In Love and War: A Veterans Day Tale

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Howard and Rita Dean Park Springs residents Howard and Rita Dean have lived lives straight off the big screen.

The couple’s life together began in the midst of WWII when Dean was stationed in the Philippines and Japan for over four years serving in a classified position as a radar officer with the Electronic Training Group. Shortly after the war ended, Dean returned to Manila where he was stationed working as part of an operation to help remove troops and equipment.

It was there that he met 17 year old Rita who had just spent the past four years under brutal Japanese occupation for woman and children during the war. At the time she was assisting the military in a clerical position. Dean remembers being immediately attracted to the girl he remembers as tough and intelligent.

The couple had a short courtship and were soon married; however, not three months after the nuptials, Dean was forced to return state side due to illness. Their relationship continued through mail until Rita was able make the 21 day boat ride and six day train ride to join her husband in Atlanta. The couple settled in Stone Mountain and have lived there ever since.

The Howards applied to live in Park Springs upon learning about the active adult community in 1999 and moved in upon it’s completion in 2004. They now spend time with their neighbors and partaking in the numerous activities that Park Springs has to offer. Rita especially is active about the community. Rita is actively involved with the Leisure Activities Committee and the Employee Appreciation committee in addition to donating her time at the Park Springs’ market.

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