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World War II veteran honored 69 years later

Ashley Hirtzel

A 92-year old World War II veteran who served in the first African-American female battalion has received several military honors. Private Indiana Hunt-Martin was honorably discharged from the military 69 years ago Monday.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
A photo of private Indiana Hunt-Martin taken in 1944

During a ceremony late last week Hunt-Martin finally received the medals she was owed. Private Hunt-Martin was one of more than 800 members of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion in the Women's Army Corps. The "six-triple-eight" was the only all-women group to be deployed overseas during WWII. Hunt-Martin says she joined the military after seeing an article in the newspaper.

“I volunteered. I had a brother that was already in the service. I wasn’t working and I didn’t have anything else to do so I said, “well I’ll go and see what’s going to happen.” You hear so many pros and cons about going into service, but I decided to go and I’m never sorry I went,” said Hunt-Martin.

Just after she enlisted, Hunt-Martin encountered segregation as she traveled by railroad to Washington D.C. It was there where she and her fellow military members got in trouble for refusing to sit in the back of the train. During her service she was responsible for handling the mail of more than 7 million soldiers overseas.

Credit Ashley Hirtzel / WBFO
The medals and honors Private Indiana Hunt-Martin recieved

“We re-addressed mail, piles of dirty mail that was falling apart and everything. We had to patch it up and send it. But as soon as we would send it, it would come back, because soldiers were moving all the time so we’d have to change the address again. They said we did a good job and we thought we did a good job too,” said Hunt-Martin.

Hunt-Martin’s daughter, Janice Martin says she’s proud of her mother’s service. 

“We’re just overwhelmed, because she had talked about a little bit when I was growing up, but she never really went into detail about what she did in the  military, just that she delivered mail. I never realized how important it really was until now. It’s really amazing,” said Martin.

Hunt-Martin says she still in shock about being honored all these years later.

“I feel wonderful. I just don’t want to believe it,” said Hunt-Martin.