Phi Mu And World War II: How One Girl Helped Make A Veteran's Dying Wish Come True

Phi Mu And World War II: How One Girl Helped Make A Veteran's Dying Wish Come True

U.S. Involvement began with Pearl Harbor.
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When you think of final wishes, many people immediately assume it is a sad story dealing with the Make-A-Wish Foundation (for dying children). This story, though, is nothing but positivity! It is about an unlikely pair of two completely different organizations: a sorority and a World War II veteran.

World War II took place from 1939 to 1945, beginning with the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. This event is particularly important to me because my grandfather was also stationed there at the time of the bombing. So was Paul Sonnier, the man this story is about. This 92-year-old veteran is under hospice care in Mississippi and often spoke to the nurses and interns at this care facility about dancing, specifically with a beautiful woman.

That is where Phi Mu comes in.

Phi Mu is a sorority based upon personal development, service to others, and commitment to excellence. This was a prime example being shown by the intern at Sonnier's care facility. Jessica Moreau is an intern at SouthernCare Hospice Services where she met this lucky vet.

In an interview with Fox News, she told a reporter "he would always ask me if I wanted to go to Ropers (a local bar)" and "he says 'I'll teach you how to jitterbug and the waltz."

His dying wish was to dance with a beautiful woman, and Jessica granted that wish.

This wish encouraged the Phi Mu sister to give Sonnier the best night. She and the rest of the University of Southern Mississippi sorority threw a party in Sonnier's honor, Monday, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he was a guest. This bedridden veteran "danced" the night away with many beautiful women holding his hands as he lied in bed.

Instances like this are what should be plastered all over the news. Amongst all the hatred and death in the world, this story was a breath of fresh air. It is not often you see a young person going out of his or her way for anyone, but this young lady made a dream come true.

Cover Image Credit: Phi Mu at USM / Facebook

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Please Spare Me From The Three Months Of Summer Break When People Revert Back To High Schoolers

They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

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I know a surprising amount of people who actually couldn't wait to go home for the summer. They look forward to swapping stories with their friends at the local diner, walking around their old high school with a weird sense of superiority, and reminiscing their pre-college lives.

Me? Not so much. I don't mean to sound bitter. It's probably really comforting to return to a town where everyone knows your name, where your younger friends want you around to do their prom makeup, and where you can walk through Target without hiding in the deodorant aisle. But because I did this really annoying thing where my personality didn't really develop and my social anxiety didn't really loosen its grip on me until college, I have a very limited number of people to return to.

If you asked someone from my high school about Julia Bond, they would probably describe her as shy, studious, and uptight. I distinctly remember being afraid of people who JUULed (did you get high from it? was it illegal? could I secondhand smoke it and get lung cancer?) and crying over Algebra 1 in study hall (because nothing says fun and friendly like mascara steaks and furious scribbling in the back corner while everyone else throws paper airplanes and plays PubG Mobile).

I like to tell my college friends that if I met High School Julia, I would beat her up. I would like to think I could, even though I go to the gym now a third of the time I did then. It's not that it was High School Julia's fault that she closed herself off to everyone. She had a crippling fear of getting a B and an even worse fear of other people. But because she was so introverted and scared, College Julia has nothing to do but re-watch "The Office" for the 23rd time when she comes back.

Part of me is jealous of the people who came into their own before college. I see pictures of the same big friend groups I envied from a distance in high school, all their smiling faces at each other's college football games and pool parties and beach trips, and it makes me sad that I missed out on so many friendships because I was too scared to put myself out there. That part of me really, really wishes I had done things differently.

But a bigger, more confident part of me is really glad I had that experience. Foremost, everything I've gone through has shaped me. I mean, I hid in the freaking bathroom during lunch for the first two weeks of my freshman year of high school. I never got up to sharpen my pencil because I was scared people would talk about me. I couldn't even eat in front of people because I was so overwhelmingly self-conscious. I remember getting so sick at cross country practice because I ran four or five miles on an empty stomach.

Now, I look back and cringe at the ridiculousness because I've grown so much since then. Sure, I still have my quirks and I'm sure a year from now I'll write an article about what a weirdo Freshman Julia was. But I can tell who had the same experience as me. I can tell who was lonely in high school because they talk to the kids on my floor that study by themselves. I can tell who was afraid of speaking up because they listen so well. I can tell who was without a friend group because they stand by me when others don't. I can tell who hated high school, because it's obvious that they've never been as happy as they are now.

My dislike for high school, while inconvenient for this summer, might be one of the best things to happen to me. I learned how to overcome my fears, how to be independent, and how to make myself happy. I never belonged in high school, and that's why I will never take for granted where I belong here at Rutgers.

So maybe I don't have any prom pictures with a bunch of colorful dresses in a row, and maybe I didn't go to as many football games as I should have. Maybe I would've liked pep rallies, and maybe I missed out on senior week at the beach. But if I had experienced high school differently, I wouldn't be who I am today.

I wouldn't pinch myself daily because I still can't believe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I wouldn't smile so hard every time I come back from class and hear my floormates calling me from the lounge.

I wouldn't well up when my roommate leaves Famous Amos cookies on my desk before a midterm, or know how to help the girl having a panic attack next to me before a final, or hear my mom tell my dad she's never seen me this happy before.

If I had loved high school, I wouldn't realize how amazing I have it in college. So amazing, in fact, that I never want to go home.

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I'm A Sorority Girl And A ROTC Member, It's The Best Of Both Worlds

Instead of only being in ROTC or only being involved in Greek life, why not be part of both?

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I feel like I live a double life. Some weekends I spend going to date parties and sports games. Other weekends, I am stuck in a field doing land navigation and eating MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). A friend once described this lifestyle as having "multiple hats." She explained it as you have a hat for each different part of your life. For example, my main difference is my ROTC and sorority hat.

ROTC stands for Reserve Officer Training Corps. In the short term, this means that I am training to be an Officer in the United States Army. When I graduate college, I will then start my career in the Army. The way I present my "ROTC hat" now is going to determine my career later on. My hat shows me I have to be motivated and strict. My obligations include dedicating my mornings, class time, and extra volunteer hours to ROTC. Being up at 5 a.m. three days a week and taking 21 credit hours my second semester of college is a perfect example of why I have to stay motivated and strict on my self.

Being in a sorority, however, is the perfect breath of fresh air that helps me stay sane. It is a support system and friendship. My sorority helps me realize that college is supposed to be a fun life experience, not just a step in life. My "sorority hat" is carefree and fun. Although I am very busy with my other obligations, my sorority makes it easy to stay involved with date parties and philanthropy events.

In my position, I have been very overwhelmed trying to be successful with every hat I put on. Coming into college, I was very skeptical about sorority recruitment because I was worried about not being able to juggle it all. I am here now finishing up my freshman year of college, so thankful I pushed myself to be completely submerged in involvement. Being as involved as I am has helped me gain best friends as well as great memories.

I have been pushed to the limit these past two semesters, but it shows me what I am capable of. Finishing my freshman year, I am more confident in myself and what I want in life. Having these obligations has helped me develop time management skills. With the help of my two hats, I stay level headed and they have helped me realize that I can be who I want to be. Just because I am in ROTC does not mean I have to fit in a cookie cutter shape of being a cadet, just like being in a sorority does not mean I am a reflection of the stereotype of sorority girls. Just in my first year of college, I have already learned so much from both of these organizations and they have helped me develop into who I am today.

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