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The Fighting Third

Okinawa, Japan
Mrs. Barbara Mathews becomes an Honorary Marine

By Capt. Eric Abrams | 3rd Marine Division | March 12, 2020

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MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII – A Hawaiian-based videographer was just the 11th woman in Marine Corps history to be awarded the title of Honorary Marine during a ceremony at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, March 6, 2020.

Mrs. Barbara Mathews earned this prestigious honor for volunteering over 10 years of her personal time, talents and money capturing photo and video of hundreds of Marine Corps ceremonies, including memorials and special events surrounding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2005, Mrs. Mathews took her support even further by embedding with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment during their deployment to Afghanistan in order to tell the Marine Corps story in more vivid detail.

“Recognizing the risks, she nevertheless sought an ‘embed’ with our battalion during November 2005 in eastern Afghanistan. With energy rivaling Marines 40 years her junior, she was not content to stay on the Jalalabad Forward Operating Base. She traveled to as many outlying [areas] as tactically feasible to support the entire battalion,” Col. James Donnellan, former battalion commander for 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, said in a statement.

By capturing, editing and producing over 25,500 images and 5,700 video clips, Mrs. Mathews provided an invaluable service to the Marines, Sailors and their families.
“The Marine Corps was not the only beneficiary of Mrs. Mathews’ efforts. The families of the Marines featured in her works were given a rare opportunity to witness the trials and triumphs of their loved ones. We are proud to have her officially join our ranks as an Honorary Marine.” Said Maj. Gen. William Jurney, the Commanding General of 3rd Marine Division.

The Honorary Marine title is designed to reinforce the special bond between the American people and the Marine Corps by recognizing individuals in the civilian community who have made extraordinary contributions to the Marine Corps. This title can only be awarded by the Commandant of the Marine Corps. To date, fewer than 100 Honorary Marine titles have been presented throughout the service’s history.


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