PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Anita Morris was just a sophomore in college when she decided to join the United States Coast Guard during World War II. Today, she's 100 years old and remembering the early days of being a woman in the military.
"I didn't have any men in our family that could serve. I felt it was my duty to do it," Morris said.
Morris' parents came to the United States from Italy. She was born in New York. She said her parents loved America and literally kissed the ground on the day they became citizens.
During her military service, Morris said she had to take inventory and send reports to Washington. While she was in Jacksonville, she promoted the United States Coast Guard on radio.
"In those days, people didn't give too much recognition to women in the service.
They thought we were handmaids," Morris added.
Morris said she enjoyed her three years with the United States Coast Guard and was never scared while she was serving. She said she would have continued her military career, but she started a family and wanted to focus on her husband and children.
Morris married the love of her life, Edward Morris, on Oct. 1, 1945. World War II had just ended the previous month. Morris actually met her husband in the military. They fell in love in the chow hall.
"I'm very proud of having served my country. I feel as if I've given a little bit back to my country when it has given me everything. I love America," Morris said.
Tuesday is Military Appreciation Day at The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach. This year's focus is on women veterans. Morris will be on the front row during the ceremony and will be honored.
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