Chaplin - MARY WEST
Mary a native of Massachusetts is a Korean War era Navy veteran and hospital Corp
As the oldest of six she knew as a little girl she wanted to be a nurse. As a high school
senior she and a friend took the entrance exam for nursing school. Because there were
so many applicants they were told they be in the next class which started in six months.
So Mary and her friend Lois decided to join the Navy but Mary was only 16 at the time
and was told to come back when she was 17 with parental permission, which she did.
She did her basic training in Bainbridge, Maryland. After Basic she selected class A
Hospital Corp school at Great Lakes Naval Base. After six month intensive training she
was assigned to the Great Lakes Naval Hospital where she worked critical care, areas
of OB/GYN at the Dependents Hospital, pediatrics and lastly central sterilization and a
It was during this time Mary met John West, a Marine and Korean War Veteran from
Ottumwa, Iowa. They married and raised their four children in Massachusetts and New
Hampshire. John retired and he and Mary moved to Citrus County, Florida. Mary
continued to work in healthcare retiring from same-day surgery in 2000.
She volunteers once a week at a clinic for the homeless and uninsured. She is active in
Female Veterans Network and Fleet Reserve and serves as chaplain for both
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