Beyond Dancing

A Veteran's Struggle--A Women's Triumph

Anita Ornoff

Date Published :
April 2016
Publisher :
Bartleby Press
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9780910155502
Pages : 320
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


It was with a sense of adventure, a call to service, and a touch of defiance that twenty-one-year-old Anita Bloom enlisted in the army.
It was 1943, less than a year since the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps (WAAC) had been formed when one day, a elegant-looking woman in WAAC uniform entered the store where Anita was working. Bloom followed her every move.
Her journey began when she shipped off to camp and became fast friends with several other new soldiers. Together, they memorized army regulations, went to map reading class, and learned how to march.
The young women in camp were of many different backgrounds and beliefs. Anita encountered anti-Semitism, but also learned the importance of moving past differences as she generally acclimated herself to Army life.
She didn’t even notice the bite-sized cut on her thumb at first. Even when it started hurting, becoming painful enough to keep her up at night, the technician’s indifference to her concerns forced her to continue on with her regular Army duties.
Yet as the cut became seriously infected and the pain in her hand, spreading to her back, became unbearable, Anita was sent to a civilian hospital. Gradually losing sensation in her legs, Anita feared for her life.
Eventually, she was transferred to an Army hospital where her doctors, unaided by penicillin, could not arrest the infection. An operation saved her life, but she lost the use of her legs. Discharged from the Army and placed in a VA hospital, her new friends were the battle-scarred, paraplegics wounded in active service.
She then came to a new facility, enticed by the promises of its director, who assured her that she could learn to walk normally again. Her enthusiasm turned to disappointment and finally despair as she discovered his total lack of commitment to her care. Even though she had been exploited, she came to realize that her choice to leave the VA had been providential, for it was in this unpromising makeshift hospital that she met John Muller, the physical therapist who would change her life forever.
John’s perseverance inspired her resolve to prevail over her handicap. His patience and kindness inspired her love. Armed with leg braces and his faith in her, Anita came to realize her dream of regaining her independence. She freed herself from hospitalization and moved to New York City, where she overcame the discouragement of her family and the NYU medical board and was finally granted the opportunity to seek a university degree.
As she embarked on her fight to live a normal life, another struggle was just beginning for Anita—a struggle for justice. Denied veterans’ benefits, she indefatigably appealed to members of Congress to recognize her as a service-injured soldier and award her her rightful entitlements. The triumph that she finally earned marked another victory in her battle to conquer her disability.
In Beyond Dancing, Anita Bloom Ornoff’s story of her rehabilitation and her flourishing relationship with John Muller affirms that her independence was made possible by the empowerment of love. By accepting tender guidance, but not dependence, she fulfilled her dream of personal freedom, reminding us that the worthiest battles are seldom fought alone.

About The Author

Anita Bloom Ornoff died in 2008

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