Frances A. Dennis and her two siblings went to live with their aunt after the death of their parents. It was then that she first felt she needed to go off and create a life of her own.
Dennis entered the Women’s Army Corps in 1969 while studying at Trevecca Nazarene College (now Trevecca Nazarene University) in Nashville, Tennessee. She earned the rank of corporal during her senior year, and eventually graduated with a degree in business education. After graduating college, she completed two years of active duty, and then returned home to complete her remaining obligation in the Reserve.
After discharge, Dennis returned to Trevecca Nazarene College to complete her teaching credentials. She learned the Tennessee National Guard wanted women to join. In January 1974, Dennis became a lieutenant in the Tennessee National Guard.
Dennis served for seven years in the National Guard before she went for advanced training. She eventually applied for a recall into active duty. Upon returning to the Army, Dennis requested an assignment to Alaska because it seemed adventuresome, but ultimately went to Panama. In Panama, Dennis worked in the Finance Branch, primarily in central accounting. She promoted to major while stationed in Panama.
In 1983, the University of Massachusetts in Amherst hired her as an assistant professor in military science. Three years later, she went to Washington, D.C., to the U.S. Army Physical Disabilities Agency as their policy officer. She was responsible for regulations, getting involved in policy and helping soldiers with medical issues. Dennis enjoyed her work so much that, after retiring from the Army, she returned to the agency as a civilian employee.
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Writer: Robert Terry
Editor: Kailey Miller
Graphic artist: Aiman Alhuda