Mary Cochrane enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1944 to “free a man to fight” in World War II by serving as a truck driver.
On April 18 she celebrated her 100th birthday–made sweeter with a cake brought to her home by a detachment of reserve Marines, and a letter of congratulation from Marine commandant Gen. Jim Amos.
The Marines, an inspector-instructor detachment from Peru, Indiana, spent time discussing Marine Corps memories with Cochrane and reviewing photos from her time as a young Marine.
“I had never seen a Marine, by the way,” Cochrane said of arriving in San Diego for the first time after training. “But I read about them. I thought…that’s for me.”
The Marines from Lima were not the only ones to celebrate Cochrane on her big birthday. An email exchange between Amos, Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Mike Barrett, and staff director for Headquarters Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Michael Regner reviewed by Marine Corps Times shows that the Corps’ senior leaders took time to honor Cochrane’s service.
“Amazing,” wrote Amos. “Thank you to all of your Marines who make this kind of thing happen across America. This is our heritage. Can you imagine what it must have been like for a woman to join the Corps in the ’40s? She was a true pioneer. Thank you to you and the I&I out of Lima for being ‘always faithful.’”
Watch the video the Marines produced of Cochrane’s birthday presentation below.
Happy Birthday Mary. Semper Fi and may you have many more.
Rich Morrison, GySgt USMC (Retd)
Happy Birthday Mary. God Bless, Semper Fi Marine.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARY MAY GOD BLESS YOU FOR EVER GO JORHEAD ONCE A MARINE ALWAY A MARINE 1953 TO JAN.18-1956 MAY YOU ALWAY KNOW ANGELS WALK WITH YOU. MY LOVE ALWAY. BOBBY
Happy Birthday Mary, and may you have a joyous and blessed birthday! Semper Fi Marine!!
C.Gilliam SSgt (Retd)
Happy Birthday, Marine. God bless and as always, Semper Fi
Happy birthday toung lady and i wish many more happy years to come
Happy Birthday Marine!!!! May God Bless you Always. Semper Fi
Happy Birthday Marine. Fabulous to see you on your birthday video. You are an inspiration.
Thank you for your service.
God bless you and Semper Fi.
Happy Birthday Marine
Happy Birthday Marine, great to see you and thanks for your service
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARY, I am the Sr. Vice Commandant of Detachment 1151 marine corps league Bangor Maine and we also have a 90 years young LADY MARINE IN OUR DETACHMENT, SHE IS SO PROUD AS WE KNOW YOU ARE.SEMPER FIDELIS MARY!!!
Happy Birthday 100th Mary. Semper Fi
Happy birthday Mary and Thank You, hugs!!
Way to go May, Looking Good + Semper Fi Marine…! No doubt ” Chesty ” is Proud of you….as we all are…!!!!
Happy birthday MARINE! You rock. From another former marine
Happy Birthday Marine. You’re not getting older, just better and the best is yet to come. God bless. Semper Fi
A salute and a Happy belated birthday with the utmost respect, adoration and celebration of and for you!!!!
Happy Birthday from one Woman Marine to Another! 1973-1977.