Women Marines ~ 10th INF Battalion ~ Classification Platoon
Honor ~ Courage ~ Commitment
My Story by PFC. Phyllis Silva-Keith (H.D. 1958)
In the 1940’s, when, Col. Julia Hamblet, USMCR, penned: “Once a Marine…Always a Marine…Then, now and always,” little did I know, all these years later, that I would still be living out and reflecting on those powerful words.
When I was first “introduced” to the Marine Corps, at age 18, in 1957….and now, reminiscing 60 years later at age 79, I feel an immense gratitude for the experiences and people who were and are so importantly part of my Marine Corps memories.
Before I begin sharing with you, I want to say “Thank you” to my sister Marines then and now. You have my gratitude, respect and admiration for the individual roles each of you has played in providing protection for our country as well as for peoples and places around the world. May your knowing that you have made a difference in your sister Marine’s lives, and countless others, bring you a sense of peace and accomplishment. Your example of service and sacrifice continues to shed light upon our paths.
Each of us has our own Marine history and personal stories to tell.
I didn’t serve overseas or in combat nor did I serve the length of time or make the sacrifices that some of you have. But, we are each and all part of the whole history and success of the Corps. Sisters and brothers….I salute you one and all.
Thank you for your interest in this “Old Lady Reservist” and what it was like back in “50’s.
It was May 1957 and I had just returned home after three semesters of college and secured a job with Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone in Seattle (or “Ma Bell” as we called it then). At that time, I was trying to envision how I would transition into adult life.
One day, during a work lunch break, I saw one of my co-workers, Margaret Carr, in a Marine Corps uniform. Our conversation centered on why she was in uniform. She told me that after work she would be reporting for drill and continuing training classes. (Our employer was quite supportive of those in the military including Women Marine Reservists.) Margaret invited me to go along with her to the Naval and Marine Corps Reserve Armory on Lake Union, and I gladly accepted! (Today the building houses the MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry). Continue Reading »