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The Struggle, The Journey

The Struggle, The Journey

Finding a Balance

By: Ann Bernard

Like many women, my struggles with my weight and self-image issues began at a young age. I was nine years old when I first started to diet and exercise. It didn’t take long before I had developed an eating disorder and found myself undereating and over exercising (running and aerobics). Then at age 16, I decided I was going to be a Marine. I knew to be a Marine and to earn the respect of my male counterparts, I would need to be both physically and mentally strong—that’s what brought me to step into the local gym and got me started with lifting weights. I quickly realized I might never be a size two, but I did have a natural ability to put on muscles and get stronger.

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The Women Marines Association 2016- 2018 Board

We are pleased to announce the new Board of Directors for the Women Marines Association (WMA). This is such a rich pool of talent that WMA will be reaching new levels in the next two years.

These officers will be install in July in Portland, OR., at the Installation Banquet surrounded with family, friends, WMA Members and The Loyal Escorts of the Green Garter.

The convention starts on 21 July 2016. We are delighted to have General Helen Pratt as our opening banquet speaker and honored guest and will end on 25 July with CMC General Robert Neller and Mrs Neller and SMMC SgtMajor Ronald Green  attending the closing banquet.

More details can be found on the WMA convention page.

Portland Area Active Duty Marines see MARADMIN 290/16



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MCRD WRBN 1943-1946 – ‘Serving the Nation and Making a Difference’

MCRD WRBN 1943-1946

‘Serving the Nation and Making a Difference’

BY: Carl Frederick Huenefeld II

Colonel, USMC (Ret)


The big stories of the clash of nations and ideologies are the province of real historians.  This however, is a small story about a little piece of how that all came to be at one small base, and of the almost 700 women who served there as Marines between 1943 and 1946 and set a standard for the Marine Corps of today.   This story is specific to a place, the Marine Corps Base, Naval Operating Base, San Diego California – now the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

In 1916 Congress appropriated funds to purchase land for a new base for the United States Marine Corps in San Diego.  It was the first purpose-built base for Marines on the West Coast, a launching pad for expeditionary forces and a home base where they trained.  Construction of the new facilities began in 1919 and by the mid-1920s a small base had risen from the tidelands in the area called Dutch Flats. Continue Reading »


Sgt Sylvia Applebaum Levy

Sgt Sylvia Applebaum Levy

USMC 1943 -46


By Barbara Steever

My mother was from Philadelphia,  stationed in San Diego and then sent to Pearl Harbor where she was in the radio corps.  To my knowledge, she was among the first group of women Marines to arrive there.

The  photo below was actually a publicity shot taken when she arrived in Hawaii. She is the second woman on the left in the picture.


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Women Marines to Invade Portland

Portland logoWomen Marines Association

2016 Convention and Professional Development Conference

21-26 July 2016

Marines from all eras and areas will be coming to Portland to celebrate all generations of service. Those who attend will experience our camaraderie, they will meet those who open the doors for our Marines today and our future trailblazers.

Portland is known for so many things! From being a great town for beer, weirdness, cheap food, funky neighborhoods, forest hikes and much more Portland is a perfect choice for the 2016 WMA convention.  Did you know that in Portland alone there are over 30 breweries? Want to see a town in style. Take your pick the shuttle from the hotel will take you into the city where you can catch a bus, a trolley, walk or rent a bike.

Portland is not only renowned for its food but is famous for its food carts. There are plenty of places to eat around the hotel as well. Within walking distance, you can find Taco Bell, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Burger King, Bradley’s Bar and Grill, Boomers BBQ and more. Need a coffee fix then walk yourself over to Starbucks. The shuttle (free) from the hotel will take you to the restaurants that will suit your every 20150729_203634taste.

There is no shortage of beauty in Portland. From the hotel deck you can see Mt Hood while enjoying a nightcap or herbal tea. Take a trip to see Multnomah Falls and the gardens. Love roses well you are in the right spot. Here you will find the International Rose Test garden, Japanese Rose gardens, and several gardens and parks to visit. Willamette Valley is a great trip as well.  The Grotto-National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother has been described as a must see from travelers all over the world. Continue Reading »


Changes to the Corps

Women Marines  – Changes to the Corps

Drill Instructor Reunion Speech

by MSgt. Brenda Moore (ret)

When I was recruited in 1977, I was told by my recruiter that a Woman, was only 1/2 of a quota so they needed 2 women to make 1 quota. Pretty sure he wasn’t happy when I didn’t bring a friend with me to the recruiting station that day. That was 39 years ago, and there have been many changes in the Marine Corps since then.
I know we all see changes when we come back to Parris Island. As we drive across that causeway all our memories start rushing in and we are back to that first day we came aboard this depot. We remember our Drill Instructors, Our recruits, the training of our time. But now when we drive through that new front gate, and go around that circle we are aware that things are not the same, there have been some changes since the last time we came to this island.

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Biking Across America

Biking Across America

BY: Kristi Black

KBlackToday, we are pleased to announce that one month from now, Kevin and I will start out on a new adventure! It really hasn’t hit us yet because we are still in Ecuador, and will be here until the end of April. It is true though, and ready or not, it’s going to happen! We’re both excited, but I think I may be a little more excited than Kevin is because I have never done anything like this before.  I have never put my body and mind to the test with anything like this, and Kevin has, and really, if you know Kevin (though he would debate this), is there really anything he can’t do?  (Kevin:  I am as excited as Kristi.  I’m just not as nervous.  And yes, there are plenty of things Kevin can’t do!  Believe you me!)

On May 16th, Kevin and I will set out on the Warrior Bike maiden journey as part of Warrior Expeditions.  Warrior Expeditions, originally known as Warrior Hike, is a non-profit organization designed to help combat veterans transition from military service. Marine, 2015 CNN Hero, Great American, and All-Around Awesome Guy Sean Gobin founded the program after recognizing the therapeutic effects he experienced hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2012 after returning home from multiple combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Sean realized other combat veterans could really benefit from a long-distance journey as well, thus he started Warrior Hike. The program first only entailed thru-hiking the  2,100 miles of the Appalachian Trail (AT).  Recognizing the program’s popularity, Sean then added the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) to the program.  In 2015, he added shorter trails, which affords those that may not have the ability or time to do one of the longer trails, such as the Florida, Arizona, and Ice Age Trails. This past year, he also added Warrior Paddle, which entails paddling the length of the Mississippi River in a canoe. This year, marks the addition of Warrior Bike, and Kevin and I are ecstatic for this opportunity. If you’ve been reading our blog from the start, you know that Kevin thru-hiked all 2,660 miles of the PCT as part of Warrior Hike in 2014. This past year, I was the volunteer town coordinator for the CDT Warrior Hikers. Continue Reading »


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