Female vets celebrated for service

Mildred Piper, 94, of Kokomo was recognized for her service as a bookkeeper and storekeeper for the U.S. Navy during World War II. Piper served from 1942 to 1945 in Tennessee and Illinois and at Pearl Harbor. “My parents wanted me to be a teacher or doctor, and I thought the hell with that I don’t even spell good,” she said of her enlistment at 21 years old. “The Navy came along, and I joined the Navy.” Also receiving recognition was Rita C. Silva, 81, of Makawao. Silva served in the U.S. Air Force from 1953 to 1956 and was stationed in West Palm Beach, Fla. “I was 20 years old, and I didn’t know anything about the world or how to read a map,” she said. “But the Air Force was very good to us.” More than 50 Maui female veterans of all branches of the military were honored Saturday at the Hawaii Army National Guard Armory in Kihei. The event included food, entertainment, and certificates for each veteran in honor of their service.