“We are saddened by the passing of Betty White. Not only was she an amazing actress, but she also served during WWII as a member of the American Women’s Voluntary Services.”
While millions of admirers grieve the death of famous television star Betty White, who passed away on Friday at the age of 99, the U.S. Army honored her for her earliest and most crucial services—as a volunteer during World War II, reports Fox News.
In the late 1930s, White landed a job modeling, but she put her bigger ambitions on hold during World War II to work for the American Women’s Voluntary Services (AWVS) in 1941.
According to archived information from the National Women’s History Museum, AWVS was the largest of women’s auxiliary organizations during WWII, with uniformed members trained to work on the home front to drive ambulances, sell bonds, and provide aid in the event of an air attack. According to the Military Times, the organization had over 300,000 members at its peak.
In a 2010 interview with Cleveland magazine, White said that her job entailed driving a PX truck full of supplies to barracks in the Hollywood Hills while attending nighttime dances for departing troops. The famous star reportedly served five years with the group.
“It was a strange time and out of balance with everything, which I’m sure the young people are going through now,” White told the magazine.
Jeff Witjas, her agent and close friend, confirmed her death on Friday.
“Even though Betty was about to be 100, I thought she would live forever,” Witjas said to People magazine. “I will miss her terribly and so will the animal world that she loved so much. I don’t think Betty ever feared passing because she always wanted to be with her most beloved husband Allen Ludden. She believed she would be with him again.”