Alice Hargreaves Fay worked hard on the frontlines of World War II as a 1st Lt. Army Nurse Corps, but it wasn't all work and no play.
I'll tell you, we worked hard but we had fun. We had fun! said Fay.
Fay, 89, risked her life and saved countless others during her service and was recognized for her bravery on Monday, June 20, when Congressman Chris Gibson presented her with three service medals: the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with a Bronze Service star, the World War II Victory Medal and Honorable Service Lapel Button.
"On behalf of a grateful nation in debt to you for your service, we say, 'Thank you,'" said Gibson.
Fay's friend, LtC. Carl Thurman, found out she'd never received her service medals, so on May 1 he contacted Gibson's office and by June 2, the medals were authorized by the Military Personnel Record Office.
"I want to thank LtC. Carl who actually brought this to our attention. It's not uncommon, actually. You'd think all our servicemen and women would have gotten all the medals they had coming to them by the time they separated from service but not all received decoration before discharge," said Gibson. "We're here today to make that right."
Fay, surrounded by her son, daughter, grandchildren and friends at the Wesley Health Care Center in Saratoga Springs, said she hopes her medals will open doors for other servicemen and women to receive their long overdue formal recognition.
"I appreciate this very much. I don't know whether I feel embarrassed or not but I'm glad to get the medals," said Fay. "Like most of the guys who are here who are veterans and who haven't gotten their medals yet, maybe they will now."
When Fay was 19, she trained as a nurse and in 1944 was deployed overseas to England for about six weeks before being formally deployed in theater to Germany, where she treated soldiers on the front lines.