Greetings to all from the San Francisco Bay Area. Hope everyone is staying safe. California is moving towards reopening – depending on the County you live in. My County – San Joaquin – continues to be in the strictest California tier – with the tightest restrictions. Neighboring counties are moving to less restrictive tiers. CA-3 continues to meet monthly via Zoom meetings, hosted by Marine Corps parents Elaine Vallecillo-Miller and Greg Miller.
In addition to our monthly Zoom meetings, CA-3 also keeps in touch via weekly emails.
During this period – CA-3 member Lynn Giaudrone and her Marine husband -Loyal Escort Paul Giaudrone – attended a zoom celebration to remember part of our USMC history. Held on 20 February 2021, the Stockton Marine Corps Club celebrated the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima. The Stockton Marine Corps Club happens to have two survivors of this battle among their members. Major Bill White, who will turn 106 in July, who is probably one of the oldest living Marines! He retired in 1958 and can still fit in to his original Dress Blues. He knows all 3 verses of the USMC hymn! He can also recite by memory the Gettysburg address! The second Iwo Jima survivor is Cpl. Frank Wright, 95 years young! He was an original Marine Raider. He plays the USMC hymn on his harmonica and has written a published book about his experiences.
Loyal Escort Paul Castro’s company asked their employees to write “What are you looking forward to after Covid 19?” His response:
“My wife and I look forward to hosting another Women Marines BBQ in our backyard, with their significant others. My wife, Bonnie, is a former Maine, and belongs to the Greater Bay Area CA-3 Chapter of Women Marines. They meet once a month and participate in a number of charity events. We hosted a barbecue in 2019, and wanted to make it an annual event, but COVID-19 hit. Some of these ladies have served as far back as the Korean War, Vietnam, and even as recently as the Iraq War. They are a great group of women and a lot of fun to hang out with!”
During this quarter, CA-3 member Susan Johnston participated in 8 Memorial Services as a part of the combined American Legion/VFW Honor Guard.
Unfortunately, some sad news – CA-3 is sad to report the passing of Marine Alice Eloise Gunnerson. Alice, aged 91, passed from this earth on February 17, 2021, following a long illness. Alice was a very early member of WMA. She was also both a charter and life member of the CA-3 chapter when it became one of the first six chartered WMA chapters in 1964. Alice was able to attend the CA-3 50th Anniversary celebration in 2014 as a honored guest because of her charter member statue.