LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock’s oldest surviving veteran celebrated Veteran’s Day by sharing her story of serving more than four years in the Navy during World War II. Catherine Royalty, along with a handful of other women, worked in a postal office decoding messages that potentially saved American lives.

“We coded, and decoded ship movements, and couldn’t reveal anything to our loved ones because it was all top secret,” Royalty said. “We would be locked in a room without windows and had to decode everything before we could leave.”

If the messages were not decoded than it had the potential to be useless information the next day. They worked long hours to prevent this from happening, and said all their hard work was worth it once it was announced that the War was over.

“You always remember where you were when you first heard it,” Royalty said. “Like so many others I couldn’t believe it, and even for just a few minutes we were all united in our happiness.”

Royalty would go on to retire from the Navy later becoming an English teacher in Lubbock, and taught for 30 years. Her words of advice to the younger generations – to be kind to one another.

“Just be kind to each other, and remember that whatever it is you are so upset about, won’t be as important 50 years down the road,” Royalty said. “Try to remember the good times, and just have fun.”