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Live More at Cedar Community | A life of service: An interview with Margaret Rose Lochbaum | By Tom Blumenberg

Washington County, WI – In 1938, Cyril and Marie Lochbaum welcomed daughter Margaret Rose into the world. She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and grew up on a 40-cow dairy farm in Wind Lake.
When Margaret was nine years old, her family moved to West Allis, Wisconsin, and then again to 34th and Locust in Milwaukee. Her father took a job as a maintenance technician at Shorewood High School, and her mother was a homemaker, caring for Margaret and her sister, Marianne.


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Margaret attended St. Mathias Grade School and in 1955, she graduated from Mercy High School. Her education continued at Mount Mary College. In June 1959, she was awarded a Bachelor’s of Science and Arts in occupational therapy.

A few months after graduation, Margaret and one of her classmates made the decision to enlist in the U.S. Army.

Her family did not like the fact that she was enlisting, as they wanted her to stay close to home and get a job.

The Army offered a promotional program where she would be paid to complete a one-year internship in occupational therapy prior to her licensure. As part of the induction process into the program, Margaret and her friend were featured in a television piece that aired, promoting the opportunity the Army had provided to the two newly graduated students. After her internship and obtaining her license, she was required to serve an additional year.

Basic training
In September 1959, Margaret took her first airplane flight to San Antonio, Texas, for basic training. The six-week training consisted of physical training and marching. She distinctly (not fondly) remembered the gas mask training.

In addition, there was plenty of classroom work, which included officer training.

She categorized her initial opportunity to lead others in marching drills as a nerve-wracking experience.

Other assignments
After basic training, 2nd Lieutenant Margaret Lochbaum was assigned to duty at Brooks Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. Her first duty station (as part of her internship) was in the psychiatric hospital.

She cared for soldiers who had undergone ECT (electroconvulsive therapy), which was, at that time, used to treat patients with severe mental illness. She introduced patients to different phases of socializing following treatment and assisted them when returning to daily life.

After three months, Margaret was reassigned to Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado. There she worked in general medicine with patients suffering from long-term illnesses. Depending on the patient diagnosis, she helped train the patients to regain strength and develop skills needed to be successful in daily living activities.

Margaret Lochbaum was promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant prior to her next assignment at Madigan General Hospital in Tacoma, Washington. She lived in a dormitory that was in view of Mt. Rainier. She said the area was beautiful and the staff was wonderful. She worked with a variety of patients with physical disabilities, accident victims, and victims of gunshot wounds.


CLICK HERE to read more about Margaret’s shift to civilian life in Cedar Community’s Spring edition of Live More magazine.


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