SAN ANTONIO -- Starting off with the Nation Anthem sung by the Lackland Elementary School Choir, USAA kicked off an early Veteran's Day Ceremony.

"I really wanted to highlight that this is a celebration it’s a celebration of the people who have served."

One of those, U.S. Marine Corps Major General Angie Salinas.

"I realize we are united by that common thread," she said during a speech.

That common thread, serving the nation. But Major General Salinas has a singular distinction. She is the first Latina female in the Marine Corps to have that title.

"Didn't think anything of it. I just thought I was a good marine and that was my ambition all along in life," she said.

Salinas was promoted Major General in 2006. She joined the Marines at 19-years-old on a whim.

A third generation Latina.

"My family was one of first five civilian families that were issued a portion from Spain," she said.

Now the Major General, she is a pioneer for a woman's right to serve her country or pursue any dream. She is the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas.

"The best part is when a little girl looks at me you know... and I know that she can reach for the stars," Salinas said.

The Marine Veteran had the highest rank among women when she retired from the service in 2013.