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thedrifter
12-03-05, 10:18 AM
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Canfield woman fulfulls longheld dream in Hawaii
By REGIS BOURNE Special to the Journal
PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii - Martha is a gal who remembers.

Martha J. Robbins, USMC (Ret.) received her basic training at Camp LeJeune, then 21 weeks of training at Naval Air Technical Training Center in Norman, Okla. She served as an aircraft mechanic at Quantico Air Station until Sept. 28, 1945.

This was a family affair. Both she and her sister had joined the Marines. While Martha served at Quantico, her sister served in San Francisco. Double duty for the family, indeed.

Martha recently traveled from her home in Canfield to Hawaii for the "perfect" vacation she had long promised herself.

While visiting the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center (PHVC), her tour bus captain Oliver "Bud" Andress mentioned to her that the USS Arizona Marines Remembrance Flagstaff was nearing completion near the water's edge of Halawa landing.

Martha was all ears.

"Do you think it would be possible to get a photo of me alongside the new Flagstaff?"

Bud perked up with a new mission. He considered that it was of important historical significance for this mission to be accomplished. You see, Bud, too, is a former Marine.

The USS Arizona Marine Corps Remembrance is a stunning sight.

Seven brass plaques are arrayed in all their silent splendor commemorating the 73 gallant U.S. Marines who gave their lives for their country as well as 15 of their shipmates who survived the attack on the battleship USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor Dec. 7, 1941.

Bud contacted PHVC management to inform them that one of his passengers was a 91-year-old former "lady" Marine who had a special request. PHVC quickly assigned this most pleasant task to their in-house photographer and Webmaster, yours truly.

Martha's wish was granted as she and Bud posed beside the newly poured cement base. Martha was content. She had finally realized her "perfect" Hawaii vacation.

Overlooking the USS Arizona Memorial on the morning of Nov. 14, 2005, a group of veterans - many of them former Marines - gathered at Pearl Harbor to dedicate the new Flagstaff. Guest speaker Marine Commandant General Michael Hagee captured the moment with these words: "The nation will never forget these valiant Marines who gave their lives for country and Corps."

Unfortunately, Martha was returning to the mainland the day after her cherished walk down memory lane and was quite dismayed at not being here to attend that historic and poignant event.

It is in her honor that we now remember her patriotism, her past service, and her special visit to Hawaii - a befitting remembrance for the gal who remembers.

Martha Semper Fidelis!

Ellie

charlie222
12-07-05, 07:41 AM
On June 22, 2005, a "suicide bomber struck a convoy of Marines mostly Women and killing six - four women. Also, their convoy was hit by automatic fire. It was a hit on them! This happen as they were returing back to their area near Fallujah. I later found out that one of the dead women Marines was Cpl. Ramona Valdez a Bronx, N.Y. native. I got to meet her while she was at the Fordham Road recruiting station preparing for boot camp at Parris Island with others. She was at the station just about all of the time doing things and helping out,etc. Down the hall was my Vet Center and most of the Vietnam Veterans Marines would stop by to add our knowledge about what to expect once there and also about what it was like being in Vietnam (this part was something we told them do to 9/11 here in N.Y. and what was happing in the middle East). I remember telling the group and her the week before their went to Parris Island that all I could do was say good bye, but couldn't wait to say "Hello Marine", in a few weeks. And that happen so soon. The last time I saw Cpl. Valdez's she was wearing her Dress Blues w/PFC on them. She later married another Marine and now after two (2) tours in Iraq all he thinks about is going back!!!! Semper Fi! to our Women Marines. Charlie222...over.