Award honors Marine Corps wives; nominations sought


Nominations for the Irene Ferguson Marine Wife Recognition Award are being accepted through April 4.

The award, also known as the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation’s “Marine Wife of the Year,” pays tribute to the efforts of active-duty Marine wives in supporting the military, their families and the community.

The award was established by the late Marine Maj. Glenn Ferguson, who was an Escondido resident. Ferguson, who served as a pilot in World War II and the Korean War, established the award a little over a decade ago in memory of his wife, Irene, to recognize the sacrifices of Marine wives.

Ferguson came up with the idea for the award when he noticed that museums and parks he visited had tributes recognizing the sacrifices of service members, but not of the wives who helped their husbands in their service to the country. He felt that the women were unsung heroes, and he decided to create a tribute to honor their efforts on the homefront. Ferguson died on Dec. 18, 2021.

“When I visited the 100-year-old Maj. Ferguson just a couple of days before he passed away, he said that recognizing Marine wives was one of the most important things he had ever done,” said Patricia Laubach, a volunteer and board member for the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation.

The nominee’s husband must be an active-duty Marine who serves in a unit having a home base located in the USMC Southwest Region. Friends and family (not including the husband) can submit online nominations.

The Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation appoints a committee to review the applications. The winner receives a $1,500 monetary award along with a plaque and recognition ceremony hosted by the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum.

The mission of the foundation is to preserve the history of U.S. Marine Corps aviation, honor its service members and inspire future generations. The nonprofit foundation supports the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, which is currently closed to the public as it prepares to relocate to Great Park in Irvine. The targeted reopening date is August 2023.

The nomination form is available online at For more information about the award, visit the website, call (858) 693-1723 or email