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December 2000
Karen's Comments

Greetings from San Antonio!

We had an absolutely fabulous Reunion 2000. What a wonderful time! this was my first opportunity to meet many of our members and that was a most pleasant experience. I renewed friendships with many and reminded myself just what 31 years in the Air Force was all about...it was people, friends and acquaintances that made each working day fun and makes the future bright. There are so many of you out there I have still to meet and so many with whom I can recall fond memories and happy times.

We did do more though than visit and enjoy each other's company. The Sunday business meeting was packed full and is in this Newsletter. However, there are a couple of subjects that I need your help with.

You may recall the survey we did last year to solicit your input on how the organization should structure itself for the future and looked into the fundamental mission of AFWOA. The survey results clearly indicated that you all want more from AFWOA. You want AFWOA to keep you informed about issues relating to the Air Force, women in the Air Force, and veteran's affairs. To accomplish this, we have to do some things differently.

First of all, to satisfy our desire to be informed about legislative issues we need to associate ourselves with The Military Coalition (TMC) in Washington, D.C. This group of like-minded veteran's organizations has as its purpose keeping Congress informed about Veteran's and Military personnel's needs and when necessary to lobbying Congress to take action. The recent "Tricare for Life" victory is directly attributable to the TMC. This association will cost AFWOA nothing. We must however provide TMC with the names of four or five of our members, located in the Washington, D.C., area that will be willing to attend meetings and represent AFWOA's views to the Coalition, and, when necessary, the Coalition's views to Congress. I know there are some of you out there who have worked on the Hill. You would be perfect for this. It is not a full time or even a part time job. It is probably, on average, a couple of hours each month. If you are willing to take this on, please call me at 210-734-5635 or email bgenrankin@dellnet.com . AFWOA has agreed to do this. We need to get on with it.

The next issue concerns chapters. Right now, we have only one formal chapter, The South Texas Group. From our survey, there is clearly interest in forming other chapters. There are already loose conglomerates of members in the Sacramento and Phoenix areas. The membership thought these groups could formally establish themselves. What do you think? There are large pockets of members in Colorado Springs, Washington, D.C., and Tampa/Orlando. Is anyone interested in taking on the responsibility of bringing chapters into being in those locations?

Why chapters? We cannot accomplish the next member-desired change without Chapters. The members clearly indicated a desire for and willingness to become involved with our active duty women. The vehicle to do that effectively is Chapters. What do you say? Is there anyone in the three mentioned areas who will begin the process. South Texas is willing to advise. Please let me know.

AFWOA is a great organization. We are over 1000 members and growing. The membership survey showed me that you are as you were on active duty...interested, intelligent people who desire to remain informed and who are committed to helping others. Let me know that you will step up to these challenges. They will reap you more than you know.



<> Board of Directors: We have a new member of the board, Major Michelle Raven as the active duty representative, replacing Dori Johnson. However, Dori, who retired November 1, will continue as a board member, replacing Paulette Bethel, who resigned.

<> Directory Update: Included with this newsletter is the 2001 supplement to the directory dated January 2000. It includes all previous additions and corrections (Changes 1 and 2, dated April and August 2000, respectively), plus additions and changes since August.

<> Lost and Found: In the August newsletter, we reported that we lost seven members whose mail was returned as non-deliverable. We're glad to report we've found three of those. Kay Daspit , Houma, La., really wasn't lost. Her address is correct in the directory, but the post office returned her mail. (We have had several occasions where mail was returned from our bulk mailing, but addresses were correct.) Mavis Compagno , Columbus AFB, Miss., and Mary Small , Waikoloa, Hawaii, sent their new addresses (see enclosed directory supplement). Thanks to friends of the three, who contacted them to let them know we were looking for them.

<> Featuring...Winnie Doyle: Special thanks to Marilyn Holmlund who interviewed Winnie.

And the Winner is - Winnie Doyle

Winnie Doyle won two prizes at Reunion 2000 in San Antonio. Not only did she come the greatest distance (from Honolulu), she was the most "chronologically advantaged" member at this reunion. Although she prefers not to give her exact age, Winnie beat out two ladies in their 80s!

