Norma Gene Rambow introduced herself to me on February 9, 2016, during a presentation that I was giving at The Armed Forces Retirement Home, in Washington, D.C. Norma is a resident of AFRH and she hails from Battlecreek, Michigan. Norma asked if I would sign the copies of my books that she had chosen for her granddaughter who is an elementary school teacher. As I began to dedicate my books to Norma's granddaughter, Norma quietly shared that I would dedicate "To Glenna." I looked up at Norma Gene Rambow and paused. She then shared with me that her granddaughter was named for her very own great grandmother, "Glenna," Norma's beloved mother. From that moment, Norma and myself began to discuss education, writing, and a sundry of additional topics.
Norma Gene Rambow was born in Indiana. On December 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor was bombed. Norma was an eighteen year old freshman at Indiana State Teacher's College and was very angry and wanted to take revenge. But, she had to be twenty to join our women fighting forces. During her sophomore year, she was not able to join again due to a family emergency. On February 13, 1943, the U.S. Marine Corps Women's Reserve was established and Norma was finally able to join. After being sworn in, she had to wait a few months and was called into active duty on November 15,1943. Norma served as an Assistant Cook, a Chief Cook, a Wing Sergeant, and later a Supply Sergeant. The friendships she came to know were a blessing and the military experience was a good one. On November 16, 1945, Norma had enough points for discharge.
The year 1946 determined Norma's life for the next 53 years. In the summer of 1946, she
was invited to spend time with her mother and her new family in Battle Creek, Michigan. Her mother, Glenna, had worked for Post Cereals during the war years, 1941 thru 1945. Norma settled in Battlecreek and met a handsome young man. They married and welcomed a son and a daughter to their lives. In the summer of 1956, Norma took a few courses at Western Michigan University. She carpooled with teachers at a local school. In August, 1956, Norma received a call from a superintendent asking if she would be interested in teaching First Grade. That was when her 27 year career began with just two years of college training and a promise that she could continue her college education. Norma did indeed earn a Bachelor of Science Degree and later a Master's Degree.
Norma loves her "Home" at The Armed Forces Retirement Home. At 92 years young, Norma keeps active helping other Residents, participating in the various programs and helping with the "Reading Buddies Program." She enjoys needlework and singing with three choir groups.
This past March, I shared the manuscript of my fifth book, Courage From The Heart, with Norma Gene Rambow. She liked it very much. Norma endorsed my book and these are her words:
"What a delight! Glenna C. Orr's book, ‘Courage From The Heart,’ is a true story telling the experience of a Navy Nurse. At the age of 20 in the year 1943, I was sworn in the Marine Corps. I can relate to the story and the times. Also, Glenna expresses well the knowledge that can be shared between older and younger generations." Norma Rambow B.S.MA
Indeed, mine and Norma's meeting was intended.
Most grateful, Glenna.