Janice Hawker Calden of New York was working at IBM when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. She heard about the “Free a Marine to Fight” campaign and immediately signed up with the Women Marines. Sworn in on her birthday, December 20th, she went to work in the photo lab. She met her husband-to-be Joe Calden upon his return from Guadalcanal and the Pacific. He was an Edson Raider who fought alongside his brother, Fran, throughout the war.
Janice and Joe married at Camp LeJeune in 1944, and lived and raised nine children in Massachusetts until Joe died at the age of 53. As a widow, Janice worked for many years at the Filene’s department store, and then later for Hewlett Packard in New Hampshire until her retirement. She has traveled the world, and has welcomed many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren into her life.
She is 95 now, and well, and recently moved into assisted living in Marlboro. She tells everyone that she’s a Marine. She’s always looking for other women veterans and loves to talk to the men vets at her place. She can talk your ear off about anything and everything.
This tribute provided by her daughter, Linda Cottreau.
Photos of Janice Calden during World War II and today:
(Click thumbnails to view full photo in slideshow)
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