Born in Germany, in the Bremerhaven area, Winnie came to New York in 1930 to visit relatives; she decided to stay and became a U.S. citizen. In 1937, she returned to Germany to attend the combination Business and Berlitz language schools. But when the French teacher told her she'd never learn the French she was studying because she had never studied Latin, Winnie took it as a challenge - she went to Paris to study at the Alliance Francaise. In 1939, when Hitler's troops invaded, Winnie knew she had to get out. Along with two South Americans, she took a train from Paris to Spain. They started in a second-class car, but ended up at the Spanish border in a freight car full of French soldiers traveling to join their units. The Spanish customs official wanted to keep Winnie's portable typewriter until she returned to France, but she refused and told him to enter in her passport that she must return with the typewriter.

In Spain, Winnie studied Spanish for a time, but felt she'd better get back to the United States. With her two South American friends, she applied for an exit visa in Madrid, as required. The two friends received visas, but Winnie's was denied. She went back every day for over two weeks, even getting the American consulate involved but to no avail. Finally, in anger and frustration, she broke into tears - and that did it! She received the visa and took an American freighter from Seville to New York. Fortunately, since the United States was not yet in the war, they had no problems with German submarines.

In 1943, Winnie was working as a waitress when an uncle suggested she enlist in the Army. She was really interested in the Marines, but at only 5 feet tall, she was too short. At an Army recruiting office to get information, Winnie noted that the NCO was typing as he talked to her. He then gave her the papers to sign and she was enlisted almost without knowing it! Her enlistment physical found a slight heart murmur so she decided she'd better stay with the Army in case she needed medical care.

Basic training followed at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. Upon completion of basic, Winnie was in New York on a pass and came back to find most of her class already packed and leaving for Army assignments. She and a few others who had not been there to pack were shuffled off to another assignment - the Army Air Corps base in Orlando, Fla. She plotted aircraft flight paths over Florida at classes for forward aircraft controllers, and also worked as an interpreter for French officers who were in training. When the Navy took over Orlando, Winnie was transferred to Eglin AFB, Fla., and there met her future husband, Jess. A staff sergeant at the time, Winnie found that promotions were frozen so she put in and was accepted for Warrent Officer.

Both Winnie and Jess PCSd to Tokyo where they married in 1952. Winnie's duties there involved casualty reporting for the Korean war. After Japan, assignments to Washington, D.C., Albuquerque, Okinawa and North Carolina followed. Winnie retired after 22 years as a CWO3. At the time, women were required to retire when they reached age 55, although men could stay for 29 years service - so Jess stayed on active duty.

Winnie and Jess have lived in Hawaii since his retirement and remain active. From May to August both still teach free Red Cross swimming several times a week at the beach.

Winnie said she saw a notice about AFWOA in the Air Force Times when the organization was formed and joined then. She has been to all the reunions but one. At Reunion 2000, she particularly enjoyed the parade at Lackland. Winnie said seeing the young women marching with their male counterparts was great. And she is looking forward to Reunion 2002!

<> Health Care Issues: Things are looking up for the military. Long-Term Care coverage will be available for active and retired military and federal civilians and their families. It probably won't be available until late 2002. Lifetime military health care for Medicare-eligible people will be available next October. TRICARE will be second payer to Medicare. Prescription drugs for Medicare-eligible begins next April. TROA provides weekly Legislative Updates about these issues and others affecting the military community, via email. To subscribe, send your request to legis-update@troa.org .

<> Telephone Scam: The National Fraud Information Center has identified this scam that uses area code 809. Don't respond to telephone calls, pagers, emails or web pages asking you to call a telephone number with an 809 area code. That number is in the British Virgin Islands (the Bahamas) and can be used as a "pay-per-call" number, similar to the 900 numbers in the United States. Here's the basics of the scam: you receive a call/message advising you to call to obtain information about a family member who has been ill or telling you someone has been arrested or died, or that you have won a wonderful prize. Because the 809 area code is not in the United States, it is not subect to U.S. regulations. The idea is to keep you on the line as long as possible, with charges of $2,425.00 per-minute!! Some people have been stung with telephone bills up to $24,000.00.

