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Old 03-06-2009, 03:00 AM
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http://www.nwfdailynews.com/news/wal...commentsPage=2

79-year-old woman gets urgent Marine recruit letter

CRESTVIEW - Still a couple of weeks away from retirement, Opal Blackwell Walker already has received another job offer.

The 79-year-old Crestview woman says the Marines has expressed interest.

Last Monday, recruiters from New Jersey sent a letter to Walker by Federal Express.

"I had to sign for it. It was sent priority overnight," she said.

The letter from the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Recruiting Command asked Walker if she thought she had the stuff to be a Marine.

"It says ‘Dear Opal, Do you think you have what it takes to be a Marine? Are you prepared for one of the most demanding challenges you will ever face?' " said Walker.

"The fact is, if you have the fortitude, confidence and will to improve yourself, then the Marine Corps may be right for you," she continued.

"This just floored me," Walker said. "I thought, ‘well it's some kind of joke. Somebody's trying to play a joke on me.' "

The Crestview resident hasn't contacted local recruiters yet.

"I might better call him and let him know I got it so he won't let my Social Security services be cut out," she said.

Walker plans to visit a local recruiting office and say, "Here I am. Where do you want me?"

Walker soon will have extra time on her hands. Two hours before she received her "extremely urgent" letter from the Marines, Walker turned in her two weeks' notice with the Daily News.

She will end her tenure as a paper carrier March 28, 21 days before she turns 80.

"My old legs were just worn out," she said.

Walker may not fall within the 17 to 29 age requirement for enlisted Marines, but she said she would be a hard worker.

The "potential recruit" has worked all of her life but never considered a military career.

Walker can see herself as one of the few and the proud. But she can't imagine what her duties would include.

"What am I gonna do, wash their feet when they go on maneuvers?" she wondered. "If I was 60 years younger you would really have a recruit in there."
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