Area female veterans connect through regional organization

July 03, 2011|By MARIE GILBERT |
  • Helen Simar, 89, is a World War II veteran. She is active in the Quad State Women Veterans, an area organization for women who have served in all branches of the military.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

There was no single incident that caused Helen Simar to join the Army in 1943.

Mostly, it was listening to stories told by her father.

He served in World War I, Simar said, and often talked of his military experience and how much he loved it.

His words left a lasting impression.

With the country at war, Simar decided to follow in her father’s footsteps and enlisted in the Army, attending basic training and administration school in Daytona Beach, Fla.

She later worked in the payroll office at Camp Pickett in Virginia.

But as a young woman eager for challenges, she decided to volunteer to serve overseas.

Simar said she was sent to New Delhi and Kandy in Sri Lanka, where she was attached to the South-East Asia Command (SEAC) under the leadership of Lord Louis Mountbatten.

“I was a secretary to a British general while there and served until the war ended,” she said.

Simar, who lives in Mercersburg, Pa., is 89 years old.

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