U.S. Marine Corps Celebrates Retired Marine Corporal Lou ‘Mama Lou’ Keller 99th Birthday > U.S. Marine Corps Flagship > News Display

U.S. Marine Corps Celebrates Retired Marine Corporal Lou ‘Mama Lou’ Keller 99th Birthday > U.S. Marine Corps Flagship > News Display


U.S. Marines along with Headquarters Company, 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, celebrated U.S. Marine Corporal Corporal. Lou “Mama Lou” Keller’s 99th Birthday on March 30, 2024 at his home in San Jose.

It was the first time Marines had come to celebrate Keller’s birthday.

“Mr. Keller’s family contacted Mr. James Brown of the Wine Country Marine Corps and Mr. Brown contacted us to see if we could visit,” said Sergeant Keller. Kristina Periev, 23rd Marine Corps career planner.

According to an article written by James Brown for the non-profit veterans group Wine Country Marine Corps, Keller was awarded the Purple Heart for Marines fighting overseas at the Pentagon during World War II. I was working to process.

When the Marines arrived at Keller’s home, she was filled with joy.

US Marine Corps Celebrates Retired Marine Corporal Lou ‘Mama Lou’ Keller’s 99th Birthday
Photo courtesy: Photo courtesy

U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Christina Periev, assigned to Headquarters Company, 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, at Mama Lou’s 99th birthday celebration in San Jose, California, March 30, 2024. Hugs retired U.S. Marine Corporal Lou “Mama Lou” Keller. Mama Lou served in the Marine Corps during World War II and strives to continue to inspire the next generation of Marines.

“When we showed up, she had a big smile on her face and seemed to be in good spirits,” Periyev said.

During the celebration, the Marines served Keller’s favorite food, chocolate cake, and sang a song celebrating her birthday.

“We sang her Happy Birthday and helped cut the cake with a Mamluk sword. She was smiling and clapping the whole time,” Periyev said.

The visiting Marines were inspired by Keller and her story, and the visit had a deep impact on them.

“We all hugged her and thanked her for her service and for being a trailblazer for future Marine Corps women,” Periyev said. “We had three generations of Marines in attendance, and it was great for our organization to be there for her.”

U.S. Marine Corps Celebrates Retired Marine Corporal Lou ‘Mama Lou’ Keller’s 99th Birthday
Photo courtesy: Photo courtesy

Headquarters Company, 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division and the U.S. Marine Corps honor retired U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Lou “Mama Lou” during Mama Lou’s 99th birthday celebration, March 30, 2024, in San Jose, California. Hugs with “Lou” Keller. Mama Lou enlisted in the Marines in honor of her father, a World War I veteran who died at age 50.

According to Brown of Wine Country Marines, Keller was born on March 31, 1925 in Gilroy, California. Keller enlisted in the Marines in honor of his late father, a World War I Marine veteran. She became the first woman from her hometown of Gilroy to join the Marine Corps.

“We all hugged her and thanked her for her service and for being a trailblazer for future women in the Marine Corps.” Gunnery Sergeant Kristina Periev, 23rd Marine Corps Career Planner

Throughout her years in the Marine Corps, she was a pillar of leadership and inclusivity, eschewing many social and exclusionary norms that existed in society at the time. After her stint in the Marine Corps, Keller returned to California, where she attended San Jose State University to become a stenographer. Soon after, she met and married her husband. Later, she fell in love with the culinary arts after she found her job at a bakery.

Keller is currently in hospice care, and despite her situation, she remains steadfast.

“See you on your 100th birthday. I hope you’ll all be here,” Keller told the Marines.

Keller was a trailblazer for generations of Marines, and her outgoing spirit and honor for duty inspired many to follow in her footsteps. She maintains that hospice will not prevent her from encouraging the next generation of Marines and continuing to tell stories of Marine courage and bravery during her active duty years and beyond.

U.S. Marine Corps Celebrates Retired Marine Corporal Lou ‘Mama Lou’ Keller’s 99th Birthday
Photo courtesy: Photo courtesy

A photo of retired US Marine Corps Corporal Lou ‘Mama Lou’ Keller from her time in the US Marines. Mama Lou enlisted in the Marine Corps in honor of her father during World War II and was the first woman to join the Marine Corps from Gilroy, California.

Who we are: The United States Marine Corps Reserve is responsible for providing trained forces and qualified individuals for mobilization into operations during times of war, national emergency, crisis, or emergency. On a daily basis, the Marine Corps Reserve (MARFORRES) is a force of approximately 100,000 talented and dedicated Marines who can augment the active component in a myriad of ways, including deploying operationally, supporting training, and participating in military exercises. It has been constructed. / Multilateral exercises with partner nations and allies, military-level experiments in support of Force Design 2030, and refinement of new concepts, tactics, techniques, and procedures.

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