Greetings from San Antonio!
For those of you who are suffering in a drawn-out winter, I recommend
San Antonio. We are having a gorgeous extended spring. I will admit my
allergies are not thrilled about all the pollen floating in the air and
the swimming pool filter is working overtime to deal with the live oak
pollen strands. However, given those small inconveniences compared to ice
and snow, I will suffer willingly.
A major thank you to all for heeding my plea for donations in
the December Newsletter. You are superb. Our treasury is sound, for now,
and the Board has taken steps to ensure we continue in that mode. However,
reality is that we depend upon your generosity to conduct our business.
Please keep those donations coming.
Your National Board of Directors is actively
engaged with the South Texas Group of AFWOA planning the September Conference
and Reunion. Ah, you note the addition of the word "conference". This has
been done for two reasons. First, in the survey you recently completed,
many members indicated a desire for informational briefings/seminars. The
Planning Group has taken that to heart and is working to provide topics
ranging from Long-Term Care to current issues for active duty women. We
will offer six topics each day, Friday and Saturday. Attendees will be
able to choose three each day. Secondly, the topics you identified showed
us that we needed to invite speakers from outside organizations, e.g.,
VA, TROA, USAF, to provide the most current and inclusive information.
Government employees are restricted from attending Reunions in a TDY status.
To ensure we can get the subject matter experts we desire, we included
conference. That will avoid TDY issues.
In September, we will present the AFWOA Pioneers Award to an individual
who has furthered the service of military women. You may recall that in
1994, AFWOA presented its first AFWOA Pioneers Award to Major General Jeanne
Holm. On the occasion of our Banquet on Saturday, 9 September, we will
award the second AFWOA Pioneers Award
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.]
One feature of our Conference/Reunion
that is moving right along is the Yearbook. The year 2000 marks the 25th
Anniversary of our founding. The Board felt we should capture the significance
of that occasion with a celebration yearbook. The book will be professionally
published and will include biographies of our membersYthose who choose
to participate. This is a wonderful opportunity to document so many historical
facts about the service of women in the Air Force which are not captured
anywhere else. The yearbook will cost approximately $54.00 (plus tax).
To be included in the Yearbook, send your biography and photos (optional).
There is no charge unless the bio is more than 150 words; then the additional
cost is 15 cents per word over 150. Send your bio and money to the address
indicated on the application provided in this newsletter. We have extended
the deadline to encourage all members to submit. You do not have to order
a book to be included - you can just send your bio to the publisher..
Not a Conference/Reunion subject but one that is dear to me has to do
with the ROTC and OTS awards. We have worked with the staffs of those organizations
to name annual or graduation awards in honor of one of our distinguished
members. AFWOA will sponsor the award, which will recognize leadership
or academic accomplishment. We will provide a memorial plaque to the institution
as well as a certificate to the individual. AFWOA already sponsors the
Outstanding Swimmer Award (Woman) at USAFA. This is a relatively low cost
way to foster AFWOA name recognition among young officers. These awards
are in keeping with the Board's efforts to develop membership in the active
duty force as well as with our retirees.
The Board and I and the Planning Group look forward to seeing you all
in San Antonio in September. That is a beautiful, somewhat warm time of
year here but guarantees many different kinds of interesting sightseeing
and entertainment opportunities.
See you then!
REUNION 2000. . . . . . . . .
. by Sue Wright
Hey y'all, your AFWOA Conference/ Reunion Committee has planned a fantastic
celebration of our 25th Anniversary on the Riverwalk in San Antonio!
Our San Antonio headquarters is the
Inn Riverwalk Hotel
from 6 through 10 September 2000. Our hotel is
going through a $4 million+ renovation that will be completed in time for
our gathering. The hotel is reserving 75 rooms for us until
; after that time, rooms will be available on a "Space-A" basis
only. Call them now at (210) 224-2500 and be sure to mention you are with
the Air Force Women Officers group. Our rate is $119 per room (not per
Why have we changed the name of our gathering
from "Reunion to "Conference/ Reunion"? Because it is new, improved, and
expanded, and so we meet the requirements of AFI 36-3003 (new version of
regulation) that allows our active-duty women to use Permissive TDY to
(an executive suite, thank
you Holiday Inn) will open the afternoon of Wednesday, 6 September, and
close sometime Sunday afternoon, 10 September. We will have our
tables open 6 and 7 September.
