Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Vietnam War and Persian Gulf War Veteran Sergeant Major Mary L. Aurtrey.

Mary was born in Maryland and lived in a small-town in Pinewood, South Carolina. After graduating from high school, she decided to enlist into the army at age 18.

For 16 weeks, Mary trained at Fort McClellan, Alabama, for both basic training and advanced individual training while specializing in typing. Upon graduating from AIT, Mary became a clerk typist in Fort Myer, Virginia, in the Office of Engineers.

Mary explained in an interview with the Veterans History Project that her role during the wars was as an administrative non-commissioned officer and stenographer for General Alexander Haig. She also worked in the military personnel department and in the general offices.

Mary’s dream to travel came true as she had the opportunity to visit South Korea, Germany and Belgium. She also met her husband of 30 years, James Aurtrey, while they were both serving in Belgium

While in the military, Mary obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland. She also received her master’s degree from Ball State University.

Mary retired in Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis in July 1991. Currently, she works with American Legend, which corresponds with the military, and is a full-time employee at the Defense Finance and Accounting Center. She went back to school and received an accounting degree at Fort Harrison.

Thank you for your service, Mary!

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? You’re in luck! VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. All it takes is an email to with as much of the information as you can put together with some good photos. Visit our blog post about nominating for how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at

Graphic created by Carl J. Valentino: Carl J. Valentino is a student at the University of Delaware with a Major in International Business and a Minor in Graphic Design.

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Published on Dec. 28, 2016

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