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A past recruiting slogan for the U.S. Navy stated, “Join the Navy and see the world.”
That slogan could very well summarize the military career of Lorrie Haver of Mount Ayr.
Lorrie was the youngest of 10 children growing up in a suburb of Milwaukee, WI.
After graduation from West Allis High School, she took an office job, where she spent the next three years.
During that time, however, she came to the conclusion she was in a dead end job.
“I wanted to see more and do more,” she said.
Not long after, in 1952 she enlisted in the U.S. Navy and found herself at the Naval Training Center in Bainbridge, MD just outside Baltimore.
Following boot camp she entered yeoman school for nine weeks.
Lorrie’s first duty station was at the Newport, RI, Naval Training Center where she was an office worker on the Officer Candidate School staff.
Stationed in the New England area, Lorrie said she had plenty of opportunity to visit Boston and New York, big experiences for a young girl from Wisconsin.
After two years, Lorrie decided she wanted to expand her horizons even further, so she applied for overseas duty.
Although she had hoped to be stationed in Italy, the birthplace of both her mother and father, instead she was sent to Tokyo, Japan to serve as a receptionist in the United Nations Headquarters Far East Command.
“Everybody was admirals and generals,” she said. “We had lots of important people come through. It was interesting.”
One of those generals was Douglas MacArthur, who Lorrie saw at a distance.
While in Japan, Lorrie continued her travels, including trips to Mount Fuji and to Kamakura, the site of the Great Buddha statue.
After three years and three months, Lorrie left the service with fond memories. In fact, she still keeps in touch with friends she made in New England and in Japan.
“I wanted to have as many experiences and go as far as I could,” she said. “It was good for me.”
Over the years, Lorrie has had many opportunities to return to her hometown in Wisconsin. Instead, the girl who wanted to see the world today calls Mount Ayr home.