BY MATTHEW RUSSELL
Article and photo credit: theveteranssite.com
Ruth “Buttercup” Sparks is one of the last living female veterans of World War II. Looking back at her nearly 104 years of life, she shared her story, and the globe-crossing journey that eventually landed her in the U.S. Waves (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service).
Originally from Denmark, Ruth and her family made the 10-day journey to the United States as political tensions rose in her European homeland. Ruth was just 11 years old at the time.
They made their home in Troy, New York’s Danish settlement. A few years later, Ruth enlisted in the military. In the Waves, Sparks was sent to boot camp in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, then on to Memphis, Tenn., for Aviation and Mechanic School, reports her business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi.
“I was the second class of WAVES,” Sparks told KSAT.
Sparks worked as a mechanic and a secretary during WWII, but eventually requested a transfer south to get away from the snow. Finding her new home in Corpus Christi, Texas, “Buttercup” met the man who would become her husband.