Donning a beautiful baby-pink dress with a sparkling “Birthday Queen” crown and pearl jewelry, the oldest living World War II nurse celebrated her 108th birthday with her daughter and caretakers at the Carl Vinson Medical Center in Georgia.
Nations worldwide pay tribute to their war heroes and armed forces for protecting them against their enemies. The citizens greatly respect their country’s veterans because of their endless sacrifices for their homeland.
The woman in today’s story served the United States in World War II, where she had to sacrifice many things to protect her country’s people. Decades later, she celebrated her 108th birthday with those who cared for her the most.
Meta Monteleon and Martha Duke. | Source: Youtube.com/13WMAZ
THE WORLD WAR II NURSE
Meta Monteleon was born in 1914 and grew up to join the healthcare sector as a nurse. Her younger sister, Virginia Dupree Phillips, followed in Monteleon’s footsteps and chose to become a nurse. The sisters served their country as nurses when the second world war started.
Monteleon and Phillips joined the armed forces and cared for German prisoners of war in Pearl Harbor during World War II. After the war, Monteleon continued pursuing her passion and served in the healthcare sector for over 50 years.
The former nurse had a daughter, Martha Duke, who loved watching her mother excel in her career. She celebrated Monteleon’s achievements with her, including her 108th birthday in Georgia.
THE UNSTOPPABLE WOMAN
Monteleon loved doing things that other people her age didn’t do. At 98, she gave a speech that “brought the house down” at Virginia’s memorial day service. Her daughter witnessed the audience listening to her uplifting speech.
When 5newsonline asked Monteleon about the secret behind her success, she revealed it.
Monteleon made it to the news a year later by doing chair yoga — something 99-year-olds wouldn’t want to attempt. Duke said her mother’s fantastic performance left people speechless because they weren’t expecting an almost-100-year-old woman to do chair yoga.
EXPERIENCING THE PANDEMIC
Monteleon lived in the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin, where she only spread smiles and positive vibes. In 2020, she experienced something that the world had never seen before: the Covid-19 pandemic.
She reconnected with her then-100-year-old sister through Facetime, who resided in a Raleigh, North Carolina, nursing home. Monteleon said she had wanted to get in touch with Phillips for a long time. She added:
“I think we’re lucky to be as safe as we are. Having the ability to stay in touch with family during this time is wonderful and important.”
Photos of Meta Monteleon. | Source: Youtube.com/WMAZ
HER 108TH BIRTHDAY
August 4, 2022, marked Monteleon’s 108th birthday, and the Carl Vinson Medical Center took it as an opportunity to celebrate the former nurse’s achievements. The medical center’s staff arranged a birthday party for her.
Monteleon donned a pretty baby-pink dress and paired it with delicate pearl jewelry she wore every day. She also put on a sparkling crown that said, “Birthday Queen.” One of the nurses, Tina Montford, said:
“Pearl earrings and pearl necklaces, and that fit her personality. If you think about Monteleon, you definitely think of a jewel.”
Meta Monteleon’s birthday crown. | Source: Youtube.com/13WMAZ
The staff at Carl Vinson Medical Center had nothing but praises for Monteleon. A nurse, Nicole Dent, said she loved taking care of Monteleon because the latter “brightens [her] day every time [she sees] her.” Monteleon often shared words of wisdom with her nurses.
“She has a very welcoming and warm spirit. She’s genuine. Everything about her is just lovely,” Montford said. Duke was also present at her mother’s 108th birthday celebration and was happy to see that the staff was pleased with Monteleon. Duke said:
“She’s always been a lifelong learner and insatiably curious.”
Meta Monteleon’s pearl bracelet. | Source: Youtube.com/13WMAZ
HER BIGGEST SECRET
Seeing her mother achieve so much in life and never give up has taught Duke the true meaning of resilience.
She also hoped she could learn from her mother’s sense of humor. When 5newsonline asked Monteleon about the secret behind her success, she revealed it. She said:
“Learn to labor and to wait and those words that have followed me throughout my whole entire time here at the VA, and those are certainly words to live by. Learn to labor and to wait.”
The Dublin VA Medical Center shared photos of Monteleon’s 108th birthday party on their Facebook page. Their post was shared more than a thousand times, and people left about 290 comments. Here is what they said:
“Happy happy 108th birthday. Thank you for your service and sacrifices during your WWII nursing career.”
– (@Deber Bowen Rhodes) August 3, 2022
“Wishing you the happiest of birthdays! Thank you for your service to our country. You are celebrated and appreciated. Praying God shines his richest blessings on you.”
– (@Amanda Hart Amerson) August 4, 2022
“Happy Birthday, Lieutenant Monteleon. You are indeed a great example of Americans that we take pride in. Stay healthy and go forward and upward.”
– (@Larry Mcfall) August 6, 2022