<> Women Veterans in Mass.: The Women Veterans' Network of the Massachusetts Department of Veterans' Services is looking for all women veterans residing in that state. They want to advise veterans of their federal, state and local benefits, as well as sending their biannual newsletter. For more information about the Women Veterans' Network, call (617)727-3578, ext. 316; email dvswomen@vet.state.ma.us or snail mail to:

MA Department of Veterans' Services
The Women Veterans' Network
239 Causeway Street, Suite 100
Boston MA 02114

<> Donations to Museum: During the tour of the Lackland AFB Museum at the reunion, several members were disappointed that there was so little information on women officers. Several members promised to send original orders, certificates, and photographs to augment the meager collection. Donations can be sent to:

Fernando Cortez, Curator
History and Traditions Museum
2051 George Ave.
Lackland AFB TX 78236-5218

Telephone: (210)671-3055
FAX: (210)473-0347

<> New Members: We've added another 36 members since August. Dori Johnson and Terri Slone-Baker , San Antonio, and Anne Farrer , Springfield, Va., led the recruiting. Our most welcome new members are:

Amy Allen, San Antonio, Texas
Elizabeth Aptekar, Yorktown, Virginia
Peggy Brown, Highland Beach, Florida
Lindsey Bullard, Painesville, Ohio
Julie Caperna, Hampton, Virginia
Brenda Cartier, navarre, Florida
Karie Caywood, Yorktown, Virginia
Stephanie Cornelius, San Antonio, Texas
Charlotte Davis, Springfield, Virginia
Deb Faber, O'Fallon, Illinois
Cindy Fossum, Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts
Terrie Gent, Alexandria, Virginia
L. E. Hurlbut, Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C.
Beth Kelley, San Antonio, Texas
Virginia Kelly, Newport News, Virginia
Rosemary King, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Michele Kirk, Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Margaret Kramer, Universal City, Texas
Kelli Lauer, Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts
Dorothy Lucas, San Antonio, Texas
Erin McCarter, Springfield, Virginia
Camika Miller, Goldsboro, North Carolina
Kathleen Miller, Merrimack, New Hampshire
Deborah Murtola, Cottage Grove, Minnesota
Leigh Noel, Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts
Janelle O'Brien, Cibolo, Texas
Kimberly Olson, Vienna, Virginia
Erica Rabe, Hampton, Virginia
Shelly Reade, Arlington, Massachusetts
Holly Richman, McQueeney, Texas
Nellie Riley, Alexandria, Virginia
Fae Simmons, Universal City, Texas
Nicole Thomas, Bedford, Massachusetts
Susan Vance, Winchester, Virginia
Stephanie Waldrop, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
Mary Wilson, Denton, Texas

<> News About Our Members

>> Anne Farrer , Springfield, Virginia, spent 17 days in Africa in October. She visited Kenya and Tanzania, with the most time in Tanzania.

>> Susan Neugebauer , East Jewett, New York, and her husband enjoyed a 10-day cruise on Holland America's Zaandam cruise ship. She sent a post card from Barbados where she reports "the weather is perfect."

>> Pat Ulrich Godfrey , Palm Springs, California, took a cruise on the Italian ship, Valtur Prima. She flew to Montego Bay, Jamaica, its home port, to embark on an adventure to Cuba. After several stops at Caribbean ports of call, she finally landed at Havana. Complying with U.S. restrictions, she did no shopping (but plenty of looking).

>> Sharon Mullarkey , Palm Beach, Florida, is operations officer for the Palm Beach International Airport. She's in the busy season now, which runs from fall through Easter. Her responsibilities include responding to medical emergencies in-flight and on the ground, and coordinating with various agencies such as the FAA, airlines, and various state agencies. She is a member of the American Association of Airport Executives.

>> Janice Mitchell , Alexandria, Virginia, was promoted to colonel and is working at the Pentagon as Director, XO Operations Team. She says she misses Colorado.

>> Brenda Cartier , Navarre, Florida, is a navigator/fire control officer in the AC-130U gunship at Hurlburt Field in Air Force Special Operations. She reports there are about 60-70 women officers in the Special Operations Wing now.

>> Laura Jensen-Currie , San Antonio, Texas, and husband, Jim, made their golfing trip to Ireland; plus other visits to the Scandinavian countries, Eastern Europe, and the South Pacific. The latter included a side trip to Viet Nam to visit her niece who works in Ho Chi Minh City. At home, Laura makes quilts for battered and forgotten children. She's very involved in golf, having won the "Iron Woman Award" for the most rounds played two years in a row.

<> Lost in the Mail

Our mail was returned as non-deliverable to the following. If you know where they are, please let us know.

Marion Lichty, Hiawassee, Georgia
Helen Momsen, San Antonio, Texas
Brandy Steel, Eutaw, Alabama
Delories Verrett, APO AP 96326
Debbie Vuillemot, APO AP 96326
Edwina Walton, APO AP 96326

<> Blue Yonder

We regret to inform you of the death of:

Lucille Busch, August 30, 2000
Jacquelin Mooneyham, August 2000
Jean Schiele Williams, September 9, 2000

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