Fort McCoy News Jan. 13, 2017

Exchange recognizes McCoy WW II-era employee

BY SCOTT T. STURKOL
Public Affairs Staff

Thirty-three years after retiring from Fort McCoy, Lola Morrison of Sparta, Wis., received special recognition from the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, or AAFES, in mid-December.

Fort McCoy Exchange General Manager Kevin Boyette, former Exchange employee Lola Morrison, and Exchange Human Resources Manager Tiffany Worden are pictured together following the presentation of an Exceeding Excellence Award certificate and coin for Morrison in December at the Morrow Home in Sparta.
Fort McCoy Exchange General Manager Kevin Boyette,
former Exchange employee Lola Morrison, and Exchange
Human Resources Manager Tiffany Worden are pictured
together following the presentation of an Exceeding
Excellence Award certificate and coin for Morrison in
December at the Morrow Home in Sparta
.
Contributed photo.

Fort McCoy Exchange General Manager Kevin Boyette, Exchange Human Resources Manager Tiffany Worden, and Family Advocacy Program Manager Carrie Olson with Army Community Service of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation visited Morrison at Morrow Home Community in Sparta to present her with an Exceeding Excellence Award certificate and a military coin from AAFES Chief Executive Officer Tom Shull.

The 103-year-old Morrison began working at then-Camp McCoy in 1942 in food service with the Army Exchange Service (later called AAFES).

At that time, the installation was in a construction boom, and troops were busy training for their role in World War II. Morrison worked at the installation in that capacity for 41 years, retiring at the age of 70 in 1983.

The effort to recognize Morrison began with Olson, who previously worked at Morrow Home and got to know Morrison.
Olson coordinated with Public Affairs Specialist Theresa Fitzgerald with the Fort McCoy Public Affairs Office as well as Worden and Boyette at AAFES for several months to get the presentation ready.

"I was elated to be asked to do such a wonderful recognition that is truly a reflection of the Exchange core value of Family serving Family," Worden said. "Due to Ms. Morrison's time with the Exchange being so long ago, I did not have easy access to her information.

"But I didn't stop there," Worden said. "I went through my chain to see what we could do to recognize Lola for her dedication in serving the military Family all those years ago."

Through the support of Exchange human-resources leadership along with Boyette, the presentation was made possible. Olson said Morrison was one of the first people she met at Morrow Home when she started working there.

"She is such a sweetheart," Olson said.

"I wish more people could have been there to see her receive the award (and coin). … When she got it, she was very (happy) to get it."

During her time on post, Morrison saw the construction of the cantonment area, where more than 1,500 buildings went up in just a few years.

She saw tens of thousands of troops complete transient training for World War II, the Korean War, Cold War, and the Vietnam War, and she helped feed all those troops. She also was working on the post when it was renamed from Camp McCoy to Fort McCoy in September 1974.

In the June 30, 2016, edition of the Monroe County Herald, writer Vicki Horstman featured Morrison, who was born in 1913 in Viroqua, in a story for her 103rd birthday and also discussed her time at Fort McCoy.

"I fed 480 cadets two times a day with only one helper," said Morrison in the story.

Morrison also had a couple of mentions in The Real McCoy newspaper in the 1940s.

The Aug. 14, 1943, issue, under the "P. Extras" column, stated that she and two other workers "hung up their aprons and caps from Cafeteria No. 1 and marched off on their vacations."

Olson said Morrison is certainly a part of Fort McCoy's long history and someone she'll never forget.

Also, when Morrison received the award, Olson said she proudly displayed it on a table while she enjoyed a meal afterward.

"I was just glad to see that we could get this done for her," Olson said.

For more information about AAFES history, visit www.aafes.com/about-exchange/history-mission. For more information about the Fort McCoy Exchange, call 608-388-4343.

This archived photo from 1942 shows an Exchange cafeteria at Fort McCoy. Lola Morrison worked in a similar cafeteria when she began working at the installation the same year.
This archived photo from 1942 shows an Exchange cafeteria at Fort McCoy. Lola Morrison worked
in a similar cafeteria when she began working at the installation the same year.
File photo.