MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) -- A long overdue honor -- for one of Montgomery, Alabama’s oldest residents. Romay Davis, 102, received the Congressional Gold Medal for her service in World War II.
It’s one the highest civilian honors Congress can bestow. Private Davis -- certainly earned it.
“She’s the oldest and one of only six still alive to receive the honor,” said Col. Eries Mentzer, 42nd Air Base Wing Commander, Maxwell AFB.
Deployed overseas to Europe in 1945 -- Davis and 854 other women of 6888th -- sorted through and re-directed a backlog of more than 18-million pieces of mail -- in turn lifting the morale of the troops on the frontlines.
“Governor Ivey is very fond of saying - sometimes the best man for the job is a woman... And obviously the Army recognized the fact since all those men couldn’t get the mail out - they sent a battalion of women over there and they fixed it in half the time they thought they could do that,” said Major General Sheryl Gordon, Alabama National Guard.
An example and inspiration -- Davis helped pave the way for so many women.
“Words cannot express what it means to stand with you in this incredible moment. I and so many others would not be here had you not paved the freedom to serve. Thank you for your exemplary service,” said Col. Mentzer.
Among the awards -- a historic military trunk with shadow box and authentic World War II era uniform included. It’s a special keepsake as Davis’ uniform was stolen from her car upon return home. She’s grateful beyond measure.
“I never would have thought that anything like this could have happened to me. I never seen a uniform before -- I lost mine on the way home. And the first time a Congressional medal for all of us. For all of us -- those who have gone and those who remain. Thank you... Thank you so very much everyone,” said Davis.
The honor was extra special -- as Tuesday marked the 74th Anniversary on the integration of the Armed Forces.