By Rosemary Gregorec (Battle Born NV-1, WMA)
As in 1943 when women were called upon to join the Corps to “Free A Man To Fight”, taking over many non-combat billets, thus enabling the Sixth Marine Division to be in the field, so now come members of the Women Marines Association to take over transportation duties for The Sixth Marine Division 2010 Reunion. The Sixth Marine Division held their annual reunion October 10-14, 2010 at The Orleans in Las Vegas, NV. The Women Marines Association’s Battle Born (NV-1) Chapter stepped up to the plate to assist.
The Battle Born women: Lisa Michael (chapter President), Rosemary Gregorec (chapter Treasurer) and member Annette Moser-Canos and Amy Kushneruk (representing the Marine Corps League Greater Detachment) collectively spent 5 days meeting the Marines, the widows and the families at the airport as each flight arrived.
They assisted with luggage and transportation to the reunion site at The Orleans Hotel and Casino. They also provided transportation to the outlet mall while still meeting arriving flights and members. In all the women of Battle Born greeted and transported approximately 92 of Marines and family in approximately 40 round trips for a total of 411 miles of driving.
“It was an amazing experience. I have been humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to serve the Marines and their families of the Sixth!” said Rosemary Gregorec. She also said “These guys are amazing. Even at their advanced ages of 80 to 90 years old, I still had to fight them to let me carry their luggage. The fight was not because of their ages, but it was because they were gentlemen and they were not going to let a lady carry or lift a bag.”
“I had at least three of them try to give me a tip” said Amy Kushneruk, a sentiment echoed by Lisa Michael who replied to each attempt “Your money is no good here.”
All of them were very appreciative of the service provided by Battle Born. As Rosemary Gregorec was taking a group to the hotel, a Marine, his daughter and son-in-law, the son-in-law commented on how great this was that she would be doing this. Rosemary replied “It’s what Marines do; we take care of each other.”
The rides yielded some stories of their time in the Corps, their time in China or Okinawa, antics of members from past conventions, who is still alive who is not. There was talk of politics, the Las Vegas job environment and economy, to comparing our family lives, to what are the best shows on the Strip, all the way down to the weather. Sometimes all of the above in a 10 minute 4.59 mile trip.
As Annette Moser-Canos observed “It made me think of our young Marines and servicemen and women today that have been overseas. The stories, good and bad, that are burned into their memories and hearts. The sacrifices that ALL of our heroes of war have made. What will they tell their children and grandchildren or Woman Marine that comes to pick them up at the airport?”
The Women Marines of Battle Born made such an impression on the members of the Sixth that they insisted the women attend their banquet at the end of the reunion. It was an honor that the women would not forget. At the banquet the Battle Born Chapter was honored with a certificate of appreciation from the Sixth Marine Division and was accepted by the chapter’s President Lisa Michael.
The Battle Born women continued their service by assisting with festivities throughout the banquet such as judging the “Close Order Drill Off” and running raffle prizes to the winners in the audience.
Battle Born Chapter was chartered in 2009 and is currently the only Nevada chapter and claims about 15 members. They are active in their community and keeping up a positive image of Women of the Corps.