JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas –
Five Navy Nurse Corps officers assigned to Navy Medicine Training Support Center, or NMTSC, and Navy Medicine Education, Training and Logistics Command, or NMETLC, visited the San Antonio Brookdale Assisted Living Facility to wish Blondina Porter, a World War II Navy Nurse, a happy 100th birthday Aug. 15.
Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps cadets from John Marshall High School and residents of Brookdale Living Facility joined the Navy nurses, gathering in the main building of the facility, where balloons and other party decorations filled the room for this momentous occasion.
Capt. Maryann Mattonen, NMTSC commanding officer, presented a Navy Nurse Corps birthday letter to Porter on behalf of Rear Adm. Tina Davidson, director, Navy Nurse Corps, and commander, NMETLC.
After a few words from Brookdale caregivers, Mattonen and Porter cut the cake together with a Navy officer ceremonial sword, and a video was played, showcasing pictures from Porter’s 100-year life.
Mattonen read aloud the letter signed by Davidson: “On behalf of the Navy Nurse Corps, Happy 100th Birthday! On behalf of all Navy nurses – past, present and future – thank you for serving our nation and our Navy as a Navy nurse. Eight months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, you entered active duty as a Navy nurse, volunteering to serve during one of the most difficult periods in our nation’s history. You put country before self, serving from Aug. 7, 1942 to Sep. 28, 1948.
“From the battlefield of Attu Island, Alaska, to hospitals and clinics on both US coasts and in Hawaii, your service as a Navy nurse made a difference, touching countless lives while blazing a path for future Navy nurses and our Navy Nurse Corps. Nurses are there for life’s first breath, and they are there for its last. Just as important, they are there for all the years in between, helping patients breathe easier, literally and figuratively. Thank you for the countless patients you have helped, and thank you for being there for our Sailors, Marines and Soldiers serving, some who perhaps were taking their last breath. May this birthday be your best.”
Porter was honorably discharged from the Navy as a lieutenant in 1948. According to her son-in-law, Porter’s most challenging assignment was being stationed on Attu in the Aleutian Islands after the island was retaken from the Japanese.