KAYSVILLE - Marty Martin was the only woman veteran and the only former U.S. Marine aboard the first Honor Flight to see the Washington World War II Memorial recently.
Marty and her husband, Fred Martin, who was in the U.S. Air Force, both served in the military during the war.
Fred was born in January 1923 and Marty was born in March the same year. They grew up in Sunset and met while riding the school bus to Davis High School, where they became sweethearts. They were both young in school because Fred began school a year early and Marty skipped a grade, so they graduated in 1940 at the age of 17.
Following high school they both attended Weber College, a two-year junior college at the time, now Weber State University. Lockheed representatives visited the college to recruit employees and Fred was chosen to go to work for Lockheed.
On Nov. 1, 1941, Marty and Fred were married at the age of 18. After Fred received his draft notice he became a flight engineer in the Air Force. He also obtained a private pilot's license.
Marty said she has always been very patriotic and wanted to do her part, so in November 1943 she joined the Marines.
"I joined because he was in and I was patriotic. I joined the Marines because it was the best one to join," she said during an interview in her home.
During the war Marty was stationed at Oxnard Air Base in California. When asked what type of work she did she smiled as she recalled not begin permitted to talk about it.
"Since it was 70 years ago I guess I can tell," she said, "I retested the bomb sights."
While at the memorial in Washington, she was able to visit a new statue that pays tribute to women in the Marines. Inscribed on the statue are the words: "Dedicated to all women past, present, and future who earn the title 'Marine.'
The statue is a replica of the first statue of a female service member in uniform erected in New Orleans on Nov. 10, 1943 as part of an effort to recruit women into the Marine Corps during the war.
Fred served more than three years while Marty served five months and 11 days. Fred was able to visit her a few times while serving. Marty was released from the Marines when she became pregnant. At that time women who were pregnant could not remain in the military.
Fred continued his service and traveled all over the world. He was on the ferry command so he traveled into war zones but was not stationed in war zones.
After the Air Force, Fred returned to his job at Lockheed.
In 1950 the couple packed up all of their belongings, including a new washing machine, and headed to Alaska.
"We were going to homestead but we decided it was not a good place to raise our children," said Marty. "We took the washing machine, which had a gasoline motor on it, and traded it."
On the way back home they stopped in Seattle, where Fred took a job with Boeing. After six years they returned to Utah, where she worked for the Internal Revenue Service and he worked at Hill Field, which is now Hill Air Force Base, where he was an F-4 lineman.
Marty also worked at Hill after their youngest child was in school.
Both were members of the Civil Air Patrol and Fred was in the Reserves until he turned 60. Fred stopped flying private planes at the age of 85.
"You have gotta watch because old age can shove you out of a lot of places," Fred said.
Square dancing was a big part of their lives. They were in square dancing groups for 40 years even going on a 23-day square dancing trip to Europe. And they enjoyed golfing.
Marty still volunteers at the Autumn Glow Senior Activity Center in Kaysville where she has volunteered for 20 years. She started out delivering Meals on Wheels, but she broke her leg while delivering meals; after that she began working in the office.
Both of them have been very active all of their lives.
"We haven't been sitting around waiting for something to happen," Marty said with a smile.
They are the parents of three daughters and one son, grandparents to six and they have seven greatgrandchildren.
The Martins have received numerous letters from children from throughout the state expressing appreciation for their service to our country.
"These letters are priceless," said Marty.
While in Washington, with a bit of help Marty was able to locate the name of her cousin on the Vietnam Memorial. "The highlight of the trip was finding my cousin's name," she said.
They celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary on the Honor Flight coming home.