Rose Marie Noël enlisted in the military in 1988, choosing the Marine Corps because, she said, “they’re the toughest.” Following completion of Avionics School, she served as an Aviation Electrician and Instructor around the United States and in Japan, and served as a Drill Instructor at Parris Island for two years. In late 2004, she volunteered to fill an open billet in a unit deploying to Al Asad Airbase in Iraq. On August 27, 2005, an indirect fire rocket impacted the base, and she suffered a shrapnel wound to the cheek. She would later learn that the shrapnel was just millimeters away from her maxillary artery, the main artery in the face. Though her doctor wanted to send her home, she insisted on returning to her unit. As a result of her shrapnel wound, she became the first female Gunnery Sergeant to be awarded the Purple Heart.
We honor you, Rose Noel.
(#Repost @Veterans History Project)