Local Woman Recalls US Army Enlistment | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo submitted Jane Abel is shown when she was in the army.

BURLINGTON — Jane Abel wishes she still had the letter informing her that she was drafted into the US Army.

Abel, of Burlington, said she and her twin brother have similar names. Her name was Jane Judy Abel and her brother was called James Jude Abel. Their social security numbers are the same except for one digit, she said.

So in the late 1960s or early 1970s, Jane Abel said, her brother thought he would be drafted.

“All of a sudden, a letter arrived and it had my name on it,” she says. She said the letter was addressed to Jane Judy Abel.

“It was a typical card that you get and you have to report to the post office, and if you don’t you’re in violation and it’s jail time. It scares you when you read it” , she says.

Photo submitted Jane Abel, third row, second from right, and other members of her class at Fort McClellan, Alabama, pose for a photo.

“So I went to the post office with my card and asked the very first postman and I said, ‘Is that where they go when they have a draft notice? And he said they would take him there, pointing to a post office area.

“I went to this area and stood in line and the guys leading the line said, ‘Madam, this is for men only. You are in the wrong line. And they kept telling me I had to get out of line. I wouldn’t have listened to them because that card said, ‘You are enlisted.’ » said Jane Abel, remembering that day.

Standing in line at Minot post office, she says she remembers it was so tense in there “you could just feel it,” she says.

“When I approached the window, a man said, ‘Madam, it’s only for men.’ I said, ‘Well, I think there was a mistake. And I pushed the card and said, ‘I’ve been drafted.’ He picks up the card and he has a little laugh, and you can just feel the tension dissipate for a short while and he laughs, and then he goes, ‘Yeah, there was a mistake.’ I asked if I could have the map or a copy made but they refused,” she said, adding “But I would have lost it anyway because in that flood of 2011 I lost everything.”

Later, Jane Abel joined the army.

“I entered as a regular (Women’s Army Corps or WAC) for boot camp, but I entered under a special program because I was an LPN (licensed practical nurse). Once I finished boot camp, they gave me the option that I could have stayed regular (army) or become a reservist. “

“When I entered, I had something unique. I had bayonet training, hand-to-hand combat training and we also went to the shooting range,” she said, naming a few.

Jane Abel went to Alabama for training. When she joined the 311th at Minot, she spent some time in Missouri and Texas and attended the NCO academy in San Luis Obispo, California.

Today, Jane Abel volunteers for American Veterans with Disabilities.

Jane Abel said she wished she had gone overseas in the military. She liked the fact that having served in the military, she had special training like bayonet and hand-to-hand combat.

Incidentally, Jane Abel said her twin brother never received a draft notice.

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