When Patricia Murray volunteered to do her part in winning World War II, she brought her roller skates with her and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.
At the age of 26, she was a professional roller skater from Toledo, Ohio, but wanted to follow the flag and help win the war against the Axis.
Marine Corps veteran Sgt. Patricia "Pat" Murray celebrated her 100th birthday on Dec. 1 and Dec. 2 with two days of celebrations that culminated at American Legion Post 348, Palmdale, Calif., where she is senior post member.
A member of the “Greatest Generation” and a World War II veteran, Murray went through ‘boot camp’ in 1943 at Parris Island, S.C., and became a parachute rigger – saving pilots’ lives. She was based at El Centro, Calif., a parachute rigging hub.
As part of the birthday celebration, Murray received a U.S. flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol on Veterans Day. The flag was presented by Christine Ward, field deputy for U.S. Rep. Steve Knight.
Others on hand included Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford (pictured), and American Legion Post 348 Commander Carl Hernandez (also pictured). Murray was made an honorary for-life member of Post 348 and an honorary life member of the Legion Auxiliary. Other dignitaries on hand included State Sen. Scott Wilk, and Assemblyman Tom Lackey.
Marine Corps League Detachment 930 stalwarts Chris Chandler and Milton Cathcart also stopped by to wish Murray a ‘happy birthday,’ as did her school escort for World War II history – Air Force veteran Bob Alvis.
Murray pushed the drive to clean up the historic Palmdale Cemetery, and to place a flagpole at the Antelope Valley Mall.