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WWII vet receives letter of honor on her 96th birthday

Posted at 12:01 PM, Apr 16, 2018

Estelle Leinen has received many accolades over the years, but there's more recognition coming for the 96-year-old World War II veteran.

Leinen served in the U.S. Navy W.A.V.E.S., or Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. The program was established in 1942.

While stationed at Naval Station Great Lakes in Illinois, she met her future husband, Luverne Leinen. His Naval Unit received a Presidential Citation for valor in the Battle of Leyte Gulf.

For her 96th birthday, Estelle Leinen received a letter of appreciation from her former employer 72 years after she was honorably discharged from the military. Leinen currently lives in Dow City, Iowa.

“I would like to wish you a ‘Happy Birthday’ and extend my most sincere appreciation for your service to our country in the WAVES during World War II,” wrote Capt. James D. Hawkins, Commanding Officer of Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois. “Your selfless devotion to this nation is an example of how the Greatest Generation played its part in making our country the best in the world! I hope that you have a wonderful Birthday and many more to come! Go Navy!”