Gibson presents WWII nurse with service medals

"Alice's professionalism and calmness under pressure saved lives and I have seen the work of our nurses first hand in combat and I will tell you it is nothing short of miraculous," said Gibson.

She was happy to join the Army and do her part, said Fay.

"I was glad to go in the Army, we all went. If you can just imagine what the country was like in those days, with all the flags around, everybody was going, everybody was helping," said Fay.

Home never seemed quite as far away as it was, said Fay, because of all the people she met.

"No matter where you went, you met somebody you knew who was from this neck of the woods, who knew one of your family, and you connected that way," said Fay. "I don't think anybody was really allowed to be homesick for any length of time or to be alone for any length of time because there were so many of us out there getting to know each other."

Nursing under fire also proved to be an invaluable history and geography lesson, said Fay.

"Nowadays I don't think young folks know where this is or where that is. We learned, we were there, we learned a lot," said Fay. "I think we learned how to get along with other people better."

When Fay returned from service she met her husband, Joe Fay, who served in WWII in the Navy and returned to active duty during the Korean War. They raised their family in Niskayuna and Fay was head nurse at Glendale Nursing Home in Glenville for about 20 years.

Gibson said since nobody can truly understand what the U.S. was like during the uncertain times of WWII, it's even more imperative to properly acknowledge Fay's contributions.

"It's appropriate we have the youth of America here today because I want you to know, in your early years here on the Earth, we wouldn't be here today were it not for the courage and contribution of Grandma right here," said Gibson.


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