Greatest Generation: Bonnie Crawford

For many years after the end of World War II, the role of American women in that conflict was largely overlooked or forgotten. But one East Texas woman not only served her country, but also helped pave the way for today's women in service.
  In 1942 Bonnie Wright Crawford had just graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in business when she felt a different calling. Bonnie's three brothers had already enlisted in the service and she wanted to serve her country too. Bonnie became the first woman in Smith County to join the Marines, as well as one of the first in the country.
  After her training, Bonnie was sent to Santa Barbara, California to serve as a police officer in charge of the Women Marines' dormitory. Other women Marines would serve as office workers, quartermasters, link trainers and chaplain helpers. For the most part, women in World War II weren't sent to the front. But they did free up over three hundred thousand men to fight and were invaluable to America's efforts in winning the war.
  While Bonnie Wright Crawford is a symbol of the women of World War Two's Marine Corps, her grandaughter Miranda Crawford is a twenty-first century version. Miranda says she always thought it was "neat" that her grandmother had been a marine, but didn't know how rare it was until she joined the Marines too. It's been said that during World War II, some women found challenges, some found adventure, some found confidence, some found escape, some found death. All found pride. For the Crawford women, that pride has become a heritage into a third generation.

Joan Hallmark, reporting.