on Veterans Day 2016, at Twin Cedars Senior Living.

Child is also the first subject of a program developed by the owner of the facility, Tamara Singer, to create tributes for the residents. The program allows residents to tell their life stories to Patricia Durante, actress and playwright.

Durante takes notes about the resident’s memories then creates a tribute in the form of a “this-is-your-life” presentation, which will be presented to the seniors and their families.

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