From left to right: Tricia Van Den Top, USAF colonel (retired) and WIMSA Foundation Ambassador – Florida; Anne (Brenneis) Garcia; Roberta Jordan, former Alafia River Chapter NSDAR regent and U.S. Army lieutenant colonel (retired); Jennifer Marks, Alafia River Chapter vice regent; and Cathleen LaVigne, Alafia River Chapter regent.

Anne (Brenneis) Garcia received the Living Legend Award from the Women in Military Service for America (WIMSA) in recognition of her U.S. military service from 1953-1955, her membership in the Alafia River Chapter NSDAR (National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, or DAR) and her volunteer work in the community with the Boys & Girls Club.

She was presented this prestigious award on March 19, with members of her DAR chapter as well as WIMSA Foundation Ambassador and Retired Colonel Tricia Van Den Top presenting the award.

The Living Legend program focuses on women veterans who have contributed during and after their service. Women veterans are also eligible for the award when they reach age 100.

Anne was nominated by Retired U.S. Army Lt. Colonel and former Alafia River Chapter NSDAR Regent Roberta Jordan, who said, “Anne, as well as other women who served during the World War II and Korean eras, broke glass ceilings by demonstrating there is a role for women in the military. Those of us who served later owe those women a huge debt of gratitude. This award is one way of saying thank you.”

In 1953, Lieutenant Anne was commissioned an ensign in the Naval Reserve at the U.S. Navy Training Center in Bainbridge, Maryland. She was one of about 100 college women who attended the 1953 session of the Reserve Officer Candidate School (Women) designed to qualify college women for Naval Reserve commissions. Anne completed Supply Corps School and served at Naval Air Station Jacksonville.

After her military service, Anne continued to serve her country and community with her husband, Joe Garcia. In 2003, Joe and Anne helped guide the opening of the Bill Carey Brandon Boys & Girls Club in partnership with the First Methodist Church of Brandon. In 2006, they received the National Silver Medallion Award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the highest recognition given by the organization. In 2011, the Joe & Anne Garcia Salesian Youth Center Boys & Girls Club celebrated its 15th anniversary with a special ceremony.

Anne has been an active member and chaired several committees through the Daughters of the American Revolution. She has worked as a champion for veterans, citizenship and naturalization. The Alafia River Chapter NSDAR is proud to honor Anne (Brenneis) Garcia as a true living legend.

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