U.S. Marine Corps pilot Sarah Deal will be the guest speaker at the Genoa Memorial Day ceremony at the Clay Township Cemetery, sponsored by Genoa American Legion.
Lt. Col. Deal, the first female pilot in the corps, is a Pemberville native and 1987 Eastwood High School graduate who joined the Marines in 1992 during her summer break from Kent State University. After studying aerospace flight technology, she earned her commercial and private pilot’s license and is a certified flight instructor.
After the Department of Defense declared in 1993 that women could participate in combat, she began her military flight instruction in Pensacola, Florida and two years later became a pilot.
Since then, she has known one other female pilot in her own squadron and two female pilots in another squadron.
Deal was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 1999. She and her husband have three boys and live in St. Joseph, Michigan, near the shores of Lake Michigan. They have two twin 9-year-olds and a 4-year-old who are just starting to figure out her place in history.
She has served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and is now in the Marine Corps Reserve.