This blouse is from a winter uniform from the United States Army of the United States Armed Forces. It was worn by Bob Hext of Grand Rapids, Michigan from 1941 to 1945 while serving in North Africa and Italy during World War II.
This blouse is made of olive drab wool and features Tech 3rd Class ranks on both sleeves. The proper left shoulder displays an Army Air Forces patch and five overseas stripes can be seen on the left cuff indicating two and a half years of overseas service. This blouse also has an honorable discharge patch, also referred to as a ruptured duck, on the proper right breast.
Bob Hext Robert (Bob) Hext was born in Lansing, MI in 1918 to parents Frend and Blanche. Bob lived in Grand Rapids and was a graduate of Ottawa Hills High School and the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1941 and served as a Surgical Technician, with the 12th General Hospital in North Africa and Italy until the war ended. It was while serving abroad that Bob met Evelyn (Evie) Schulz. The two dated for two and a half years, were engaged 10 months, and were married on August 9, 1945, shortly before the end of World War II. After the war, they returned to Bob's home town of Grand Rapids where they lived happily together for 66 years. Evie passed away in 2011 and Bob died in 2015.
A collection documenting the story of Bob and Evie's marriage, including Evie's beautiful wedding gown made of parachute nylon, was donated to the Grand Rapids Public Museum by their estate in 2015.
United States Army The United States Army is a service branch of the United States Armed Forces that specializes in ground-based offensive and defensive warfare. The mission of the United States Army is to fight and win our Nation's wars, by providing prompt, sustained, land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders.The United States Army we know today has roots that can be traced back to the Continental Army which was formed in 1775 during the American Revolutionary War. After the War, The Congress of the Confederation officially created the United States Army in 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army is the largest military branch of the armed forces in which participates in disputes worldwide today through preserving peace and security and providing for the defense of the United States.