Mitchell was discharged in early 1946 and married his then-girlfriend Laura that same year. Laura Mitchell served at Richmond Army Hospital in Virginia as a registered nurse and was humble about her military experience, nursing amputees back to health.
“We had casualties, but nothing serious came into our hospitals,” Laura Mitchell said. “The really serious cases were kept in the military hospitals.”
After the war Garrett Mitchell left the service and returned to Penn State under the GI Bill to continue his studies, living with an electrical engineering professor named Gilbert L. “Pop” Crossley.
“I wanted to be an engineer and they (Penn State) have a great engineering school,” said Garrett Mitchell.
In 1948, Garrett Mitchell graduated from Penn State with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering.
After graduation, Garrett and Laura Mitchell settled in the Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, area, where he worked for more than 37 years for New York & Pennsylvania Co., which merged into Hammermill Paper Co., retiring as manager of manufacturing services.
While in Lock Haven, the couple attended many Penn State football games.
“Fifty-five minutes from our door to campus,” Garrett Mitchell said.
Garrett and Laura Mitchell reside in The Village at Penn State and in past years have rekindled their connection with the University by attending women’s basketball and women’s soccer games.
The couple’s son, David Mitchell, now retired; their daughter-in-law Lisa Mitchell; and two of their three grandchildren also have graduated from Penn State, perpetuating the family’s link to the University for generations to come.
Additional World War II stories featuring Penn State alumni:
-- World War II B-20 navigator talks about his role in the Pacific
-- World War II paratrooper with a Purple Heart and Bronze Star talks about the war (published Nov. 14)
Penn State has a longstanding and proud tradition of serving the men and women of our military through education benefits, resources, support and more. This year's Military Appreciation Week from Nov. 8 to 16 will honor America's "Greatest Generation" with a weeklong series of campus events, including a football game, Veterans Day ceremony, speaker series and more. Visit militaryappreciation.psu.edu to learn more.