We all know the term “The Greatest Generation.” It was a title given to the generation of Americans that endured two of the most difficult, back-to-back challenges of the 20th Century – the Depression and WWII – by the journalist and author Tom Brokaw. This story and video are about one of those great Americans, Mrs. Cresencia Garcia.
Garcia was born in 1919 in Puerto Rico. Her family moved to New York City in her youth. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, like most Americans, she was enraged and decided to join the U.S. Army.
As we all know, at that time, the military was still segregated. She was sent to Texas for basic training and was put into a segregated unit. She was light-skinned, and, because of that, she was given an opportunity to get training as an Army medic.
Eventually, she was assigned to the all-Black, all-female unit known as the Six Triple Eights, the 6888th Bn, which became the only all-female U.S. military unit to be sent into the European Theater war zone. I have written about this unit before. They were put in charge of the military mail system, which was in a chaotic mess when they arrived in Europe. Mail was not getting to the troops, and it was a real morale problem. These women cleaned up, organized, and managed the mail system within 6 months after arriving in Europe. The 6888th would become the only all-female military unit to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their unique and important service and contribution to the war effort during WWII.
Mrs. Garcia, though a member of that unit, because of her medic training, spent her time in England at a medical unit, where she went through the war taking care of the wounded sent there from the war zones.
Garcia’s granddaughter reached out to a lead CBS News correspondent in 2020 when Mrs. Garcia, at the age of 100, beat a bout of COVID-19. But that story grew into what you will see here when that CBS News correspondent followed through with an interview. Garcia’s granddaughter knew her grandmother had served in the Army during WWII, but as is typical of her generation, Mrs. Garcia never talked about it much. The correspondent surprised the Garcia family by visiting them to celebrate Cresencia on her 102nd birthday and to honor her for her service. As you will see, she is one beautiful soul, as is her granddaughter.
The Veterans Site wishes to offer its congratulations to Mrs. Cresencia Garcia on reaching such a noble milestone at 102 years of age. We also honor and respect her service to the nation as a medic with the Six Triple Eights. Thank you for your service and for showing us a life well lived.