Events and Tours:
will be mailed about 1 June.
Our first tour will take place from 0830-1400 on Wednesday, 6 September
and is for our fanatical shoppers. Buses will take us to the
Marcos Outlet Mall
(about an hour's drive each way) and stop for
lunch on the way back to San Antonio, at the scenic Grist Mill restaurant
in Gruene (pronounced" green" for you non-Texans.) The Outlet Mall is huge
and is located on both sides of the freeway - of course, we will stop at
The second tour is Thursday, 7 September, to Austin. This tour starts at
0730 (you can sleep on the bus) and returns to our hotel about 1700. The
tour will include the
, and the
Johnson Presidential Library
. Lunch will be at the Shoreline Grill.
Thursday evening is our first-ever
on the San Antonio
river, along the Riverwalk. The river-barge pickup is at the hotel about
2000 - after the sun goes down. Our cruise includes an hour on the river
with knowledgeable guides and an open bar with premium-brand spirits, soft
drinks, juices, and mineral water.
On Friday, 8 September, we will tour
Air Force Base
and attend a Basic Training parade. We'll have a
seated luncheon at the Officers' Club and return to our hotel about 1300.
We then have two rooms reserved for
(so you can pick and
choose) from 1400-1600 Friday and from 0900-1200 Saturday.
Friday evening our
Welcome Mixer/ Reception
starts at 1800 in the
hotel - with lots of heavy hors d'oeuvres, and strolling mariachis in a
San Antonio Fiesta setting.
tour will be available Saturday afternoon from 1300-1600, with plenty of
time to get ready for our gala
AFWOA Silver Anniversary Banquet
Our speak is Brigadier General Terry Gabreski, Headquarters USAF, director,
maintenance, Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics.
Our final scheduled event is a
Brunch/ Business Meeting
10 September, at 1000 with our traditional champagne toast(s) in the Hospitality
Suite prior to the brunch. Please make your outgoing flight not earlier
than 1500, in order to enjoy all our planned activities. We anticipate
having a check-out time of 1300 or later. If you check out earlier, you
can take your luggage to the Hospitality Suite where we'll have someone
watch over it during our brunch.
If you have questions, please call our toll-free number at 1-877-22AFWOA.
AFWOA's History. . . . . . .
. . . by Carol Habgood
As this is our Silver Anniversary year, let's look back to the founding
of our organization.
In 1975, Norma Breedlove developed the
idea of forming a group of retired Air Force women officers to occasionally
meet and renew friendships made while on active duty. She contacted several
women in the San Antonio area, and from that beginning, they developed
the first roster, dated November 10, 1975, with 93 women listed. By the
end of the year, membership increased to 239. (Today we have 952 members.)
Organizational efforts included selecting a name (WAF Officers Associated
for Friendship in Retirement), writing the by-laws, selecting the Board
of Directors, and attending to the myriad details involved in setting up
a non-profit organization with the Internal Revenue Service and the Texas
state government. And, of course, setting up a bank account and obtaining
donations to start a kitty for printing and postage costs.
Original membership in 1975-1976 included
retired, former, and active duty and reserve Air Force women officers,
but the latter were honorary members until their retirement. However, the
original by-laws, dated September 23, 1977, extended full membership to
The first board was formally organized in 1976, with Norma as president
(until 1992); Terri Slone-Baker, vice president (Terri served on the board
until 1995); Barbara M.S. Pratt [LeMahieu], secretary- treasurer (the two
duties split in March 1981, and Barbara became treasurer; she served on
the board until 1995); June K. Vorce [McLaren], member (June served on
the board until 1994); Patricia W. Carlson, legal counsel. Pat resigned
in May 1977 and was replaced by Dorothy Bartlett as a member (Dottie became
secretary in March 1981 and served on the board until 1991).
