110-Year-Old Veteran, Emma “Big Mama” Didlake, Died

… Boligee, Alabama in 1905. She later moved to Lynch, Kentucky with her family.

US President Barack Obama meets with the country's oldest living veteran, 110-year-old Emma Didlake, in the Oval Office of the White House on July 17, 2015 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

In 1943, she went against what everyone, including society, was telling her and joined the Army. A truly bold step for a woman in a time where most were stay-at-home wives, and defying widespread racism and segregation.

Didlake’s “health secret” spread around social media almost instantly. She attributed her great health to eating fruits and vegetables and not much meat. Each evening she soaked nine golden raisins in a pint of gin and lets them sit overnight; she ate them the next afternoon. Gin and raisins…who knew?

Didlake traveled around the world and was decorated for her service. Her decorations include the Women’s Army Corps Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal.

She will be missed. We salute you Big Mama. Rest in peace.