Althea Gramacke

Althea Gramacke

Army career one of three for WWII Army veteran

By Wilfred "Mac" McCarty

In 1943 during World War II Althea J. Gramacke volunteered to go into the Army. This was the start of a 20-year career. Althea, now 90, has been a resident at the AFRH for 23 years. Her Army career is summarized as such: She took basic training at Des Moines, Iowa. She was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany (occupation) for two years, Paris, France (SHAPE) for three years, Naples, Italy, for two years (this was her favorite assignment as she could read Italian and she felt so at home there). She was also at Ft Ord, California, McCellan in Alabama, 5th Army Headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, the Pentagon, and lst Army Headquarters.

Althea was one of the first to volunteer as a receptionist at the Women’s Memorial at the entrance of Arlington Cemetery. She performed this work for two years. She jokes that on her first day they did not have a chair for her to sit on and she had to find one and before she even had a chance to locate the bathroom a distinguished visitor asked her who designed the Memorial. She was embarrassed as she had not found out yet and she was further surprised when some visitors, when they found out about her extensive military service, kissed her on the cheek.

Althea actually had three careers. After getting out of the service she worked at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in both Chicago and Washington, D.C. She then studied at Roosevelt University concentrating in sociology and scientific subjects. She is also an author, wrote a book entitled From Womb to Tomb.

Here at AFRH she enjoys visiting with the dogs of PALS (People Animals Love) and all types of music including classical and hymns.