Botwc Firsts

First Black Woman Accepted To U.S. Army Corps Celebrates 100th Birthday

First Black Woman Accepted To U.S. Army Corps Celebrates 100th Birthday

A centennial celebration!

The first Black woman to be accepted into the U.S. Army Corps recently celebrated her 100th birthday, Newsday reports.

Nancy Leftenant-Colon, a nurse who served active duty in the U.S. Army Air Corps recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Colon made history as the first Black woman inducted into the Army Corps. Leftenant-Colon said that she always wanted to be a nurse and she was proud to fulfill that dream, a job she says came natural to her. 

While proud, her journey was not without struggle. Leftenant-Colon said it was touching recalling all the obstacles she faced, even spending her last to purchase a nice uniform. Despite her bravery, she was still faced with prejudice by people who didn’t want to work with a Black person. But she persisted and continued to help save as many as she could, fueled by her love of nursing.

The nursing home she lives in threw her a celebration, complete with a small group of family and friends and a nice pink cake with 100 on it. The retired nurse was greeted by video calls wishing her a ‘Happy Birthday,’ bringing a smile across her face, as she sat in a chair with huge golden “100” balloons behind her. Leftenant-Colon has seen a lot, lived a long and full life and is grateful for her time in the Army Corps despite the challenges.

“It went to make me a better person, a stronger person. I didn’t let little things knock me aside,” she said.

Happy Birthday, Nurse Nancy!!

Photo Courtesy of Johnny Milano/Newsday