#VeteranOfTheDay Marine Corps Veteran Marilyn Dow


Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Marilyn Dow.

Born Marilyn Richards in 1921 in Chicago, Illinois, she was working as a teletypist for a telephone company when she decided she wanted to support the war effort and join the military. Although Marilyn’s father served in the Army during World War I, he pushed her to join the U.S. Marine Corps because they were about to allow women to sign up.  She enlisted in 1943 and became one of the first women allowed to enlist into the Marine Corps.

At that time, there was no official boot camp training facility in which women could train, so they bunked at Hunter College and march and drilled on the streets of New York City.  After boot camp, she reported to Edenton Marine Corps Air Station, North Carolina, where she worked in confidential communications, sending and receiving coded messages for the base commander.  After a year working there, Marilyn met her future husband, Marine Sgt. Dwight Dow, a plane captain who maintained the aircraft and to ensure that they were ready for flight.  She then went on to work at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina.  She mustered out of the Marine Corps as a corporal in 1943, and married Dwight.

Marilyn now lives in Corpus Christi, Texas, with her son David.

Thank you for your service, Marilyn!


Melissa Heintz

– Melissa Heintz joined the VA’s Digital Media Engagement team as a public affairs specialist in October 2015. She grew up on an Army base in Japan before her family relocated to Hawaii. She holds a degree in Journalism/Mass Communications and Spanish from Seattle University. Melissa has served as a public affairs specialist with Navy Region Hawaii Fleet and Family Readiness and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. In December 2015, Melissa commissioned in the Rhode Island Air National Guard where she serves as a public affairs officer with the 143rd Airlift Wing.


  1. Graciela Tiscareno-Sato    

    Thank you!! LOVE this feature!

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