Vandalia, Ohio, USA
U.S. Marine Corps
LCPL, Combat Logistics Regt 27, 2nd MLG, II Marine Expeditionary Force
12/14/2007, Camp LeJeune, NC, USA
Lance Corporal Maria Frances Lauterbach was always described as “a very beautiful young woman”. It was hard to believe otherwise. With a small frame of five feet-four inches, blonde hair and blue eyes, she seemed like America’s “girl next door”. She was a three-sport athlete at her high school in her hometown of Vandalia, Ohio, playing soccer, basketball, and softball too. She was what her mother calls, “a typical teenager” who was a “borderline misfit” who loved to play sports, listen to music, and hang out with her friends.
On her sports teams, she stood out as both a natural leader and phenomenal athlete. She was a fierce competitor, and took her softball team to win a district championship. She lent her skills and knowledge to others as well, coaching a pee wee soccer team and helping them learn how to play the sport.
However, by hearing the description of this young woman, most may never assume she was also a Marine. However, this is something Maria wanted to do her whole life, even getting a Marine Corps tattoo on her upper right arm. She wanted to take on life’s greatest challenge, which she believed to be the military, and she also wanted to make a direct difference eliminating the bad in the world.
Maria bravely served overseas, where she commanded respect from her fellow Marines, despite the fact that she was a woman in a male-dominated profession. Being one of very few women was a difficult challenge, which Maria overcame bravely. Her life of bravery serves as an inspiration not just for her country, but for women all over. Maria Lauterbach’s refusal to be dominated by men is a great example for women for generations to come.