Freedom Fighters: Helen Shoop and Johnny Lightfoot

Freedom Fighters: Helen Shoop and Johnny Lightfoot

(KLTV) - Helen Shoop was living in her native state of Pennsylvania when she joined the Women's Army Corps, or WACs, in 1943.

"I just thought, I believed I could do something worthwhile, so I just decided to try to join the service."

Helen not only joined the army,but  she applied for overseas duty, even though the war was raging throughout most of the world.

"It's dangerous for everybody. You never know what's going to happen," Helen said.

Helen's first posting was in New Guinea.

"The WACs were in tents and then on the far side, General MacArthur had his headquarters."

It was in New Guinea that Helen was to meet the love of her life, a tall handsome Texan from Palestine, Johnny Lightfoot.

"They threw a dance and a party.The fellas would come and pick up different girls. We didn't know anybody.These two guys came, my future husband and another guy came and he took one of my friends," she remembers.

A short time later,  Johnny was sent to the Philippines, where American forces were battling the Japanese in some of the most ferocious fights of the war. It was there that johnny that Johnny was awarded the bronze star while serving in the military police,

"Then our outfit moved to the Philippines. We were north of Manilla."

I asked her, "Did you know you were going to see him again?"

"Well, I felt like I would.  We had a feeling for each other but we didn't make any plans to get married then," she replied.

As the war was ending, Johnny was sent home before Helen, but both were determined not to be apart.

"When I came back to the states I went to Palestine before I went home. I wanted to meet his family, some of them anyhow, before I married him."

Helen and Johnny were married March 2, 1946.

"We got married at his sister's house, at her home in Palestine.

"And you've been Texan ever since?"

"Oh yes. We were married 63 years before I lost him," she recalls.

Johnny lightfoot passed away  in 2006. Their three children, grand children and great grandchildren visit Helen often at Dogwood Trails assisted living..
They were all here this month to celebrate Helen Lightffoot's one hundredth birthday and to honor her life and her time serving our country.

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