Before joining the military, Norma Hudgens had been a teacher, working with 4th graders at Manuel S. Rojas Elementary School in Cavite City, Philippines. She had received a bachelor’s degree in education in 1967 from the Philippine Women’s University in Manila.
Hudgens joined the Army and attended basic training at Fort Jackson, S.C., and went on to Chaplain Assistant Advanced Individual Training in 1976. She then served at Osan Air Base in Korea in 1976, before receiving orders to the 2nd Armored Division at Fort Hood, Texas, where she remained for the rest of her military career.
As a soldier, Hudgens was qualified on the M-16 service rifle and certified to operate the Army Jeep M-151. As a chaplain assistant, Hudgens would escort and drive Army Chaplains in the field. She also assisted in chapel services, preparing communion and other communications for religious holidays and memorial services. While stationed in Korea, she also aided the Osan orphanage by teaching children in South Korea.
In Korea, she met her husband, Kenneth Hudgens, who was assigned to the 38th ADA Brigade Medical Section. They were married in Texas in 1977.
After Hudgens’ military service, she used the G.I. Bill to complete dual master’s degree programs in Criminal Justice and Counseling from University of Central Texas in 1980. After her master’s program, she began teaching at University of Central Texas. She remained in this career for 39 years, traveling around the world as an education services specialist and career civil servant. She also worked for the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy Recruiting Districts before retiring in Southern California. More recently, she has taught Human Development courses at Antelope Valley College.
Hudgens has been married for 47 years and is the mother to two children and a grandmother of three.
We honor her service.