BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – More than a dozen Airmen from Joint Base Cape Cod's 102nd Intelligence Wing kicked off Veterans Day weekend by wishing Army Air Corps veteran Cpl. Della Sassa a happy 102nd birthday.
Sassa, part of "the Greatest Generation" of World War II service members, was one of the first women to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps, an organization that became the U.S. Air Force in 1947.
Surrounded by fellow Airmen, Sassa reminisced about her service from 1941 to 1945 helping injured soldiers while working as a physical therapy nurse at Maxwell Field, Ala.
"It was a wonderful experience and I was glad I could do it," she said. "I look back with a lot of happy memories, in spite of the fact that there were a lot of people injured. We gave everything we had to them. ... I think I probably made a difference by doing that. ... We really did work hard, but I enjoyed every minute of it, every single minute."
The Airmen visited Sassa, who is from Glidden, Wis., on Nov. 8 at the Royal Cape Cod Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. They offered her their sincere thanks and appreciation.
"All of us women in this room, we wouldn't have ever been able to join if it wasn't for people like you," said Master Sgt. Erica Griffin.
Master Sgt Regina Baker added: "We want to thank you very much. If you weren't able to do your job, we wouldn't be able to be here and do our job. ... We're indebted to you forever."
Sassa thanked the visitors for coming to see her.
"You're a grand group. You all look so handsome. ... Really and truly, this is a great country isn't it? It's great to be an American!"
Sassa then led the room in a chorus of the Air Force Song.
"I'm having so much fun today, even my feet are going!"