Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pechanga Veteran's Day: Mary Ann Cuevas Poole An Appreciation

A tribute to Pechanga’s military veterans for this year’s Veteran’s day.   You may recall that we wrote earlier that the Pechanga Band recently scrubbed their page honoring Pechanga’s military veterans.   We believe it was primarily because the Hunter family and the Manuela Miranda descendents constituted the majority of their veterans.   Well, you can’t honor those you have dishonored by disenrolling them, can you?     Well, Pechanga took credit for them for over four years, so obviously, they have no shame, or their webmaster was incompetent.

This post honors our aunt, Mary Ann Poole, who is a descendent of Paulina Hunter, through Mary Ann Miller.    Her enrollment number was in double digits, much lower than Tribal Chairman Macarro, or the previous chair Jennie Miranda.

Here’s that Veteran’s story.    Yes, in the 1950’s Pechanga women served in our military.   Her husband, Paul Poole relates the story.

All five of Olive Miller Cuevas’ kids were active at the same time, the boys in the Army, Matilda in the Air Force, and Mary Ann in the Navy

A lot of military brats were raised by that crew, with Matilda marrying an Air Force career guy and Mary Ann marrying a career Navy guy. (OP:  14 of them! Some veterans themselves) Then there's Felipe, who stayed in the Army,  Tommy and David spending two separate hitches in the Army and marrying Inge from Germany - and bringing Russell home to LA when he got discharged.  I'll say this - coming to LA on leave, and possibly finding one of the other siblings (with family) at home at the same time, was a blast. 

Each one KNEW that his branch of the military was the BEST, and arguments ensued.  It was a patriotic bunch, I'll say that.  Mom and Pop wer proud of us all, and we were proud to serve. 
As for Mary Ann - she joined the Navy in early 1954 and went to Boot Camp in Bainbridge, MD.
She got to Radio School at the Naval Radio Station, Imperial Beach, CA, in May of '54.  That's
when we met - she joined my radio school class which was already in progress.  In that Basic
Radio school we were taught the Morse Code (sending and receiving) plus basic typing.  She had
a little problem with Morse Code but, since she had already been a secretary, she could type
over a hundred words a minute - and she and the typing instructor would sit at the back of the
class and "race" on their typewriters. 

After radio school we both were advanced to the classified part of the schooling, where we
began to learn about our future military intelligence duties.  In that school we separated into
different skills.  Mary Ann was taught about teletype circuits and how to send and receive
messages containing military intelligence to and from other U.S. military installations as required. 

We graduated from the Communications Technician school in December 1954, having been
married a week earlier.  I should note that our "rating" was later changed from Communications
Technician to Cryptologic Technician. 

In any case, Mary Ann was transferred to Wash DC and I went to Kami Seya, Japan.  She spent an interesting year in DC.  She worked for the National Security Agency (NSA) in their communications center. 

Also, since she was one ofthe service women who had a Top Secret security clearance, (OP: Anyone think the Pechanga Tribal Council could get one?  Or the Masiel Crime family?) and was deemed trustworthy, she was asked from time to time to babysit the kids of the "big wigs".  She wound up sitting with Gerald Ford's kids on several occasions, a job that she was proud of, especially since he later advanced from just a US Congressman from Michigan to the US Presidency. 
Mary Ann was honorably discharged in Dec 1955, and in January 1956 she joined me in JapanAfter that she was with me, along with our two boys, in other duty stations overseas, including Puerto Rico, Okinawa, and Japan (again).  Son Roger was born at North Island Naval Air Station, Coronado, and Greg was born at an Army hospital in Puerto Rico.    She was happiest when we spent time at our trailer on the reservation.

HAPPY VETERANS DAY to all veterans.


David Cuevas said...

Thanks cousin for the memories. Much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Nice appreciation piece of a real Pechanga veteran. Great job, tribal council of turning your backs on those who served this country that were tribespeople.

Maybe you should honor those felons you have, since you don't seem to honor your own.

Anonymous said...

" Maybe you should honor those felons you have, since you don't seem to honor your own"

They already did, from what I remember they did feature a convicted child molester in one of there ad's in a very prominent spot on TV.

Jackie and Remy said...

We always enjoy hearing these true life stories from our family. Thank you for sharing them with all of us.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mary Ann Poole, for your service to our country and for honoring the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians.

Sadly, they chose to dishonor your service and that of your family.

No Pechanga Casino for THIS veteran.

Anonymous said...

What a delightful story of a warrior woman. In our military in the 1950's.

She does Pechanga proud. Too bad she didn't receive the same treatment from Mark Macarro, Butch Murphy, et al.

Anonymous said...

You don't often think about women in the military in the 50's.

Good story about Gerald Ford's kids.