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Press Release

Rep. Castor Honors WWII Veteran Gladys Blount for Library of Congress’ Veteran’s History Project

TAMPA, FL – U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14) honored World War II veteran and Ruskin neighbor Gladys Blount on her 101st birthday and the 79th anniversary of D-Day for the Library of Congress' Veterans History Project. Gladys served in the all-Black all-female 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion Unit. 

Ms. Blount, born June 6, 1922, grew up in New Jersey and worked as a hairdresser. She wished to travel the world, so she volunteered to serve her country and shortly left for Europe on a boat. Blount was assigned to the Postal Directory Battalion, where she assisted in clearing a six-month backlog of mail going to other service members. Ms. Blount’s hard work helped clear the backlog within three months, but Ms. Blount and her fellow service members were never recognized publicly until recently. 

“The work of Ms. Blount and the other women in the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion Unit is heroic and crucial to connecting service members with their families and loved ones,” said Castor. “The ability to clear a six-month backlog of mail in three short months boosted morale during the war, and I am so happy to see her critical work be awarded and recognized throughout the state of Florida and the nation. I am honored to present Ms. Blount’s story to the Library of Congress on behalf of the people of District 14.”

“I am surprised about the award, but I am glad we are finally being recognized,” said Ms. Blount when asked if she wished the 6888th Battalion had been recognized earlier. “I realize now my work was important, but it just felt like a regular routine to me, and I would not change anything.”

Ms. Blount and the 6888th Battalion were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Biden in 2022. Their story will now live in the Library of Congress alongside other veterans for the Veteran’s History Project. 

The video/oral history submission can be found here.

The Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress collects, preserves and makes accessible the firsthand recollections of U.S. military veterans who served from World War I through more recent conflicts and peacekeeping missions, so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand what they saw, did and felt during their service.