With the arrival of Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, Armed Forces Day and Independence each year, thoughts turn to those men and women who served in the armed forces during those times.

With the arrival of Memorial Day, Veteran's Day, Armed Forces Day and Independence each year, thoughts turn to those men and women who served in the armed forces during those times.
However, following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor some 70 years ago, one local woman performed her wartime duties as her husband prepared to ship overseas.
During 1942-43, Ruth White worked in the Kaiser Liberty Shipyards in Richmond, Calif. as a part of the "Rosie the Riveter" crews in the United States.
The crews were made up mostly of housewives whose husbands had shipped overseas as part of the war effort during World War II and they began to take jobs in factories, often building ships and planes for the government.
Those crews spawned a “Wendy the Welder” offshoot group based on Janet Doyle, a welder at the same shipyard as White.
"I started as a tacker and finished as a general welder and welded the seams of the ships," White recounted recently as she discussed her contribution.
"As a tacker, to become a welder I had to take a Journeyman's Test, and I took that test until I passed it.  Then I went to work welding the seams of the ships."
White notes that the pictures of the young women seen from those days were accurate as they were portrayed to the public.
"We wore our hair in bandanas, wore high top shoes with steel toes and coveralls.  Our leather coveralls and jacket, hood and gloves was in six lockers at the yard," she said.
"You've seen pictures of women, some famous - some not, dressed in those coveralls and bandanas and that is how we went to work every day."
Among those famous pictures which have been distributed for years was a young Norma Jeane Mortensen Baker, who parlayed her "15 minutes of fame" as a patriotic riveter into that of a Hollywood starlet.
"You probably know her as Marilyn Monroe," White quipped, "those pictures helped  get her noticed."
Those times in the shipyards were hard work White points out and very dangerous.
"We were over water.  I sat on a five-gallon on a scaffold on the outside of the ship, starting on the bottom and finished it."
Upon completion, those ships had one final shipyard duty before setting sail.
"When the ship was ready to launch, movie stars and big shots would come and hit the ship with champagne to christen it and it was ready to sail."
White continued, "I saw Lana Turner and Joan Crawford, I can't remember the others, I didn't know them as well."
She also explained that not only was the work difficult, just getting to work proved to be a challenge.
"My husband, J.D. White, was stationed in San Francisco, Calif.  My day started at 5 a.m. during blackout time and there was just very little light shining on the curb of the street, just the street numbers painted there."
White added, "I caught a streetcar, changed twice, then got on a ferry and rode 21 miles to Richmond (Calif.).  We came so close to Alcatraz Prison you could see the guards and their guns.  We could see San Quentin Prison also."
She remembers thinking as she passed Alcatraz that "those young men were someone's sons and brothers and husbands and it was a really somber trip sometimes."
However, it did not always affect their ferry rides.
"A lot of mornings we would jitterbug on the ferry, we had fun," she explained with a smile.
Those days in the shipyards were also memorable for another reason for the onetime Beedeville native.
"I worked side by side with men and and made the same money they did.  It was the first and last time I have done that."
When her husband shipped overseas, White returned to Arkansas and began a very eclectic work history which, in one way or another, often involved modes of transportation.
"I have made shoes, planes, ships and rockets," she eagerly stated, " I went to work at a Rocket plant in Camden.  I have also worked in a factory making airplanes as well as Air Research plant in Los Angeles, Calif. after the war."
As well as making factory products, White notes that "I have also made women beautiful for 46 years with Mary Kay Cosmetics."
After working for Drs. Omar Weatherford and Conrad Taylor, she worked at one time or another for both hospitals performing duties from Certified Nursing Assistant to switchboard operation, ward clerk and time in the administration office.
White also worked for many years as a caregiver in the Newport area.
"I have sat with doctors, lawyers and so many others I couldn't name.  But they have touched my life in so many ways and I hope to have touched them also."  
She continued, "I still get calls to sit with people but I need a housekeeper now."
Despite her age, White maintains she tries to keep busy as she belongs to a number of local organizations including the Business & Professional Women's Club of which she has served as President as well as District President.  She was also voted their Woman of the Year in 1988 and the Best Community Volunteer in 2004 and 2007.
She has been the President of the American Legion #47 for 38 years and has served as District 6 President.
"I am also a member of the Church of Christ, Senior Circle and the Fifty Five Alive Groups."
As time marches on, White remains extremely proud of the work she did those many years ago.
"I belong to the American Rosie the Riveter Association (A.R.R.A.), which was founded in 1998 to honor the working women of World War II," she explained.
Their motto, "We Can Still Do It!" and seems to be something White has lived her whole life by.
Today, White shares her stories with her daughter, Judy Lynn White Rennicke, her granddaughters, Brandy and Jennifer, and two great-grandchildren, Ardin and Sophie, "the loves of my life."
"It hasn't been a bad life for an old girl from Beedeville."