World War II veteran Gladys Hughes, 99, has a patriotic message for the nation

Veteran Gladys Hughes, 99, has a lasting message for all as the nation celebrates Veterans Day this year and continues to remember all of our veterans throughout the weekend and every day of the year.

It’s about veterans and their importance to this country.

She told Fox News Digital via email, “When someone says to me, ‘Thank you for your service,’ I want to yell at them, ‘Thank you for your attention!'”

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“The men and women who have served our country are responsible for the many freedoms we enjoy,” she said.

“In a way, since I’ve been in the military, I know what these veterans have been through.”

Gladys Hughes is honored in October 2022 in Nashville by The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project. "When someone says to me: “Thank you for your service”, I want to shout to him: “Thank you for your attention!" Hughes told Fox News Digital.  She served in the U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve, otherwise known as SPAR.

Gladys Hughes is honored in October 2022 in Nashville by The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project. “When someone says to me, ‘Thank you for your service,’ I want to yell at them, ‘Thank you for your attention! ‘” Hughes told Fox News Digital. She served in the U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserve, otherwise known as SPAR.
(Robyn McIsaac/The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project)

“No, not war or fighting, but the mental, physical and emotional strength they must have to serve our country.”

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Hughes — a longtime teacher, educator, debate coach, playwright and now writer — served in the Coast Guard Women’s Reserve, also known as SPAR.

“The men and women who have served our country are responsible for the many freedoms we enjoy.”

During World War II, the Coast Guard and other services “found themselves in dire need of more men at sea and more troops on foreign soil,” the Coast Guard explains on its website.

“They recognized that filling US shore jobs with women would allow more men to serve elsewhere and hasten the war effort.”

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“SPARs were the answer. These women were under military direction, and they were subject to assignments as required by the service.”

The site also explains, “The jobs they did could not have been done by civilians working for the armed forces because they weren’t as mobile and not subject to military law and discipline.”

Recently, on Oct. 26 in Nashville, Hughes was among those honored at an event at the City Winery, the fourth annual Charlie Daniels Patriot Awards.

Pictured in Nashville on October 26, 2022, are the winners and participants, including (from left to right), Jeff Paine, Dayna Paine, Travis Ellis, Tara Pruitt, Joel Pruitt, Donnie Reis, David Corlew, Josh Romaker, Carolyn Corlew, Jake Traseger, Storme Warren, Col. Brent Lindeman, Scooter Brown, Ret.  Brigadier General Scott Brower, Lee Greenwood, Ret.  Col Jay Powers and John Veltri.

Pictured in Nashville on October 26, 2022, are the winners and participants, including (from left to right), Jeff Paine, Dayna Paine, Travis Ellis, Tara Pruitt, Joel Pruitt, Donnie Reis, David Corlew, Josh Romaker, Carolyn Corlew, Jake Traseger, Storme Warren, Col. Brent Lindeman, Scooter Brown, Ret. Brigadier General Scott Brower, Lee Greenwood, Ret. Col Jay Powers and John Veltri.
(Robyn McIsaac/The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project)

The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project (TCDJHP) – which Hughes helped – has raised more than half a million dollars for American veterans, according to media documents shared with Fox News Digital.

The evening included live performances from artist Chris Young, the War Hippies (combat warriors Scooter Brown and Donnie Reis) – plus a surprise appearance from Lee Greenwood, who performed his signature hit, “God Bless the USA”.

This year’s Charlie Daniels Patriot Awards went to actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise, Army veteran and TCDJHP ambassador Joel Pruitt and Nashville businessman Lee Beaman.

Hughes felt the ‘call of duty’ at a young age – and left college as a junior to enlist in the US Coast Guard during World War II as an HA1C medic.

“Once again, those who are concerned about the welfare of our returning veterans have come out to make a difference,” said TCDJHP co-founder and longtime Daniels manager David Corlew. “It was a wonderful evening of patriotism, support and kindness.”

Gladys Hughes was one of two special guests – two World War II veterans – also honored at the dinner.

Hughes felt the ‘call of duty’ at a young age – and left college as a junior to enlist in the US Coast Guard during World War II as an HA1C medic.

The organization said that “she appreciates beauty at every stage and in every avenue of life, winning second place in the 2012 Ms. Veteran America pageant, which strives to promote the issues of homeless female veterans.”

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She was crowned Mississippi Senior America in 2003 and spoke about the importance of theater for children, TCDJHP also said.

Hughes told Fox News Digital, “I never forgot I was in the military. Maybe I was born a patriot. To this day I’m proud to be an American and to have served in US Coast Guard SPARs.”

She added, “While serving, I learned a lot. I not only learned a lot about myself, but also about our country and my responsibility to it.”

“To this day, I am proud to be an American and to have served in the United States Coast Guard SPARs.”

She said she “realized a ‘professional interest’ because I worked in the infirmary. I met many people whose friendships remained over the years. I learned about discipline and its necessity. I learned respect.”

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Hughes said that in the service, “I was instilled in me that I was there ‘to free a man to fight.’ Fighting for our country was the thing to do after Pearl Harbor.”

Of our Veterans and Veterans Day each year, Hughes said, “Veterans Day is a way to honor and pay tribute to all who have served.

She added, “I was so proud to be part of the Charlie Daniels Patriot Awards event. Knowing and understanding the mission of the Journey Home Project is very important to me.”

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She noted that “events and organizations like this are needed to help our military brothers and sisters who are hurting and/or in need.”

She said: “The only question we should ask ourselves is, ‘What can I do to help? “”

Hughes was an award-winning speech and drama teacher in Louisiana when she retired at 65 – and became involved with Final Salute Inc. The group’s mission is to provide decent housing for homeless women veterans and to their children, according to her daughter Bonnie Hughes, who shared an online profile of her mother.

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The Charlie Daniels Journey Home Project (TCDJHP) is a non-profit organization that helps other non-profit organizations obtain funds to help causes that benefit American veterans. The organization was co-founded in 2014 by country music legend Charlie Daniels and his manager, David Corlew.

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