Mary Ida Murphy


Mary Ida Murphy was born on Prince Edward Island in Canada in 1914. Her family ran a large farm about 100 miles from Charlottetown. Among her earliest memories was a neighbor heading off to fight in World War I; her three brothers served during World War II in the Canadian Armed Forces, as did her husband, who was born and raised in the United States. Mary Ida talks about raising her family both on PEI and in Natick, Mass., where they moved in the 1950s.


Ronald Michael


Ron Michael grew up in East Natick; several of his neighbors had served with the U.S. Marine Corps, and that’s where he enlisted in 1956, right out of high school. He would serve three years as an amphibian tractor repairman, serving in the United States and in Lebanon.



Ron Michael points to his aunt’s name on the Veterans Wall, Morse Institute Library, Natick


Ron Michael with his unit in Beirut


Ron Michael, congratulatory letter

Virginia McGowan


Virginia “Ginny” Kirby Sullivan McGowan is the daughter, sister, wife, mother and grandmother of veterans. Raised in Newton, she worked at the Raytheon defense plant on radio tubes for the military – in those days, top-secret work. She and her sister, Patricia, also performed in USO shows throughout the region, often with their father, Frank Kirby, a professional piano player; they would often visit hospitals and perform for wounded soldiers.



Virginia Kirby, right, with her family. Frank Kirby, top right, served in the Navy; David Kirby, below, served in the Marines


Article on Virginia Sullivan’s family, 1970s. Michael Sullivan, front row, left, was in the Army


The Sullivan family, 1960s. Joe Sullivan III, top row, far left, was in the Navy


With son, Richard, who was in the Army in the 1970s


A Sullivan family wedding, early 1980s. Kevin Sullivan, top row, far left, was in the Navy

Molly McGlaughlin


Molly McGlaughlin wanted to follow her father and join the Air Force. Instead, she joined the Army’s Signal Corps, earning her commission as a second lieutenant following her graduation from Norwich University in 1989. Her career in active and Reserves duty has focused on information operations, including cybersecurity. As of 2015, she is a colonel, with tours of duty in Korea, Europe and Iraq.


William McCarthy


William McCarthy joined the Marine Corps in 1968, after graduating from Northeastern University with a degree in law enforcement. After infantry and commando training, McCarthy was sent to Vietnam, joining the “Hotel 2-4” (2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment) of the 3rd Marine Division in the DMZ. McCarthy served six months as a machine gunner and scout, fighting the enemy nearly every day, until he was wounded.


William MacFeeley


William MacFeeley volunteered for the U.S. Navy right after he graduated from Gloucester High School in 1968. During his four-year stint in the service, he would perform a variety of duties, from damage control to special services. His final months of active service would be off the shores of Vietnam on board the USS Providence, providing support for troops fighting inland.


Charles Leavitt


When young Charles Leavitt heard about the atomic bomb being dropped in 1945, he thought there would be no more war. In 1948, he volunteered to enter the Army; in 1950, after a stint as a company clerk in Japan, he was sent to the conflict in Korea as a rifleman with the 1st Cavalry Division, 7th Cavalry Regiment. Leavitt tells of his experiences there, from watching friends get shot to being wounded in the thigh.



Charles Leavitt, discharge paper