Remembering Col Julia Hamblet
by Rhonda Amtower
It is with a heavy heart but with much pride and respect I write these farewell words to honor the memory of Colonel Julia E. Hamblet. I had the distinct honor and privilege in getting to know her the last couple of years as we both lived in Williamsburg, Virginia.
She was so humble as we spoke of her accomplishments and yet so excited and proud to hear of what the women of the Corps are doing today. She still believed in being recognized as a “woman” Marine without taking away the distinction of us all serving as U.S. Marines.
We laughed as we recalled similar experiences like “junk on the bunk” inspections or not sleeping inside the sheets after being able to make the bed so taut that a quarter would bounce off of it. Some things just never change. We celebrated the Marine Corps birthday and the Anniversary of the Women’s Reserve with much fanfare and singing of the Marines Hymn. She always managed a swift salute and a hearty Semper Fi!
We spoke of WMA and she was so proud to be a member and to be recognized with having the Julia Hamblet Award being presented in her honor at the annual Marine Corps Heritage Foundation dinner. She loved all of the birthday and Christmas cards she received adding a special feeling in her heart knowing she was remembered by so many. She was thrilled when I presented her one of our WMA throws which displays the WMA logo. She used it often and appreciated not only the physical warmth it brought her but also the warmth of remembering what that WMA logo stood for. Honor, Courage, Commitment, and the significance of having served as a woman Marine.
We in WMA always talk about the importance of visiting with members who are elderly or infirmed to bring them caring support. I can attest firsthand the pleasure my visits brought her but I don’t know which of us appreciated the visits more as we shared memories of our time in the Corps. It was awe inspiring to be in her presence and to know that we shared that unique bond of having served in our beloved Corps.
Here’s to you Colonel Hamblet, fellow Marine, mentor and yes special friend. I will remember you always. Thank you for allowing me to share such precious moments together and instilling in me an increased love of Corps and Country. Semper Fidelis Marine!