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January 2000
Karen's Comments


Welcome to the New Millennium. I trust you all had joyful, eventful Holiday seasons. Certainly, watching the Millennium celebrations around the world was a thrilling way to ring out the old and roll in the new. What a future!

AFWOA had an exciting and full 1999. Last year brought us 25 new members; 17 of those joined in the last quarter. We now have a total of 936 members. Unfortunately, 14 slipped the surly bonds and went to their rewards. Our new members include some firsts for the organization. We have our first mother/daughter duo in Doris Walter (nee Snyder) and Brig. Gen. Terry Walter Lee Gabreski. Mrs. Walter is a former Air Force nurse while General Gabreski is currently the Director of Logistics for USAFE, but is en route to the Pentagon to take up duties as the Director of Maintenance on the Air Staff. The Undersecretary of the Air Force, the Honorable Carol DiBattiste also signed up. Carol as you probably know, served as a JAG officer during her active duty years.

On the donation front, you were generous once again. According to Pat Murphy, our Treasurer, member donations totaled $3,700 for the year. Our big yearly expense, the Directory, usually depletes our funds and would have done so again this year had not an Angel appeared. Annette Rose, the Senior Membership Development Officer of the Pentagon Federal Credit Union has completely underwritten the printing and mailing costs for our 2000 Directory, which is mailed with this newsletter. For the first time since I took on the challenge as your National President, I am confident that the future looks rosy.

We have entered into oral agreements with the Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps and the Officers' Training School at Maxwell AFB to sponsor graduation awards. We are already sponsoring the outstanding female swimmer award at the USAF Academy, and it seemed only appropriate to expand our visibility to include those schools which have historically been responsible for graduating the majority of women officers. [Note: for a complete list of the swim award winners, see page 108 of the Directory.]

Many of you have sent in your responses to our Strategic Planning Survey. We are beginning to process those returns. Should any more of you wish to have your views known, please go to our web site ( Survey ) and submit your survey electronically. If you do not have internet access, please call me at (210) 734-5635. Leave your name and address. I will send you the survey by snail mail. We plan to review the results at a forthcoming Board of Directors meeting and will translate them to the AFWOA Strategic Plan. We will present the plan formally at our September reunion.

I want to thank all of you for your loyal support and generosity. AFWOA is a viable 21st Century organization. We are growing in numbers and influence. Let's all take on the challenge to make AFWOA even stronger and better as we move into this new Millennium.

Have fun with it.

Of General Interest . . .

WAAF Association on the Internet . . .Our sisters in the United Kingdom have a website on the internet at http://freespace.virgin.net/frank.haslalm/page20.html The page was produced free of charge by the 207 Squadron RAF Association and is dedicated to the WAAF members of that 5 Group Bomber Association. The page explains the WAAF Association history, what its objectives are, and what they do. Their email address is: waafamag@beryl132.freeserve.co.uk

A bit of history: Names were:

  • WRAF from 1918-1920
  • WAAF 1939-1949
  • WRAF 1949-1994
  • RAF now

  • Beryl Escott also reports that the WAAF Association is a very lively society. And although the smaller WRAF Association does not have a website, they can be reached at:

    Director of Recruiting Selection & Initial Officer Training (Royal Air Force)
    P.O. Box 1000
    RAF Cranwell
    Sleaford, NG348GZ, United Kingdom.

    Annual AFWOA Directory . . .has been finished and mailed with this newsletter. You'll notice quite a few changes. The biggest change is that the Board of Directors approved changing publication frequency to every two years. We will continue to provide updates with each newsletter, as we have been doing. In addition, in January of the year we do not publish a new directory, we will provide a supplement with all the address changes of the previous year, as included in the newsletters plus any last minute updates. The Directory has more pages, but the smaller size actually saves costs by reducing the overall amount of paper used in printing (thus also reducing postage costs).

    REUNION 2000. . . . . . . . . . by Sue Wright
    (Reprinted from the November 1999 Newsletter)

    Y'all come on down to Texas to celebrate AFWOA's 25th Anniversary on the River-walk in San Antonio!

    Our 2000 Reunion will be held at the Holiday Inn Riverwalk (the same place as our 1994 Reunion), from September 7-10. Our Board of Directors decided to move the Reunion date from our usual October time frame to September to take advantage of favorable room rates. The cost per room (not per person) will be $119.00 plus tax. AFWOA members will need to personally contact the hotel to make reservations (210-224-2500; FAX 210-527-9589). We have blocked 20 rooms for Wednesday, September 6 for early arrivals; then 75 rooms for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Be sure you mention you are with the Air Force Women Officers group to get the discounted room rate. Reservations made after August 8, 2000, will be provided on a space-available basis.

    Our infamous Hospitality Room will be (wo)manned by Dori Johnson and her band of merry bartenders from Wednesday afternoon, September 6 through about 12:00 noon on Sunday, September 10. Mary Hall is working with local travel agencies to provide super tours to local fun places, and Mary and Barbara LeMahieu will handle registration. Something really new and fun will be a cocktail party Thursday evening on Riverwalk barges. I'll be handling the arrangements for our first AFWOA "cruise." The welcome cocktail party and buffet will be in our hotel on Friday evening, and will be hosted by Welda Smith and Pat Murphy. We'll have seminars and briefings on Saturday morning and our gala Silver Anniversary banquet Saturday evening. Brigadier General Terry Gabreski, USAFE/LG, will be our banquet speaker. She received her commission in 1974 as a graduate of OTS and pinned on her first star on March 1, 1999.

    Norma Brown has been working with Lois Tilley to arrange a concert by the "WAF Band," most likely on Saturday afternoon in our hotel. Karen Rankin and Jan King will be working the protocol area (still need a honcho) and Terri Slone Baker is heading up our publicity and public relations efforts. Other volunteers include Carol Habgood as our treasurer, and Paulette Bethel will do the banquet decorations. We're still looking for committee heads for the banquet, protocol, seminars/briefings, and mementos, and everything else we haven't thought of yet.

    If you have questions or want to volunteer to help, our toll-free number is 1-877-22AFWOA [rings at Sue Wright's house.]

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