Orland woman receives patriotism award from DAR
By Mike Nolan firstname.lastname@example.org June 5, 2012 7:08PM
Updated: July 7, 2012 8:01AM
When Orland Park resident Catherine Foster learned she was to receive a prestigious award for patriotism from the Daughters of the American Revolution, the first thing she did was to research the woman for whom the award is named.
One of the four founders of the DAR, Ellen Hardin Walworth raised eight children as a single mother, studied to be a lawyer and was a prolific writer on subjects including history and patriotism.
“Just to be mentioned in the same line as her is really an honor,” Foster said.
And that’s coming from someone with a pretty impressive resume herself.
Foster served 24 years in the U.S. Army Reserve nurse corps, retiring in 1996 with the rank of colonel, and she has served for years in the Peace Corps as a surgical nurse, traveling to countries including China and India. Still a registered nurse, the 75-year-old volunteers at Hines Veterans Hospital and is active with Orland Park’s Veterans Commission and the village’s American Legion post.
The DAR’s Swallow Cliff chapter decided to nominate Foster for the national award after reading a profile of her that appeared in the SouthtownStar late last year, Susan Snow, the chapter’s regent, said. The chapter’s nomination was evaluated by the DAR’s national board of management, and Foster received the award last month.
The Walworth medal, Snow said, honors someone “who has displayed outstanding patriotism in the promotion of our American ideals of God, home and country through faithful and meritorious service.”
“Patriotism, which is the theme of the Walworth medal, is a feeling, and I believe Catherine has that feeling,” Snow said.
At the Swallow Cliff chapter meeting where Foster received the award, she spoke at length about her travels around the globe, virtually all for humanitarian purposes. Snow said she was impressed with the fact that Foster is still going full-throttle at an age when many people want to slow down and take it easy.
Foster said that when she considered joining the Peace Corps, she was 59 and questioned whether she might be too old for the rigors of the job. Nearly three years ago she received the Lillian Carter Award, which the Peace Corps gives to volunteers who serve after they turn 50. It’s named after the 39th president’s mother who, at age 68, joined the Peace Corps and whose biography inspired Foster to become a Peace Corps volunteer.