DES ARC, AR (WMC) - A Navy veteran is getting special recognition on her 101st birthday.
Mabel Thomsen, born in Des Arc, Arkansas, on May 1, 1917, joined the Navy at the urging of her husband, who was serving with the Navy and stationed in Hawaii in 1944.
"I went to the Navy so they'd send me to Hawaii," Thomsen said.
Instead, she was sent to boot camp in New York.
Thomsen was in the hospital corps and assisted with female patients.
Her 20-year Navy career sent her around the country (except to Hawaii).
She was assigned to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Memphis where she met Elvis Presley.
"He said anybody that had a string of beads could sit in his lap. I happened to be wearing a string of beads so I got to sit in his lap," she said.
For her 101st birthday, Thomsen was honored by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), as a part of his "Salute to Veterans," which recognizes military vets from Arkansas.