Oldest Known Veteran in the U.S. Passes Away One Month After Meeting President Obama
Emma Didlake, the oldest known veteran in the United States, died on Sunday at the age of 110.
Didlake's daughter told the San Antonio Express-News that she felt tired over the past few days and showed signs of failing health.
"It was a month ago today that we went to the White House," said Marilyn Horne. "I think she felt he had accomplished everything and could take her rest."
Didlake joined the Women's Army Auxillary Corps at the age of 38 and earned a number of medals for her service. During this time, she was a mother of five children. After serving the military, she became an active member of the civil rights movement. She was a member of the Detroit chapter of the NAACP and marched alongside with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963.
During her visit to the White House, President Barack Obama said: "We are so grateful that she is here with us today. And it's a great remind of not only the sacrifices that the greatest generation made on our behalf, but also the kind of trailblazing that our women veterans made, African-American veterans who helped to integrate our armed services."
After learning of Didlake's passing, the president released a statement which thanked her for fulfilling her service with distinction and honor. "I was humbled and grateful to welcome Emma to the White House last month," Obama said, "Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to Emma's family, friends, and everyone she inspired over her long and quintessentially American life."
To learn about more influential women in the military, watch our Women in War documentary.
Photo Credit: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images