Each day, the VA honors a special military veteran for their dedicated service on their blog, VAntage Point. Today’s veteran is Army Veteran Audrae Gandreau, who served in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II from 1945 to 1947.
Audrae Gandreau enlisted with the Women’s Army Corps in June 1945, leaving her two daughters to live with their grandparents while she went on to serve her country.
She served with the Detachment Headquarters, Army Ground Forces unit. She served at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Monroe, Virginia at the rank of technician four. At fort Monroe, she performed clerical duties, including preparing mimeographs, and stenciling administrative military correspondence and reports.
Initially, Gandreau was unsure about her decision to enlist, writing her mother that “It’s Sunday but every day is the same here. I don’t even know what the war is doing. It’s so darned quiet!” But eventually her hesitation turned into excitement, leading her to write her mother letters stating things such as “Hello Mom: Well, I’m in the Army now. Pvt. Gandreau, doesn’t that sound important?” and “The people up here are all sweet to work with,” and added that “someone’s always exchanging a joke.”
Gandreau’s letters to her mother also showcase the interesting role of a woman in the military at that time with statements such as “the strange part of all this is I’m feeling sweet and managing to keep the weight down. I did gain a little but by watching my diet I’m still able to fit into my uniform… P.S the Army must be good for me, and I got no complaints.”
Gandreau was honorably discharged in March 1947. She went on to have two sons – Ross Alan in 1948, and Paul Louis in 1949. She passed away in Winchester, Virginia in 1998.