Profile: Howard and Rita
A solider in the US Army during WWII, Howard was stationed in the Philippines and Japan. Shortly after the war ended, he returned to Manila where he was once again stationed.
While working as part of an operation to help remove troops and equipment, he met his wife Rita, a 17 year old who had just spent the past four years under brutal Japanese occupation for women and children during the War. Rita was assisting the military in a clerical position.
"I was immediately attracted to her," he said. "I thought she was a tough, intelligent young gal."
"We worked together," recalls Rita. "I thought he was a nice, handsome guy."
After a short courtship, the couple married. However, three months following their wedding, Howard was forced to return to the states because of an illness.
The two corresponded during this time by writing letters. It wasn't until three months later, that Rita made the journey from the Philippines to Atlanta.
"I was on a ship for 21 days," recalls Rita. "I then had to take a train from Oakland to Atlanta which took six days. When I arrived in Atlanta, I was scared to meet his family. I was only 18 years old."
Currently, the happy couple resides at a continuing care retirement community, Park Springs, and enjoy a fun filled life with great kids and grand kids.