World War II veteran has always led active life
The military has always played a big role in Virginia Jones’ life. Her father was a World War I and World War II veteran. She is a World War II veteran and her oldest son, David, is a Vietnam veteran. Jones can be spotted around town driving a Nissan Cube. “It’s a perfect car for the older generation … and it’s a perfect car for anyone that has a handicap, or any difficulty getting up and down,” she said.
Photo by Carl Kotala
Virginia Jones has never been one to sit around and let the world pass her by.
The 87-year-old, who moved to Viera in April, has worn many hats throughout her life.
“If I saw a job advertised, I would say, ‘I can do that,’” she said. “I like to do different things.”
Jones has been a real estate agent and office manager. She’s worked for the Supervisor of Elections. Heck, she’s even done some demonstration work for Publix. But there is nothing the West Virginia native is more proud of than her time spent in the military.
World War II had broken out during her senior year of high school, and some of the boys in her class were starting to leave to join the service.
“Everybody was very patriotic,” Jones said. “Everybody wanted to join the service — including me. We all just wanted to take care of our country. That’s what you were supposed to do.”
When the FBI came to school, recruiting seniors to work in Washington, D.C. for the War Department, Jones jumped at the chance. She was trained to do clerical work, which she did for several months before joining the Navy WAVES.
She was sent to DeLand Naval Air Station, a small base used to train fighter pilots. It also housed German POWs.
Jones served as the news editor of the base newspaper, called The DeLandings, and stayed in DeLand until the war ended in 1946.
After a year at the Jacksonville Air Station, she went back to West Virginia and attended business school for two years before she decided to join the Air Force at age 25.
In addition to becoming an officer, she spent two years in Japan, where she served as a protocol officer for Maj. Gen. Roger Ramey.
She served as a Women in the Air Force (WAF) commander in New York and Oklahoma City, before being sent to Harrisburg, W. Va., to be a recruiter. While visiting the campus of American University in Washington, D.C., she met and married Robert Jones, a Purple Heart veteran. She had the first of her two sons, David, and with the rank of captain, resigned her commission in 1959.
After leaving the military, she worked as a realtor in El Paso, Texas, and for the federal government before retiring to Jacksonville.
She decided to move to Viera to be closer to family and likes it so much, she plans to spend the rest of her life here. Of course, she still wants to stay busy.
“I don’t know if anyone would let me do anything now, but I still want that … a job was always meaningful to me,” she said. “I’d still like to have some part-time work to do.”