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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A Tri-Cities woman is still waiting on Congress to honor a group of nurses who volunteered to serve during World War II.
When Congress recessed at the end of last year without passing a bill to honor nurses who served their country in World War II, Agnes Lowe was disappointed. The 97-year-old has spent years asking Congress to grant honorary veteran status to the Cadet Nurse Corps, for her and the 126,000 other American women who committed to serve until the end of the war in stateside military and private hospitals as they faced a staffing crisis.
“We’re not asking for any money, just to veterans status,” she said.
Lowe said she’s most disappointed in U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn. She says she asked her face-to-face to champion the legislation.
“The day that I asked her about it over in Erwin, she said, ‘I’ll get right on to it,’” Lowe said. “So what would you think with a reply like that? You’d think she would do it?”
“You said you would do it and you didn’t do it, so what does it make you, a liar or not?”
Blackburn has said she supports the bill, but she did not cosponsor it and the legislation died in the Senate last December.
Around that same time, another Johnson City Cadet Nurse Corps veteran died waiting on Congress to act. Trudy Fann died in December at the age of 99.
But with a new Congress now in session, Lowe still has hope that lawmakers will resubmit the legislation and start the lengthy process of passing the Cadet Nurse Corps bill before it is too late.
“Well, I hope that bill passes, but it’s if it does, it’s just so sad,” Lowe said. “It is so late. So many or so many or we’re not many of us left.”