INDIANAPOLIS — Tucked away in a small corner of Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park is a little gem: Building 711, also known as the Museum of 20th Century Warfare.
It houses everything from a model of the USS Indianapolis to vintage helmets, posters and banners.
In 1945, when World War II ended, Jeanne Bunes was 18 years old. The now retired navy reservist remembers that time as everyone everywhere being very patriotic.
“There was patriotism all over the place. You wanted to do whatever you could no matter how little or how much,” said Bunes. “You were welcome and you wanted to contribute any way you could.”
Bunes went to college, came back to Indianapolis and worked at L.S. Ayres. But the call to serve was still in her heart. So, she signed up to become a navy reservist in 1952.
“I did what I could and at the time, that’s what I chose to do,” Bunes said.
She did office work at the old naval armory on Indianapolis’ near west side. She met there every Monday for four years and did basic training in Michigan and Maryland.
“You had to march and you had to do water survival. Then you worked in an office there. There was a lot of physical exercise. A lot of learning together as a team,” Bunes recalled. “It was very intense.”
She has kept mementos from the 1940’s. Her ration book and coupons serve as reminders of the sacrifice everyone made during the war.
She believes to this day everyone should serve in some capacity. In fact, she’d go back if they would take her.
“I would go active duty all over again. In fact, I would go active duty if they would let me. I would go tomorrow,” said Bunes, who is 95.
She has worked in home décor most of her life. She is a mother of two sons and a grandmother to four. She retired from forum credit at the age of 94.