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Woman goes from serving country to serving students
VIDOR-By: Leslie Rangel
Veterans Day may bring images of American men serving in the military, and men coming home in uniform.
But, you may not often think of the women who served our country.
One Southeast Texan tells us the story about serving our country as an Army Core nurse and as a guard during the Nazi Nuremberg Trials.
Lavon Stephenson Havens still uses a type writer.
Her title is band aide for the Vidor High School Pirate Band, and much like a bandage, She holds things together.
"As long as they'll let me work, I'll work," Havens says.
She files papers, keeps up with student bills and she's also 90 years old.
"Most people my age are already dead!" Havens says laughing out loud.
It's a reality she's faced with, World War two veterans, like her, are fewer each day.
"I graduated from high school here in 1940 which was about the middle of the second world war," Havens remembers.
She chose a nursing career and went off to school.
"While I was there, Pearl Harbor happened and I thought, you know, the boys in my class are going to war," Havens says.
So she enlisted as an army nurse
"I was sent oversees, went on the Queen Mary to England, stayed during the Christmas holidays while the Battle of the Bulge was going on, " Havens said.
The memories of her patients still live on.
"I remember one soldier who was a musician, played the piano, who had lost part of his fingers and that was devastating to him because he lost something that was dear to him," Havens said.
Nurse Stephenson, as she was known, also served as guard at the Nuremberg Trials.
"I was an on duty guard for the women who were prisoners there," Havens says.
She left the Army as a first lieutenant and ended up a school nurse.
"I don't feel like I did anything spectacular, I was doing the duty that I had enlisted to do," Havens says.
Today, she spends every weekday doing what she loves.
A long journey from a war, to enjoying kids and music.
"I just love what I do, it's something for me to get up for everyday," Havens says with a smile.
These days she even gets to lead the band.
Friday night, during the football game, Nurse Havens was honored for her service.