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Web Site: www.afwoa.org Email: bgenrankin@msn.com
President: Brig. Gen. Karen Rankin, USAF Ret.

May 2002

Karen's Comments


I would like to think that as I get older I get wiser. When I became your president in 1998, it was an exciting challenge for me to work with you in developing new ideas for AFWOA to pursue. It has been an eventful and fulfilling three and a half years, and I have enjoyed serving as your president. I promised at the '00 Conference/Reunion that I would turn over the President's gavel with this Fall's Reunion. Unfortunately, as you know we have delayed this until '03 for myriad reasons. And this, in turn, has delayed the turnover of the presidency to my successor. Not to worry. I will continue to serve you until our next Conference/Reunion.

The Board of Directors decided to move the '03 Reunion to Colorado Springs. One of the lessons learned from '00 was that Reunions are a great deal of work and that there must be a cadre in the Reunion area to tend to the details. I know the good Ladies in the Springs have hosted Reunions before and we are probably imposing upon them; however, I hope they will step up to this challenge once again. The Board is working a possible affiliation with the WAF Association, who will hold their '03 reunion in the Springs. We have initiated talks with the Association's leaders and will keep you posted.

I am so grateful to you all for your continuing generosity. The Board's decision to implement dues has met with overwhelmingly favorable response. I received about 200 letters or emails regarding the dues issue. Only one was unfavorable! To date, about 400 members have sent in their dues. A great majority have also sent in generous donations. We will use a small portion of those donations to cover dues for our members who are financially unable to pay. (Thus far, we only know of one such person.)

So what is the overall plan for dues and membership? We are still anticipating that some members will continue to send in the $10 dues check. At the July Board meeting, we will review the membership. Those who have not paid by that time will remain members but will not receive future directories or mailings. You got it! Our major expenses are printing and mailing. It costs about $4.00 per copy to prepare and send the Directories. We have undeliverable copies returned to us; that enables us to update addresses for those who have moved and forgot to tell us. But this costs us, too, and this is where you can help. Let us know when you move, and if you know friends who have moved, give us that information also.

Membership remains a challenge. Only 6 new members this year! We need help. Are there qualified, potential members on your address lists? Probably! Send them membership information. Give them a membership for a gift! Refer them to the website ( www.afwoa.org ) for easy information and membership applications. We cannot leave membership to one person; it's everyone's responsibility. If each member got one new member this year, we would top 2200 members. That would be awesome! Please try!

I could keep going but instead will end with a big THANK YOU ALL! Keep in touch -- email bgenrankin@msn.com , call me at 210-734-5635, or send to our mailing address: P.O. Box 780155, San Antonio, TX 78278-0155.



* The Military Coalition: AFWOA has become an affiliated member of The Military Coalition (TMC). TMC is a consortium of military and veterans' organizations representing more than 5.5 million members of the uniformed services community. This includes active duty, national Guard and Reserve, retirees, family members, and veterans.

* Letters to Officials: Included with this newsletter are copies of two letters Karen sent to selected officials on behalf of AFWOA. The first was to the Secretary of Defense concerning the policy regarding the wear of the abaya by American servicewomen while serving in Saudi Arabia. It was in support of LtCol Martha McSally. The second letter was to Senator Olympia J. Snow (R-Maine) and Representative Heather Wilson (R-NM) concerning the proposed restructuring of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS).

* AFWOA History Book is Here: At long last, the AFWOA History book is in print. Included with this newsletter is a flyer for ordering more copies. The book includes the history of women in the Air Force and the founding of AFWOA, along with photos from the Reunion scrapbooks. Also, look for the extended interviews of Norma Breedlove , Verdia May Hickambottom Arnold , Barbara M. Pratt-LeMahiew , Shirley Chaska-Baird , Virginia Gocke Mahan , Karen Rankin , and Susan Harger .

