Lacey’s Barbara Nichols served in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. At 95, she is one of the oldest living U.S. military nurses, and she can trace her family’s history in the military back to the American Revolution.
All of which makes her more than qualified to raise the Seahawks “12” fan flag at Monday’s game as part of the team’s annual military tribute.
Nichols, who lives in the Panorama retirement community in Lacey, is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army Nurse Corps. She helped build Boeing bombers during World War II and was an original member of the Cadet Nurse Corps.
“Oh, she’s jazzed,” said Shirley Stirling, a friend of Nichols who called Monday’s event a “well-deserved tribute.”
Stirling is regent of the Sacajawea Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which Nichols belongs to. On Friday, she planned to join Nichols at a meet-and-greet with Seahawks players and coach Pete Carroll after the team’s practice.
Nichols was recommended to the Seahawks by the Washington Secretary of State’s Office, which included her story in a recent exhibit and book called “Korea 65: The Forgotten War Remembered.”
In it, Nichols describes the battlefield casualties she saw in Korea: “When you’re doing your job as a nurse or doctor, you have to stay calm. When it bothers you is later. It’s the memories that won’t go away.”