Veterans Interview: Dennis Boyd talks with Captain Barbra Elmore, who served in the U.S. Marines from 1964-1967 during the Vietnam War, at Patriot’s Landing in DuPont, Washington. When she served, there were only 50 women serving in the Marines.
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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.
And now back to answers for elders as we honor our military veterans. Carriage is the proud sponsor of our veteran segment hosted by former ctle Seahawk Dennis Boyd. This is Dennis Boyd for answers for elders and we’re here down at Patriots landing in Dupont, Washington, and you may occasionally hear a little bit of music going on in the background as they’re having a hot rods for Heroes Day here in Dupont and it’s a celebration of our veterans and getting a chance to see some amazing tripped out cars and trucks that we see out here. So a little bit of information about that background noise. And today with us we have Captain Bobby Elmore here in Dupont at Patriots landing and bobby, thank you for joining us. I appreciate your time. It’s a privilege. Thank you. Can you tell us a little bit about your military history? I mean, how long did you serve and and how you got into the military? I serve from one nineteen sixty four to one thousand nine hundred sixty seven during the vet Vietnam War. I am the daughter of a career marine who was the China Marine. If there are marines listening, you know what a China Marine is from the S. and after I graduated from College, I was trained to be a teacher and decided I didn’t even like that. So what am I to do? And my father said, why don’t you go talk to the recruiters? You can go in as an officer, and I said, okay, but I’m not going to join the Marines, and he says that’s all right, and so I I’m from Philadelphia, and I went to the different recruiters in Philadelphia, but not the Marine Corps. And after I’d heard them all, and I didn’t believe one word they said to me, they said you’re going to travel the world, you’re going to where are the best looking uniforms you ever saw? And okay, I’ll go talk to the marines, so I did. They took me down to the Philadelphia Navy Yard and then to this grungy looking captain with a big cigar hanging out of his mouth. He took one look at me and it was a face like a woman. And Anyway, he went through the whole thing. He says, you have the dumbest uniforms I ever saw. You’re never going to leave the United States. He’s going like that, and I’m thinking, sign me up. He’s given me the true story, and that’s what happened. So I went in. I was trained at in Quantico, Virginia, where the officers are trained, and after that my first duty station was Parris Island, South Carolina, where I was the training AIDS officer as a second lieutenant, and I was there for eighteen months and I was transferred to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, where I was to go as a training AIDS officer, but I was moved up and became the assistant g three. So I was in the headquarters, in the general staff and I loved it. It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. It was the best of times because we were in the war up to our neck and everybody was at their peak performance and it was it was just an exciting time in the it was the worst of times, though, because your friends were being killed. So I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. But anyway, did I ever leave the United States? Because the Marine Corps told me to know and regardless of what they said, I thought my uniform was pretty sharp. I liked it, I wore it with pride. Can’t fit in it anymore, but nevertheless, and I did some things that other women marines hadn’t done. By the way, when I was in, we are a small group Women Marine, especially women marine officers, and when I was in there were only fifty of us, from the second lieutenant up to the highest rank, which was one colonel. There were fifty years and so I got to do a lot of firsts. And for you flyers, I was a shot out of a Martin Baker seat. I was thrown out of a helicopter into the drink and rescued by a boat. All part of the training and I presented the general’s colors at a parade, which I hadn’t been done before by a woman marine. And Anyway, during this time I met my husband to be and he was an officer stationed there in San Diego with me. We met when I went to see his boss in it in the regimental headquarters and he came over to me said can I help you and I went wow, he’s a good looking guy and I never saw you before. Anyway, we ended updating, fell in love and he had orders to Vietnam, so we went. We we took a hot back to Philadelphia. He wanted to ask my dad for my hand, which he did and received gladly, and then he went to Vietnam, and so he was a real hero over there. He he was on the DMZ for most of it and during that time he was wounded. He got five Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. And after you have three wounds that they’re supposed to send your home because three three strikes in your out. He was finally met a bact home and we got married, but he stayed in. They had more time to go, but they had a retraining because he wasn’t in any shape to be an infantry officer anymore. So they trained be a communications officer and a legal officer and he did that till he retired. So, but I was only in for the three year stem you’ll you see, I out ranking and I thought I’d better get out because this isn’t good. He had friends saying do you have to salute her? Well, he became a captain eventually too, and but anyway we’ve had fun that. So I had a father that was a twenty year marine and a husband who was a twenty three year marine, a son who fought in Somalia with a Marine Corps and a son in law who was administrative hospitals in Afghanistan. And then there was me, a proud marine. Tell me a little bit about I grew up with a father that was twenty years navy. But that’s too bad. Yeah, but he was again, but at the reason that the timing on it in in sixty four and sixty S, you would start to see the political turn going against being involved over there. I mean, what was that like and being a member of the military, doing which you were ordered to do and asked to do and what we needed you to do, and yet you were getting all of this, for lack of a better term, just angry victory, all coming out of your citizens. To be honest, I was hardly aware of it. Okay, too busy trying to engage in a war, and I think my husband will tell you the same, until he set foot back home here and he was shocked. HMM. But I I wasn’t really much aware of it. You are a new resident here to patriots landing. Yeah, and where did you come from? Well, not far sail, let’s Hims. Okay, but are you’ve heard the old story that you better be nice to your kids because when they grow up they’re going to tell you where you’re going to live? HMM. Well, guess what? The my daughter and my son came to our place a couple months ago and said, mom and dad, we found a place we want you to live. We think you you deserve something better. And they had scaled it out. Patriots landing. Yeah, and they brought us here on a look see and we loved the minute we walked in here. It’s just unbelievable. It’s beautiful, it’s clean, it’s needed, it’s good food, it’s caring and loving personnel that work in here and they have such a heart for veterans. Yes, and I don’t know the percentage of veterans in here, but it’s got to be maybe ninety percent. You’re very close. I think they’re up to eighty six percent, is the leas they’re heard from Gidet. Yeah, okay. So so we all have this in common and so we’re a family right off the bat. Yeah, and it was an interesting in conversation with the person before we was saying that you could change basis, there be restationed or something like this. But in the military always knew where you fit. Yeah, that you you had a position to title and that kind of gave you that. It’s that same feeling here. You kind of you walk in and you know you fit. It’s very comfortable. Were welcome here. Yes, absolutely, and I can see that. And then run by carriage is the company that runs patriots landing and they have a very, very strong and deep abiding respect and appreciation for the veterans. It’s very evident and it is. Then the other thing is we can when you’re never a stranger here because as veterans we can walk up to a veteran of any branch and you have something to talk about, right, even the navy, well, yeah, even Mavy, Navy. Okay, they get us to where we need to go. Okay, all right, bobby, I want to thank you very much for your time and again thank you for your service and for Ernie, for any who is her husband who’s been sitting here kind of patiently going through this with us. Also, thank you for your service and again, all the best to you. Hear of Patriots landing. Thank you, Dennis. This has been a special honoring veterans. Presentation of answers for elders brought to you by carriage. For more information about carriage, the website is sere agecom
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