At 28, Pat White was working in the cosmetics department at the Roosevelt Mall Wanamaker’s and was talking to a recruiter about joining the U.S. Air Force.
Then, a friend and co-worker, who was a reservist with the U.S. Marine Corps, told her she could never do what he does as a Marine. That motivated her to change course, and, in 1992, she enlisted in the Marines.
Now, after a 20-year military career, White, who lives in the Holme Circle area, has launched her literary career. In April, she released Molly the Marine, a children’s book about the different jobs available for those interested in the Marines.
White, whose husband, Gary, was also a Marine, said her goal in writing the book was to encourage girls to pursue their dreams.
“If (people) see me in something that says Marine Corps, usually their first response is to ask me if my husband is a Marine,” she said. “I just wanted to get that out there that women are Marines, too.”
White, who grew up in Mayfair, spent 16 years in the Marine Corps and four years in the Air Force. She also worked for two decades as a special education teacher for the School District of Philadelphia, including stints at Disston, Mayfair and Anne Frank elementary schools.
As a Marine, White served in several of the roles mentioned in her book, such as working in public relations and administration and personnel.
So far, the book, aimed at the 6-to-8 age group, has been a success, so much so that White plans to release a sequel by the end of the year. She said it has been highly ranked on Amazon.com in several categories.
Jack Tomczuk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org