Retired Marine Corps 1st Lt. and Mrs. Gerald Francis Merna, 14-year residents of the Cascades, Potomac Falls, celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary Feb. 10. The occasion was observed with a dinner party at the Tuscarora Mill in Leesburg with their two children, Gerald Thomas Merna of Sterling (Heather Glen), and Linda Merna Figura of Alexandria, and college grandsons Max and John Figura.
Lt. and Mrs. Merna were married in a military ceremony Feb. 10, 1951 at St. John's Catholic Church in Piermont, N.Y. Mrs. Merna, a former Nyack, N.Y., telephone operator, was also employed by a defense-related contractor in Piermont before she accompanied her husband on a variety of assignments during his 22 years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Lt. Merna was a "Mustang" Marine, having served in every enlisted grade before being commissioned an officer during the Vietnam War, and is a combat veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam wars. Upon retiring from the Marine Corps, his second career of 18 years was with the U.S. Postal Service as manager/postmaster of the entire Northern Virginia region headquartered in Merrifield. He was also appointed as one of only 34 officers of the USPS.
Upon retiring from the USPS he had a third career as a director and vice president during 12 years with two Virginia-based defense associations before fully retiring. He has served as a member and later as chairman of the Cascades Covenants Committee and was on the management task force that made recommendations for the selection of the Cascade's Homeowners Association's management team.