(Taylor Forrest/Special to the Collegian)

(Taylor Forrest/Special to the Collegian)

By Taylor Forrest
Staff reporter

Betty Clark was a young naive girl when a recruiter approached and convinced her that basic training was one big party. So when Clark stepped off the bus with only a few dresses and heels, she was a little taken aback by the reality of training.

After the initial surprise of having to marc in heels the first day of basic training, Clark adjusted to the discipline the military offered. However, she was ready to put basic training behind her. “Getting out of basic training was my fondest memory of serving, that, and getting to fly unique places that I never would have traveled,” Clark said.

She served as a licensed practical nurse Specialist Five in the United States Army for three years. Although she was never shipped overseas, Clark served her country during the Vietnam War. Clark loved what the military offered her. “I only served three years, but I wish that I was still there. I wish that I would have stayed in,” she said.

After serving, Clark left the Army to go back to school. She said while school taught her importantly, things for life, serving in the military taught her the structure that she needed to construct her life. Clark said, “Serving in the military is something that everyone should have to do. It gives you structure and teaches you that there are rules, right and wrong, and consequences.”

Clark cherishes her time in the Army, but more importantly, she reminisces about memories with her family. While Clark never married, she keeps in close touch with her two brothers and their families. When talking about her nieces and nephews, she said, “I never had my own kids, but I love them. All kids are like my own.”

Clark resides at the Kansas Veterans Home in Winfield. While there, Clark can either be found getting her nails done in her room, ferociously playing bingo, or reminiscing with her tablemates, also Vietnam soldiers, about the good old days.

Taylor Forrest is a freshman majoring in communication. You may email her at taylor.forrcst@sckans.edu