On January 31, the last living member of the 6888th Central Postal Battalion celebrated her 100th birthday.
WUNC 91.5 reports that Millie Dunn Veasey was thrilled by the special celebration put together by friends as family.
“Thank you so much I am overwhelmed!" said Veasey. "Thank you all for so much. I can’t believe I am 100 today!”
When talking about her historic achievement with the 6888th, Veasey revealed she almost didn't make the cut. When she enlisted, she was only 100 pounds, and her mother told her that she would be considered too frail for service.
“I was underweight, but they said I did very well on the test. Only three of us passed out of those 20 women that day," Veasey said. "I was A400399.”
In December, the historic battalion was finally commended for their service. A monument will be erected in their honor, in the fall of this year, at the Fort Leavenworth U.S. Army base in Kansas. The 6888th — also known as the "6-Triple-8" — was the first and only black women's Army Corps deployed overseas during World War II. The battalion was brought in to sort through a backlog of mail. The women were celebrated for cutting through 7 million pieces of mail in just three months.
Veasey said that being connected in service was more important than color.
“It’s something about the group of the Army person. Regardless of where you are, you are, there is a bond there that one can never break. It crosses colors," she said.
On the homefront, Veasey continued to make history, serving as the NAACP Raleigh-Wake Chapter's first female president.
Carlton Philpot, the head of the committee working to build the Fort Leavenworth monument, was also at the party. He praised Veasey's service, as well as the bravery of her fellow soldiers in the 6888th, calling their story "a hidden story that needs to be told about military heroes who just happen to be ladies."
The feting isn't over for Veasey, either — the Congressional Black Caucus will honor Veasey later this month.
Happy Birthday, queen! We, here at Blavity, salute you.