Anna Fields is a World War 2 Army Vet. And at almost 101-years-old, she’s seen almost everything.
She was one of the first black nurses in the army. She’s a member of the nurses hall of fame. Her late husband, Karl, fought and was wounded in the Italian campaign with the army.
Mrs. Fields will quickly tell you there’s nothing more important than her faith in God. And she credits God for allowing her to live to this ripe old age.
Seventy years ago, she was breaking barriers and breaking down barriers in the military while helping save lives. Now, she’s still breaking barriers by sharing the knowledge and wisdom she’s gained throughout her years.
She was one of the few to be admitted into one of only two U.S. Army’s nurses programs and successfully finish. Mrs. Fields served during WWII and cared for wounded soldiers.
“We got the soldiers from over in the European countries, the amputees,” said Fields. “On the field, when their arms, legs or whatever were blown off, they had to do what was called a ‘Giletine Operation’ and then they were sent back here to the states.”
She also has a love affair with hats. She has over 300 of them.
To Mrs. Filelds, hats represent power, strength, and knowledge. That’s why she always wears hats and has one for every occasion.
And as far as her secret to long life? Her daughter sums it up perfectly.
“She preaches, ‘you are what you eat’ so she never smoked, she never drank [alcohol], and she was a mother who believed and raised her children on three solid meals a day.”
Her advice has always been, ‘to forgive quickly’ — that is the key to long life. “Never forget to forgive quickly,” says Mrs. Fields.
I guess holding on to all that anger is pretty bad, huh? Woo! Forgiving sounds so much easier said than done right? I can think of at least three people right now that I don’t want to forgive. Ha!
But her advice has proved her right all these years.
During the Spanish-American War, African American nurses served as contract nurses. Contracted by the Army, as many as eighty other black women were hired to serve as nurses. These nurses, who were often erroneously considered “immune,” handled the worst of the epidemics. Many of these nurses actually served in Santiago, Cuba caring for patients infected during the epidemics. Two of these African American nurses who served overseas died from typhoid fever.
The outstanding performance of nurses during the Spanish American War led to the establishment of the Army Nurse Corps on 2 February 1901. However, African Americans continued to fight for acceptance as nurses both in…