Dickey Chapelle Award

The Dickey Chapelle Award honors the memory of the late Dickey Chapelle, an American foreign correspondent who first covered Marines in combat at the Battle of Iwo Jima and was killed while on patrol with a Marine Corps infantry unit engaged in combat operations against enemy forces during the Vietnam War.  The award was established by the Marine Corps League to extend recognition to a woman who has contributed substantially to the morale, welfare and well-being of the officers and men and women of the United States Marine Corps.

The National Commandant of the Marine Corps League
takes pleasure in conferring the
Dickey ChapelleAward
Debbie Paxton, MSN. RN
in recognition of service as set forth in the following citation:

For exceptional meritorious service to her country and the Unites States Marine Corps.


A registered nurse and the wife of a Marine Corps General, Debbie Paxton has devoted much of her life to helping military families.  Since she stepped into the role of Marine Corps spouse, Mrs. Paxton has volunteered countless hours with organizations like the American Red Cross, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, Marine Corps Family Readiness Programs, and spouse support programs.  Her husband's Marine Corps career took their family to numerous places around the world, and Mrs. Paxton has been a key contributor at each station.  Over the years, she has used her nursing skills to benefit others by providing education and care in various capacities, including service as a British Embassy nurse in Seoul, Republic of Korea.  Her nursing experience and passion for helping Marines and their families led her to become one of the strongest advocates for our nation's Wounded Warriors.  In her current role as Mental Health Advisor to the Unites States Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment in Quantico, Virginia, Mrs. Paxton helps countless warriors battle the effect of combat stress and Traumatic Brain Injury.  Her tireless efforts on behalf of our nation's heroes recently earned her the Center of Public-Private Partnerships Hero of Military Medicine Civilian Award.  Through her dedication and unparalleled initiative, Debbie has provided decades of invaluable support to Marines and their families. 

It is with honor and pride that all members of the Marine Corps League salute Mrs. Paxton, and confer upon him this year's Dickey Chapelle award


Year Recipient
1967 Martha Raye
1968 Mrs. Lucy Caldwell
1969 Mrs. Marjorie Merriweather Post
1970 Mrs. Verona Devney
1971 Esther Clark
1972 Betty Donovan Rentrop
1973 Mrs. Donald Spicer
1974 Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson
1975 Mrs. Nguyen "Gewn" ThiKhang
1978 Sister Veronica PA
1979 Mary Lou Keisweitter
1980 Phylis Stensgaard
     Carole Darlington
1984 Sally Ride, Astronaut
1986 Colonel Hazel E. Benn, USMC (Ret.)
1987 Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, USN (Ret.)
1988 Congresswoman Beverly B. Bryon D-MD
1990 Major Robin Higgins, USMC
1991 Mrs. Yvette M. Sommers
1992 Mrs. Beverly Pope Spyridon
1993 Mrs. Betty Cooper
1994 Mrs. Carl E. Mundy
1995 Ms. Elaine B. Rogers, USO Washington, Executive Director
1996 Ms. Carmella LaSpada
  Ms. Lois Braymes
1997 Mrs. Susan Braaten
1998 Mrs. Zandra Meyers Krulak
1999 Mrs. Stephanie Bates
2000 Mrs. Katie K. Dixon
2001 Mrs. Clara Miller
2002 Mrs. Diane J. Jones
2003 Mrs. Rita McMichael
2004 Mrs. Karen Guenther
2005 Mrs. Brenda Nyland
     Mrs. Carol Sefton
2006 Mrs. Beverly A. Young
2007 Mrs. Lynne Pace
2008 Mrs. Karen Driscoll
2009 Ms. Lin Ezell
2010 Debra Dunham
2011 Mrs. Bonnie Carroll
2012 Senator Kay R. Hagan D-NC
2013 Shannon Maxwell
2014 Chief Cathy L. Lanier, Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia
2015 Mrs. Debbie Paxton, MSN, RN
   Congratulation and Semper Fi!


Incorporated by an act of Congress in 1937, the Marine Corps League perpetuates the traditions and spirit of ALL Marines who proudly wear or who have worn the eagle, globe and anchor of the Corps.