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Girl Scout Veteran Series: Kathleen Clontz


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Kathleen Clontz has been a Girl Scout for 50 years, in 7 different states and overseas in Japan! During the Vietnam War, she served in the U.S. military and is now a troop volunteer in Athens, TN. We honor you today and every day for your service!

Favorite Girl Scout memory? I have so many wonderful memories of my Girl Scout years. So many to choose from, but I was a Girl Scout leader for Army dependents in Japan.  For Thinking Day one year, my troop got together with Japanese Girl Scouts and went ice skating together. That was fun.

Which Girl Scout Cookie or Fall Product item is your favorite? I love ALL the Girl Scout Cookies, but my favorites are of course Thin Mints and Do Si Dos because they are a great dunking cookie.

What got you interested in the military? Growing up I always wanted to be a missionary. But during my senior year in high school, I read a book about the battle of Iwo Jima and that inspired me. This was during the Vietnam War. I tried to go into the Marines, but they didn’t have many positions for women. I then went and talked to the Army recruiter. I scored really high on their written test.  They were trying to build up their Women’s Corp and they recruited me pretty quick.

How did Girl Scouts prepare you for the military and life beyond?  Girl Scouts gave me confidence as a leader, a love of service and a love and appreciation of the United States. In basic training, I was 1 of 4 to be selected as a squad leader for my platoon. I volunteered to go to Vietnam but instead I got sent to Japan for 3 years.  My job was in the dental corps. I was first trained as a dental assistant and then went back to school and became a dental hygienist. I love my job and got my degree as a Registered Dental Hygienist after I got out of the service.

What branch of service were you in? What rank? I was in the U.S. Army and reached the rank of SSG (E-6). 

How many years did you serve? I served for 7 years from 1970-1977. 

What are your hobbies today? I am now retired but I stay busy. I volunteer at a local school library and this year I signed up to be a substitute teacher.  I am still a Girl Scout leader for girls in grades 4-12.  In my spare time I love to read, do crafts, sew and I am learning to do some quilting.  My family is important to me. I have 4 grown kiddos and 7 grandbabies.  My granddaughter is expecting this month so I will soon become a great-grammy!

Kathleen in Savannah, GA with her troop