Gilliard-Sheard spoke with Cpl. Roxanna Ortiz and Staff Sgt. Connor Hancock of the 1st Marine Division Jan. 28 and shared an old letter her mother wrote about her service as a Marine. Ortiz and Hancock highlighted the unique piece of history, telling the story of Graham’s history-making service in the video below.
“Back then it was a man’s world. […] Now it’s so different for women,” Gilliard-Sheard says in the video. “They can do just about any job — the same job as most men can do.”
Annie Graham blazed a path for future generations of Black women in the Marine Corps when she enlisted on Sept. 8, 1949. She served until 1952, and her legacy persists today.