Marion Bench's life story, told through the character Joan Evans, was one of the first women commissioned in the United States Navy WAVES. Unlike the "Dear John" letters sent to servicemen overseas by their wives or sweethearts, she receives a "Dear Joan" phone call from her husband that devastated her. This epic story portrays the patriotic career of a Navy heroine serving her country.
Joan was married to John Evens in 1935. In March, 1942, she was called to a top-secret meeting with Navy officials where she discovers she has been chosen as one of the first three women to be commissioned into the United States Navy. In order to release men to fight the on-line battle, Congress was to enact legislation allowing a special women’s contingent to be formed-Women Appointed for Volunteer Emergency Services (WAVES). Joan’s role in this endeavor was of great significance. One of her many responsibilities was to screen and select applicants for appointment as officers in the WAVES.
Meanwhile, her beloved John had joined the Marines and was overseas. Everything seemed to be going great in Joan’s life until: “At 1:30 a.m. The telephone rang. She staggered out to the living room and picked up the receiver knowing it was John. “Darling, I’m sorry. I didn’t want to make this call. I don’t even want to tell you. I want a divorce. I love you, but I also love someone else. I want to marry her right away. Will you get the divorce? As he spoke, she was standing against the wall. She slowly slid down until she was sitting on the floor. Joan went numb; all feeling seemed to have left her mind and her body, yet she was trembling. Then she was conscious of the phone and John’s voice. “Darling, do you hear me? I want you to do me a favor and get a divorce.”
Unlike the “Dear John” letters sent to servicemen overseas by their wives or sweethearts, this was a “Dear John” phone call! She was devastated; her world and her dreams were crushed. Or, were they?
This epic portrays the patriotic career of a Navy heroine serving her country.