Ray and Dorothy Hill on their wedding day, Feb. 12, 1944. (Hill family via Tampa Bay Times)

SUN CITY CENTER — He was a half-drunk Marine, shipped back stateside from the hellish battlefields of the South Pacific with a case of malaria.

She was a sassy private, one of the first women to join the Marine Corps.

It was 1943 in the Mojave Desert, on a military base where love would soon blossom for Staff Sgt. Ray Hill and PFC Dorothy Russell.

Saturday, they celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary in a private ceremony in Sun City Center.

They have a great back story.

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