In honor of Veterans Day this week, we took the opportunity to salute our New Jersey veterans and allowed listeners to call in to shout out the heroic members of their families who served in the military.

A long-time friend of the show, Dr. Ron Glassman, called in to salute a very special veteran of World War II: His 97-year-old mother Shirley Glassman.

In all of the years that I have been broadcasting and paying homage to veterans of World War II, never once has someone called to salute a female World War II veteran. But that’s exactly what we did today when we heard Shirley’s story.

Shirley Siegendorf Leff Glassman, age 97, a World War II veteran, was born and raised in Passaic. She now lives in Delray Beach, Florida.

Shirley looking smart in her women’s army Corp uniform. (Photo provided by Dr. Ron Glassman)

She is among the most patriotic people you’ll ever meet. So moved by the war, at 17 years of age, she forged her parents' signature on the paperwork to get into the Women's Army Corps.

Shirley, we salute you. You understood girl power way before most feminists did.
Here, her corps trains on a medical dummy during World War II. (Photo provided by Dr. Ron Glassman)

While in Boot Camp, her secret was uncovered and she was sent home back to her parents in Passaic. She begged her parents to allow her to serve. Eventually, they relented and signed the papers and back to boot camp this brave and determined woman went.

She served nearly 15 months as a T-5 medical technician and upon her honorable discharge, she still wasn’t done achieving.

She used the GI Bill to become a registered nurse.
Shirley and her fellow Medical Techs served in the Womens Army Corp. (Photo provided by Dr. Ron Glassman)

Shirley practiced for 50 years, from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m., taking advantage of the overnight shift so that she could raise her three kids. She was an operating room nurse, a manager, a patient educator, and a nursing instructor. She practiced at Beth Israel Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital, both in Passaic, as well as the Barnert Hospital in Paterson.

Talk about a hero!

Shirley, at age 97, pictured with her son Dr. Ron Glassman, complete with her World War II veterans cap (Photo provided by Dr. Ron Glassman)

Shirley, we salute you. You understood girl power way before most feminists did. We give thanks for serving our country, you did the most important job of all which was being a mother.

Let’s hope that the young girls of today can become women even half as smart powerful and ambitious as you. You are truly an example for all women.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco. Any opinions expressed are Judi Franco’s own.

Red flags for someone who claims to be from New Jersey