Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Women Marines celebrate 65th birthday


A group of local U.S. Marines gathered yesterday at the Veterans Memorial Building in Santa Barbara to celebrate the 65th birthday of the Women Marines.
The local branch of the Marine Corps League, which many of the local women belong to, threw the party.

Pfc. Marie Mackey said women Marines who served in the past decade celebrate the birthday of the Marines on Nov.10 – the date of its initial founding.
“We who started this whole thing still celebrate [Feb. 13] 1943, when we were organized,” Mackey said.
Mackey said the eight women who attended the birthday served in either World War II, the Korean War or the Vietnam War.
Mackey, who will be 79 in May, said she joined the Marine Corps in 1949, a year before the Korean War began.
Mackey’s husband, Francis, also served in the Korean War as a Marine.
“He was the tallest guy on the base,” Mackey said of her husband.
Capt. Margaret Dawes said she became a Marine in order to learn a trade, but during her three-year tenure learned valuable lessons that continue to guide her through life today.
“What I learned there as to responsibility, self worth and fiscal management I carried with me in my civilian career,” Dawes said.
Mackey said Gunnery Sgt. Eleanor Childers, the oldest of the group at 88, got to cut the cake.
“They were really pleased,” Mackey said of her fellow Women Marines. “I’m glad we were able to do it.”

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