Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Wallace E. Lane. Wallace served in World War II.

Wallace joined the Army in 1942. Because he was colorblind, Wallace couldn’t become a pilot. Nevertheless, he volunteered for paratroop training because that way he could still work in a plane. Wallace was trained as a motor mechanic and sent overseas to serve in the European Theater in Normandy, Netherlands, and Ardennes campaigns.

When he was picking up mail in Bastogne, a shell hit the cobblestones, and he was severely injured. He was sent back to the U.S. to a hospital to be operated and it was there that he met the love of his life, a young WAC named Gordena. Although they were transferred to different hospitals, they continued their romance and married after his discharge in 1947.

Wallace received the Purple Heart, Belgian Croix de Guerre with Palm, Distinguished Unit Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge, and a Bronze Star.

After leaving the service, Wallace and Gordena lived in Los Angeles and raised 2 daughters and a son. Wallace worked in aerospace, first as a draftsman, then a design engineer. In his years in the aerospace field, one of his accomplishments was working on the Apollo space capsule.

Twenty years after the war, Wallace and his family traveled to Europe so he could revisit the places he’d seen during the war.

Wallace passed away in April 2015 at the age of 93.

We honor his service.


Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to newmedia@va.gov with as much of the information as you can put together with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating for how to create the best submission.


Graphic By Kierra Willis: Kierra Willis is a Graphic Communication Major at the University of Maryland University College. She currently has an AAS in Graphic Design and Visual Communications.

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Published on Mar. 19, 2017

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