Carmen was the first Puerto Rican woman to join the Women's Army Corps, where she served as interpreter. She spoke five languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French.
Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, she later moved to New York City and graduated from Julia Richman High School in the Bronx. Six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Carmen joined the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. During the time that the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps was being established, they were looking for bilingual Hispanic women to fill career fields such as cryptology, communications and interpretation.