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NEWS | July 25, 2016

WWII veteran attends the Healthy Cortland IRT event in Homer, N.Y.

By Capt. Burke Tervort 3rd Medical Command Deployment Support

Stella Janus, a 96-year-old, World War II veteran, still active enough to show off her dance moves to service members, attended the Healthy Cortland Innovative Readiness event in Cortland, N.Y., July 20, 2016.
Healthy Cortland is one of the IRT events that provide real-world training in a joint civil-military environment while delivering world-class medical care to the people of Cortland, N.Y., from July 15-24.  Service members from the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve and Air National Guard provide medical, dental, optometry and veterinary services at no-cost to community members during the 10-day event.

Janus has some experience with the military healthcare system, as she enlisted in the Navy in 1943 under the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) program. She served as hospital corpsman, first as a chief pharmacy mate, then later as an occupational therapist.

When asked about her service she said, “the boys loved me, and I loved them,” as she pats the arm of the Navy corpsman assisting with the eye exam.

Janus came to the IRT event to take advantage of the optometry services. She is an avid reader and has had some difficulty reading for long periods of time. Fortunately, the optometrist found that Stella just needed a new prescription in her eye glasses. She selected a pair of frames and the new glasses were manufactured on site and ready for pick up two days later.

Before leaving the school she headed to check-out where she was asked about the difference between healthcare now versus when she worked in military healthcare. Janus responded, “You are so much more better organized.”

When asked about her experience and services received during the IRT, she stated “Just beautiful, everyone is working and happy. It makes us proud of our military.”

Those that had the opportunity to work with this energetic member of the Cortland community had their spirits lifted.