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OWASSO, Okla. ó Maye Ryan, who was in the first class of the Marine Corps Womenís Reserve, has died. She was 97.
Ryan, who was reportedly the oldest female Marine veteran in the nation, died Monday night at the Baptist Village, where she had lived for the last 14 years.
She joined the Marine Corps in 1943 and was assigned as a typist in Mojave, Calif., where she served for 32 months. She was discharged as a corporal.
In an April interview with the Tulsa World, Ryan said things didnít go easily for those first few women in the Marine Corps.
She said her male counterparts often would look down at the female Marines and that many of the men had ugly names for them.
Eventually, though, the women became well-accepted by the men, Ryan said.
She said she was proud of being able to take care of herself and did not apply for veteranís benefits until 50 years after she had qualified for them. She applied for Medicaid 30 years after she qualified for that program.
She was born May 18, 1910, in Red Oak. Her fatherís job as an oil pumper took the family from Red Oak to Avant in Osage County and then south to Wewoka in Seminole County, where she finished high school.
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