In October 1969, Mary enlisted in the Army as a WAC (Women’s Army Corps). At enlistment, Mary was already a mother of two children, but ready to serve her country. She promptly was deployed to Fort McClellan, Alabama where she completed her basic training and remained stationed at this assignment until August of 1970. During this time in the service Mary ended up married and pregnant. In this era, if a female military service member became pregnant, they were forced to Honorably Discharge from the military. This what Mary did in August of 1970. This did not end Mary’s military career.
In March of 1979 Mary enlisted again into the Army. This time she was considered a soldier just like one of the men, they were integrated at this time, unlike her prior enlistment. Mary was sent to Fort Gordon, Georgia for basic training and AIT where she studied Radio Teletype Operations to become a Teletype Operator. After AIT, she was considered a “hold-over” for three months while she waited for her assignment while working in the Operations Office. Mary was then assigned to Frankfurt, Germany in November of 1979 and returned to Fort Dix, New Jersey in January of 1982. At this time, she was Honorably Discharged from the service.
After her military career, Mary remained a mother and continued to work full-time to provide for her family. She attended Santa Barbara Business College in California and learned the art of civilian business then went to work for Army Corps of Engineers at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
We honor you, Mary Caruthers.