Veterans celebrate 245th birthday of the United States Marine Corps

A local Marine Corps veteran reflects on her time as a Marine.

Posted: Nov 11, 2020 6:30 PM
Updated: Nov 12, 2020 8:31 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) November 10 marks the 245th birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

One St. Joseph resident served three years as a Marine and reflected on her time in the corps on this special day.

"I was there for three years. I really intended to stay for 20," said Marilyn Gerhardt, a Marine veteran.  "That was my thought when I went in. And I guess that was partly because they were pushing that a lot. You know, it's a good retirement. But the Korean War broke out in '50 and I went in, in '51."

Marilyn grew up right outside of Boston, Ma., but it was her trips to Virginia to visit her cousins that sparked the idea of joining the Marines.

"I would ride the Greyhound bus down to Quantico, Virginia, where my uncle was stationed. And I would go down there to see them, and he would take me to his office, and introduce me to the ladies. And I liked what they did and I liked how they dressed and I liked it just the way they were."

She was stationed at Camp Pendelton and served as a sergeant.  She spent her time at the commissary working in the office, and that is where her story truly begins.

"So it was my job, to take the list of what everybody in the office wanted that day. And I would go out into the store and I would walk around the commissary and pick up whatever was on the list, and I would go to the butcher shop and tell the butcher what I wanted for the office. And that's how we met."

Marilyn and her late husband Jake Gerhardt, met in the Marines and quickly married.  Shortly after, the two moved to St. Joseph and raised eight children.

Marilyn went on to teach at Central High school for several years and still resides in St. Joseph, Mo.

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A few areas of frost are possible this morning as temperatures have fallen into the mid 30s. Today temperatures will remain below average with highs in the upper 50s and lower 60s under mostly sunny skies. A few clouds will move back into the area tonight as temperatures dip down into the mid to lower 30s. Areas of frost will be possible again early Thursday morning. Conditions will stay relatively the same on Thursday with highs in the upper 50s under mostly sunny skies. Rain chances will move back into the area on Friday, mainly through the afternoon and evening keeping temperatures in the lower 50s. A few rain showers could linger through early Saturday morning before moving out of the area. Sunday looks to be a dry and mild day with temperatures remaining in the upper 50s. Temperatures will start to warm up on Monday with highs back in the low to mid 60s before a cold front moves through the area dropping temperatures back into the 50s on Tuesday.
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