Jean Smith, a 96-year old veteran of the WAVES, was honored Jan. 31 with a small ceremony hosted by Northern Light Continuing Care, Lakewood and Beacon Hospice Team in Waterville.

Smith is a resident at Lakewood. During the ceremony, she shared some memories and stories with the group and was then presented with a certificate of honor, a handmade blanket, a star from a retired American flag, and a military memory book, according to a news release from Michelle Rossignol, manager of Life Enrichment at Northern Light Continuing Care, Lakewood.

WAVES stands for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Services, and was the women’s branch of the Naval reserves in World War II.

Smith trained at Hunter College and became a yeoman who was given a job in the post office, sorting and readdressing mail to be delivered to the soldiers.

Smith’s family, Lakewood and Beacon Hospice staff, and several residents joined the ceremony and celebrated her achievements, and concluded the program with the group singing of “God Bless America.”

“It is a rare opportunity for a facility to be able to honor a female veteran, especially from the World War II era, as most veterans that are still with us are in their late 90s. We consider it an honor and a privilege to remember and honor all those who served our country,” said Rossignol in the release.

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