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Girl WII Veterans Celebrates 99th Birthday – Corpus Christi Caller-Occasions

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Lovers with birthday balloons shouted and waved as they drove past the home of Marilyn Dow, one of the oldest veterans in Texas, on Saturday for her 99th birthday.

Children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren filled the yard while Dow watched from her place on the porch in a sparkling tiara.

"I can't believe I'm 99 … my mind is young," said Dow.

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Marilyn Dow is holding a drive through party at her home for her 99th birthday, Saturday, August 22, 2020. Dow is the oldest living marine in Texas. (Photo: Annie Rice / Caller Times)

Marines, some in shades of blue, were walking up the steps to Dow's front porch to wish her a happy birthday when a truck playing the Marines anthem drove down the street.

A native of Chicago, Dow joined Marine Corp in 1943 when it established the Women's Reservation and is one of the oldest known living female veterans in Texas.

"Our country was under attack, so I was a patriotic kind of girl and my father was the same, a soldier in WWI," said Dow. "He urged me to participate."

At the time, the Marine Corp didn't have uniforms or facilities for women, so they used their own clothes to start off and slept in tents on the runway, Dow said.

Dow was only 5 feet tall and weighed 95 pounds. He barely met the physical requirements to enroll with the Marines, but wanted to serve abroad.

More: The WWII veteran shares her experience with children at Berlanga Elementary

Dow served on Confidential Communications where he received secret messages from Japan during World War II and decoded them for use. She retired in 1946 when the war was over.

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Marilyn Dow is holding a drive through party at her home for her 99th birthday, Saturday, August 22, 2020. Dow is the oldest living marine in Texas. (Photo: Annie Rice / Caller Times)

While on duty, she met her husband, Dick Dow, a sargent in the Marines. When her husband enrolled again for the Korean War, she moved to Corpus Christi to live with her parents. Dow lives in the same house her parents built.

In 2017, Dow was one of three women honored by the Corpus Christi Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution for service in World War II.

More: Women recognized for their service in World War II

"I was proud of everything I did in the Marine Corps," said Dow. "Good luck to all of the girls behind me."

Ashlee Burns covers trends and breaking news in South Texas. For our subscription options and specials, visit Caller.com/subscribe

Read or share this story: https://www.caller.com/story/news/local/2020/08/22/woman-wii-veteran-celebrates-99th-birthday/3419776001/

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