* WAF Association: As Karen mentions in her opening comments, we are exploring the possibility of affiliating with the WAF Association for our 2003 Convention/Reunion in Colorado Springs. What is the WAF Association? It started out much the same way that AFWOA did. In 1987, a handful of old friends decided to reach out and get together and reminisce about the good old days in the Air Force. They started out with annual reunions, and in 1991 the organization was formalized as WAF Reunion (changed in 1999 to WAF Association). They have nearly 800 members of all ranks. More information: contact Carol Poynor, secretary, email WAFAssn@aol.com ; snail mail 5910 Cliffmore Dr., San Antonio, TX 78250. Quite a few of our AFWOA members also belong to the WAF Association, and enjoy their annual reunions.

* Women's Overseas Service League (WOSL): Another good organization to join is WOSL. Membership is open to any military women who were stationed overseas or any civilian who worked in support of the armed services overseas. WOSL was formed in 1921 by women who had served overseas during World War I. Current membership is about 800. Quite a few AFWOA members are active in WOSL. The National Vice President is Paula Haley, San Antonio, Texas . For information on joining, contact her at email Phaley4821@aol.com or snail mail 323 Adams Street, San Antonio, TX 78210. Paula is running for National President, with elections held in June at the annual convention in Reno, Nevada.

* Ruptured Ducks: The Ruptured Ducks 2002 Tourney will be held September 17-18 at Andrews AFB, MD. If you want more information, contact Gina McGuiness at email ginamac@mail.cwnet.com . Or snail mail her at 113 Bel Air Drive, Vacaville, CA 95687.

* Telephone Scam Alert: Two scams making the rounds you should be aware of. If anyone calls and says he/she is a telephone service technician and is conducting a test of your telephone lines, be alert. If you are asked to press 9, 0 (zero), and the pound sign (#) to complete the test, don't do it. What that does is give the person full access to your telephone line. Just imagine your phone bill after this! This has been particularly popular originating from local jails/prisons. The second scam also can run up the charges on your telephone bill, and it involves area code 809. If someone asks you to call a number beginning with the area code, you could wind up with charges of $2,425 per minute. The goal is to keep you on the phone as long as possible when you call an area code 809 number. That area code is located in the British Virgin Islands (the Bahamas), and therefore is not covered by U.S. regulations. One person received a charge of $24,100 on one such call.

If you have not paid, please send $10 check. If dues are not received by June 30, 2002, this will be your last mailing from us.

* Tribute to Women in the Military: Mary Parker, Albuquerque, NM , reports about the sucessful "Tribute to Women in the Military" held at Kirkland AFB in March, to kick off Women's History Month. The celebration included guest speakers, workshops and exhibits, and concluded with a luncheon with Brig. Gen. Wilma Vaught (Ret) as guest speaker. Other guest speakers included Col. Regina C. Aune, Commander of the 377th Medical Group at Kirtland, Lt Juanita (Penny) Shields (WAAC, 1942-1943) and Sgt Maj Cherry A. McPherson (USMC). Next year's tribute will be held March 7, 2003 at Kirtland AFB. For more information, contact LtCol Mary Parker at Mary.Parker@kirtland.af.mil .

* Looking for Women's Uniforms: The Junior ROTC program at Auburn High School in Auburn, Alabama, is looking for women's uniforms from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. They dress their Honor Guard in various uniforms from the different wars our country has been involved in, but lack women's uniforms. If anyone has any uniforms they wish to donate, contact Kirby Dalton, Auburn High School JROTC, 405 South Dean Road, Auburn, AL 36830.

* New Elderhostel Program: The story of the World War II Code Breakers, "Enigma", is the subject of a new learning program sponsored by Elderhostel. Students of military history and strategy, cryptography and 20th Century warfare will have an opportunity to delve into the world of wartime intelligence during the nine-day program in London and Oxford, England, this September. For more information on this and other Elderhostel programs, visit their website at www.elderhostel.org .

