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65 years later, World War II widow receives soldier's medals

65 years later, WWII honors

Roy John Spencer died when his bazooka blew up. He left behind a teenage bride and some unfinished business. Sixty-five years after Spencer's death, Anna Heinrichs of Coarsegold, Calif., reclaimed a wartime debt Tuesday. Accompanied by family members — including her second husband, World War II Marine veteran Wes Heinrichs — Anna received her due on the Speaker's Balcony of the U.S. Capitol — a Silver Star, a Purple Heart and other medals Spencer earned long ago. "I just can't fathom it," Anna Heinrichs said. "It's almost like it isn't real, after so many years." She is now 83. Wes Heinrichs is 86. Spencer, a private and 26 when he died, was a member of the 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the original 82nd Airborne. On Jan. 12, 1945, the Colorado native was advancing through the woods outside Flamizoulle, Belgium. Shrapnel ripped his bazooka, rendering its use potentially suicidal. Nonetheless, his fellow soldiers reported, when German tanks appeared, Spencer fired. The bazooka exploded, killing Spencer and his teammate.

Women get more doctorates

Women were awarded more doctorates than men for the first time last year, according to a study released Monday by the Council of Graduate Schools. The achievement — women received 50.4 percent of the doctorates in the U.S. in 2008-09 — means women dominate every level of higher education from bachelor's degrees to doctorates. Women have earned more bachelor's and master's degrees than men since the 1980s, said Nathan Bell, the report's author and the council's director of research and policy analysis, and now hold a nearly 3-to-2 majority in undergraduate and graduate education. Of the doctoral degrees awarded in the 2008-09 academic year, 28,962 went to women and 28,469 to men. Doctoral degrees, which require an average of seven years' study, are typically the last to show the impact of long-term changes. "It is a trend that has been snaking its way through the educational pipeline," Bell said. "It was bound to happen." Men retained the lead in doctoral degrees until 2008 largely through their dominance in engineering, mathematics and the physical sciences. They still earn nearly 80 percent of engineering doctorates.

65 years later, World War II widow receives soldier's medals

09/14/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 14, 2010 11:30pm]

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