My maternal grandmother’s little sister, Ruth, joined the Marines during World War II to perform clerical duty. I believe this was before the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve was established.
Ruth grew up with her older sister, Betty, and Bob, the oldest of the siblings, in the Mount Washington section of Pittsburgh during the Great Depression. Bob was drafted and served in an Army Intelligence & Reconnaissance Platoon in Europe during the war. Bob’s best childhood friend joined the Marines.
After Ruth enlisted, she was stationed at Camp Lejeune for the duration of the war (she turned down a chance to go to Hawaii because she feared her mother would be too distraught with two of her children serving overseas). During their off-duty hours, the women Marines at Camp Lejeune were encouraged to visit the wounded Marines at the base hospital. Ruth frequently did so. One day as she was visiting hospital, she stumbled upon her brother Bob’s best friend, who had been badly wounded in the South Pacific. They were delighted to see each other and didn’t waste the opportunity to visit.
Years later Ruth also recalled how the women Marines were occasionally bused up to Fort Bragg to attend Saturday night dances with the Soldiers before they headed overseas.
I am proud of Ruth, Bob and all of the other members of my family (my grandfather and his two brothers) who served their country during World War II.