AFWOA was originally formed as WAF Officers Associated for Friendship
in Retirement. The name changed to Air Force Women Officers Associated
on August 16, 1988.
Where our reunions were held:
Colorado Springs, Colo. (September 15-17, 1978);
Washington, D.C. (October 10-12, 1980); San Diego, Calif. (July 16-18,
Virginia Beach, Virginia (September 21-23, 1984);
Albuquerque, N. Mex. (October 17-19, 1986);
Orlando, Fla. (September 23-25, 1988);
Long Beach, Calif. (September 25-27, 1990);
Washington, D.C. (October 9-11, 1992);
San Antonio, (November 3-6, 1994);
Sacramento, Calif. (October 17-20, 1996);
Washington, D.C. (October 17-19, 1997);
Scottsdale, Ariz. (October 22-25, 1998).
The first one was in San Antonio, November 5-7, 1976. Subsequent reunions
After Norma retired as president in 1992, she was succeeded by
Laura Jensen-Currie, who served as president until 1998. Karen Rankin is
the current president.
Of General Interest . . .
The Air Force Retiree Council has made a commitment to the Chief of
Staff to assist in any way possible to help the current recruiting and
retention dilemma. According to the Air Force Recruiting Service, there
are several ways retirees can help. Full details will be in an upcoming
issue of the Air Force retiree newsletter, Afterburner. To highlight some
of the activities you can help with:
If you want to help, you can call 1-800-423-USAF (8723). An operator will
be available 24-hours a day and can direct you to the nearest Air Force
recruiting office within minutes. You can also log on to the Air Force
Enter your address and push the
key. That will prompt the
information screen displaying a map to the nearest Air Force recruiting
office, as well as the address and phone number. Or call your local recruiter
directly and offer your assistance.
Manning Offices - It helps to have someone in the office to answer phones,
help with walk-ins, etc., while the recruiter is out recruiting.
Administrative Tasks - If you can't help in an office, perhaps you could
help with some administrative duties, such as addressing written materials,
from another location (like home).
Basic Ambassadorship - Let's take the opportunity to discuss the Air Force
with possible recruits we meet in our everyday activities. . .church, family
gatherings, and other social gatherings.
VA Insurance Hoax
This seems to never go away. Once again, this hoax is surfacing. Veterans
are being told by mimeographed fliers or articles to apply for SGLI/VGLI
dividends. The fliers do not originate with the VA. Please note that the
VA does not pay dividends on SGLI/VGLI policies. A recent version of this
hoax offers to assist a veteran in obtaining the "dividend" for a small
fee. Since there is no dividend, you should not pay anyone to get it for
you. If you receive an offer like this, report it to the VA Office of Inspector
General with all available information (such as name, address, telephone
of person offering to help you) to:
Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General Hotline (53E)
P.O. Box 50410
Washington, DC 20091-0410
News About Our Members
Congratulations to new Brigadier Generals
Elizabeth Ann Harrell
. General Potter is deputy chief, Air
Force Chaplain Service, Headquarters USAF. General Harrell has moved and
is commander, 81st Training Wing, Keesler AFB, Mississippi.
By the way, biographies for all Air Force generals (past and present)
can be printed from the Air Force Link at
Lost in the Mail
Directories were returned as nondeliverable to the following members.
If anyone knows their current address, please let us know.
Duffy, Richfield, Ohio
Audrey Moreland, Solomons, MD
Violet Nicklen, Biloxi, MS
Judith Rubinstein, Devon, PA
Tommie S. Smith, Gray, TN
Margaret Steele, Inglewood, CA
Dorthy Storck, Philadelphia, PA
Wild Blue Younder
We regret to inform you of the deaths of:
Dolores Jan Cleary, Feb. 25, 2000
Bonnie Martin Kratz, Jan. 23, 2000
Marguerite Kay Kring, Dec. 10, 1999
Nancy Rust, Aug. 2, 1999
Ruby Walker, Mar. 21, 2000
Jone Latterner Zutty