From ‘Beauty Queens’ To Warriors, Young Women Make History On Parris Island As First To Graduate With Infantry Contracts

By Liz Farrell
The Island Packet (Hilton Head Island, S.C.)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Meet the women who are breaking new ground and changing the face of the military in extraordinary ways.

The Island Packet (Hilton Head Island, S.C.)

She was told not to do it.

In fact, she was told she would regret it.

But, just like the thousands upon thousands of newly anointed Marines before her, she was too tired and hungry and excited to heed the advice.

By the end of the Warriors Breakfast on Jan. 7 — which is to say, after 54 hours of long marches, heavy loads and tests of physical and mental endurance — Maria Daume had managed to stuff down four plates of food, each containing its own slice of cake.

And then, just like those thousands upon thousands before her, she paid the price for her post-Crucible gluttony, her first meal as a Marine after her final test to become one.

Back at the barracks, she found a laundry bag full of dirty clothes and collapsed on top of it. She lay there on her side for a long while.

“I was so sick,” she said.

Later, when she was able to call home, she told her grandmother how ill she felt.

“Go to the doctor’s office,” her grandmother, Mary Dawson, said.

“Umm…” Daume, 18, laughed telling the story later.

She tried to explain to her grandmother how this was recruit training; she couldn’t just get up and leave and go to any old doctor’s office as if she were a civilian.

“Tell them your grandmother says so,” her grandmother said emphatically.

Daume smiled.

“She doesn’t understand all this,” she said Friday, her grandmother just a short distance away, standing and beaming on the parade deck of Parris Island with the rest of Daume’s family, friends and even friends’ families, a talkative and happy crowd who had come from Long Island, N.Y., to see her graduate.

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