Patricia Ann Dyas
U. S. Marines
Civil Rights
Dates of Service: 1978 - 1981

Patricia was born in Shreveport to Martile Dyas as one of 16 children. Twelve lived in the same house at one time. She was an infant when her mother married a man named Jefferson, a mechanic at King's Truck and Body Shop. Her step-father supplemented the family table by hunting and fishing, while Patricia raised a garden. They wore "hand-me-downs" for clothes. Patricia excelled in her school work. She attended Valencia High School until her senior year in 1970 when Byrd High School was integrated and she was enrolled there. After graduation from Byrd she attended Southern University in Shreveport, then graduated from that school's main campus at Baton Rouge, earning a degree in recreational therapy. By then she had her first son. She took clinical training in Tuskegee, Alabama. Patricia entered the U.S. Marine Corps in 1979, completed boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina, and was stationed at Norfolk, Virginia. After she left the Marine Corps (by then the mother of two sons) she returned to Shreveport and was hired as a fire fighter with the Shreveport Fire Department. After five years she was promoted to fire inspector, then to Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention, a public education position. She was the first female captain, and the first female be named as an assistant chief. Patricia has four children and one grandchild.