Female WWII veteran to throw out first pitch at Lexington Legends game on Saturday

96-year-old Margaret Mary Somers was Army Air Corps Nurse

FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 10, 2015) – In 1942, Margaret Mary Somers was learning to teach nursing at Boston University when she asked herself, “What am I doing here?”

Ballard then and nowThe Army recruiting office was right across the street from the school.

“I thought what am I doing at Boston University, learning to teach nursing, when I should be out joining the service,” Mary Somers Ballard says today.

So she did.

On Saturday, the World War II veteran will throw the first pitch at the Lexington Legends baseball game as part of Military Appreciation Night, which will highlight Kentucky’s women veterans. The game begins at 7 p.m.

As a 23-year-old, Somers served two years in England, where after D-Day she took care of wounded soldiers being flown from France or Germany to Britain. After the war she remained in the reserves until she married.

Today she is the mother of eight, grandmother of 16 and great-grandmother of two, living in her own home in Lexington and still walking and exercising every day.

Ballard explained how she came to the decision to join the military more than 70 years ago:

“My father had died the year before, and I asked my mother how she felt about having me join,” Ballard said. “And she said that this would be something she would want to do if she were my age. And so I joined. We were at war. I joined the Army Air Corps because I thought I could make a contribution.”

The Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs (KDVA) is spotlighting Kentucky’s 33,000 women veterans throughout 2015, which Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed the Year of the Woman Veteran in Kentucky.

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