On November 30, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs announced Marcella LeBeau as “Veteran of the Day.” A video featuring LeBeau was posted on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ website, YouTube channel and Facebook page.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs stated:
“Ninety-nine-year-old Marcella Ryan LeBeau enlisted in 1943 and served in the Army Nurse Corps in WWII, reaching the rank of 1st Lieutenant.
Marcella received orders to join the 76th General Hospital unit and was shipped out to England, followed by Wales, France and Belgium, supporting the European Theatre Operations and caring for those injured in the Normandy Landings and on the front line during the Battle of the Bulge.
Marcella is from Eagle Butte, South Dakota where she is a member of the Two Kettle Band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe.
During WWII, on the 60th anniversary of D-Day, Marcella traveled to France where she was presented with the French Legion of Honor Award. Marcella continues to participate at many Veterans’ events, speaking of her military experience in World War II.
In 2006, Marcella was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame, being recognized for her military achievements as well as her 31 years in nursing. Marcella has raised a family of eight children and remains a fierce advocate for Veterans, the Lakota language and culture and much, much more.
On her birthday, October 12, Cheyenne-Eagle Butte students honored LeBeau during their Native American Week powwow. An honor song was performed as students lined up to hug LeBeau, wishing her a happy birthday.”
“I was a nurse in World War II. I served in a surgical ward in in Liege, Belgium in a thousand tent hospital. We were right near the front lines during the Battle of the Bulge. We were busy all the time, night and day. It has been one of the greatest honors and privileges of my life to have been there to do what I was capable of doing and to help in that way,” said LeBeau.
As of press time, the video reached more than 76,000 views.