A life of service: From Air Force to Girl Scouts

Brooke ConnerOur Town Kids

Although Ruth Remmers was not a Girl Scout in her youth, she has been a beloved member of the Girl Scout sisterhood for more than 30 years since enrolling her daughters. She is now a loyal volunteer for the Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians and co-director of the Girl Scout Museum at Daisy’s Place in Knoxville. This Veteran’s Day, we honor Ruth and her service to this country!

Ruth Remmers in 1972

GS: What got you interested in the military?
RR: My mother had me enrolled in a secretarial school, and my father wanted me on the farm to keep the books for the farm and for our family machine shop. I did not want to decide between my parents’ wishes. I made a bold decision to enter the United States Air Force, so I could serve my country and travel.

What branch of service were you in? What rank?
Air Force – Technical Sergeant

How many years did you serve?
10 years active duty (1971-81) and two years Air National Guard (1982-84). I had to leave the military due to my special-needs daughter. Either I stayed in to finish my career and end up as a chief master sergeant or keep my daughter alive. Though she was only given a year to live, today she is 36 years old and living very happily in Lanham, Maryland.

Did you go overseas?
USAFE Headquarters, Ramstein, Germany

How does your military experience affect your life today?
My military service affects my life in so many ways. It enables me to be an organized person with an ability to focus and direct myself and others. To be of service to others. Discovering myself and recognizing talents in others. To be able to step forward and lead when needed. I make things happen.

How long have you been a Girl Scout?
34 years

Favorite Girl Scout memory?
Seeing my eldest daughter receive her Silver and Gold Awards

What does Girl Scouts mean to you?

Girl Scouts has been an absolute life-saver for me after the military. I had two beautiful daughters, but my second little girl was born with Down’s Syndrome and required me to meet her medical, physical and social needs. Girl Scouts gave me an outlet where not only did my two girls have rich experiences, Girl Scouts also kept me sane. I went from being a helpful parent to First Aider, to troop leader to leading two troops and being an Association Chair for Southern Prince George’s County, Maryland. I was also sent to Long Beach, California as a delegate, where my world truly opened up to the world of Girl Scouting. You could say that I was born again!

Which Girl Scout cookie or fall product item is your favorite?
Samoas and dark chocolate covered cashews.

What are your hobbies today?
Hiking, singing, knitting for the homeless and needy, and reading.

Brooke Conner is social media and content coordinator for Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians.


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