u.s corps

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“President Obama honored a very special veteran [in the White House Oval Office recently]: 110-year-old Emma Didlake. A resident of Detroit, Didlake is believed to be the nation’s oldest veteran.

‘We are so grateful that she is here with us today… She is a great reminder not only of the sacrifices the Greatest Generation made.’ Obama said, but also the ‘trailblazing’ by women and African-American veterans.

Didlake ‘was a Private during the course of her service and her decorations include the Women’s Army Corps Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal,’ the White House said in a statement.” David Jackson, USA Today 

“Known to family as ‘Big Mama,’ Didlake was a 38-year-old wife and mother of five when she 'wanted to do something different’ and signed up for the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1943, said her granddaughter, Marilyn Horne. She served stateside for about seven months during the war, as a private and driver.

After she was discharged, she and her family moved to Detroit in 1944 – and she quickly joined the local NAACP chapter. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963 and received a lifetime achievement award two years ago from the chapter.” Jeff Karoub, The Associated Press 

1st Photo by Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images

All other photos by Evan Vucci/AP

The Marines today carry with them that same warrior’s spirit as the Marines who took this wood 93 years ago. It’s only right to pay tribute to those who have gone before us and gave us the proud legacy to live up to.

Carlton W. Kent