Legacy Lecture

The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line: Untold Stories of the Women Who Changed the Course of World War II

March 9, 20235:30 pm - 7:30 pm

GCMF Building
340 VMI Parade
Lexington, Virginia, 24450

Join us for a lecture by Major General Mari K. Eder, author of The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line: Untold Stories of the Women Who Changed the Course of World War II, at the GCMF building in Lexington, Virginia, on Thursday, March 9, 2023 at 5:30 p.m. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture.

The event is free to the public, but reservations are required. The lecture will also be livestreamed on the Marshall Foundation’s website and YouTube channel. Stream viewers are encouraged to ask questions in YouTube’s chat feature or submit them to [email protected]. Gen. Eder will answer questions from in-person guests and stream participants following the presentation. For more information, please email [email protected] or call 540.463.7103 ext. 138.

From the publisher: The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line are the heroes of the Greatest Generation that you hardly ever hear about. These women who did extraordinary things didn’t expect thanks and shied away from medals and recognition. Despite their amazing accomplishments, they’ve gone mostly unheralded and unrewarded. No longer. These are the women of World War II who served, fought, struggled, and made things happen—in and out of uniform.

Young Hilda Eisen was captured twice by the Nazis and twice escaped, going on to fight with the Resistance in Poland. Determined to survive, she and her husband later emigrated to the U.S. where they became entrepreneurs and successful business leaders. Ola Mildred Rexroat was the only Native American woman pilot to serve with the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) in World War II. She persisted against all odds—to earn her silver wings and fly, helping train other pilots and gunners. Ida and Louise Cook were British sisters and opera buffs who smuggled Jews out of Germany, often wearing their jewelry and furs, to help with their finances. They served as sponsors for refugees, and established temporary housing for immigrant families in London. Alice Marble was a grand-slam winning tennis star who found her own path to serve during the war—she was an editor with Wonder Woman comics, played tennis exhibitions for the troops, and undertook a dangerous undercover mission to expose Nazi theft. After the war she was instrumental in desegregating women’s professional tennis. Others also stepped out of line—as cartographers, spies, combat nurses, and troop commanders.

Mari K. Eder is a retired major general of the United States Army. She served as the Deputy Chief of the United States Army Reserve and Deputy Chief of United States Army Public Affairs, prior to be appointed Commanding General of the United States Army Reserve Joint and Special Troops Support Command (redesignated as the 76th Operational Reserve Command in 2013) in October 2009. She retired from the army in 2013.