Tom Kisken | Ventura County Star

Veterans gathered Wednesday in Ventura to honor a groundbreaking Navy pilot and the new Veterans Affairs clinic that bears her name.

The Captain Rosemary Bryant Mariner Outpatient Clinic opened in late September at a site alongside the 101 Freeway in Ventura. It was dedicated Wednesday in a ceremony that focused on the 50,000-square-foot clinic and Mariner.

She was one of the first six women to earn wings as a Naval aviator in 1974. Later stationed for three years at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, she became the first woman to command an operational aviation squadron. She also helped lead the fight to change laws and regulations that kept women out of combat.

In October, nearly four years after Mariner’s death to ovarian cancer, President Joe Biden signed legislation naming the new clinic for Mariner. Her name was recommended by an advisory panel of veterans and community leaders put together by U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Westlake Village, who helped lead the drive for the new clinic.

The clinic opened with expectations of bringing more care to the area. It offers services including primary and mental health, audiology and speech pathology, podiatry and the first standalone women’s health unit of its kind in the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. Physical rehabilitation, dentistry and eye care are scheduled to be phased in.

Unlike the much smaller Oxnard clinic it replaces, the new clinic is run and staffed by the VA in a change long advocated by veterans.

This story was originally published by the Ventura County Star on November 9, 2022.

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