* Korean War Veterans Reunion: A reunion for all Korean War era veterans, regardless of where stationed, will be held September 13-15, 2002, at the Ramada Inn, Sumter, South Carolina. Contact Don Skinner (after June 1) at 803-648-8641 or email skinner @ddminc.net .

* New Members

A warm welcome to our newest AFWOA members. Their addresses are in the supplement to the January 2002 Directory included with this newsletter.

Rachel C. Aguirre, Orlando, Florida
Jeannette I. Blumenthal, Ft. Lee, Virginia
Patricia A. Louis, San Diego, California
Vera M. Oliveri, San Antonio, Texas
Jeanna L. Pryor, San Antonio, Texas
Valerie G. Sams, Niceville, Florida

* News About Our Members

It's been a while since our last Newsletter, so we'll catch up on the news you have sent us the past year.

* Pat Reynolds, Biloxi, Miss. , completed her two years as president-elect and president of Sunshine Region, Division II, International Training in Communication (formerly International Toastmistress Clubs). She traveled extensively throughout her area of responsibility in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, as well as the Bahamas. Pat was also honored by Phi Delta Kappa International Professional Education Association as a Gerald Reed Scholar for her contributions to the Educational Foundation. She received her third International Travel Seminar Scholarship and toured Ireland and Great Britain last July and August.

* Deborah Johnston, Colorado Springs, Colo ., has joined the Peace Corps and is going to Armenia in June for two years.

* Kay Mull, Winchester, Va. , continues her service as a hospital volunteer, putting in about 100 hours a month. She reports she has added three bowling leagues a week to her activities, staying physically well at the age of 81.

* Nancy Samuelson, Sacramento, Calif. , has a new book out, Shoot from the Lip: the Lives, Legends, and Lies of the Three Guardsmen of Oklahoma and U.S. Marshal Nix . Her book The Dalton Gang Story is now in its third printing.

* "Kris" Krizanauskas, Mesa, Ariz. , was inducted into the new Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame last year. She was also honored as a recipient of an "Outstanding Citizens of Arizona Award."

* Betty Ann Patterson, Tacoma, Wash. , took a train trip through Europe late in 2000, and stopped "in the shadow of the Matterhorn." She is also known as Vickie York (writing for Harlequin) and as Elizabeth Carlson (writing for Zebra).

* Norma Breedlove, San Antonio, Texas , had an item printed in "All in a Day's Work" in the February 2002 issue of Reader's Digest . Norma also entertained her sister and a cousin during Fiesta in April and attended the Texas Cavaliers' River Parade and the "Coronation of the Queen."

* Bonnie O'Leary, Aurora, Colo. , refused to let the events of September 11 spoil her life-long dream of seeing Tibet. She left only 11 days after those tragic events and spent three weeks in Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. She reports that "It was all grand except I've had enough temples and rice for now."

* "Lost" in the Mail

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

Christine R. Cather, Springfield VA
Evelyn Cherry, Nashville TN
Carol L. Curry, Federal Way WA
Jackie L. Day, Livermore CA
Kimberley A. Fergan, Eastpointe MI
Lorene T. Gaston, Arlington VA
Ruth Grine, Sequim WA
Dawn M. Hrdlicka, APO AP 96326
Cheryl L. Hurley, North Pole AK
Lisa C. Koepke, San Antonio TX
Barbara J. Nugent, Murrieta CA
Nellie M. Riley, Universal City TX
Marbel C. Roy, Clovis NM
Ethel R. Sentilles, Covington LA
Stella T. Smith, McChord AFB WA
Beatrice Stecher, Fort Myers FL
Sharon C. Thomas, Maxwell AFB AL
Vera E. Von Stein, La Jolla CA

* Blue Yonder

Since our last Newsletter, we regret to inform you of the death of:

Nancy A. Baldwin, Maj USAF Ret, 6-1-01
Dorothy E. Bartlett, LtCol USAF Ret, 4-9-01
Florence B. Casey, LtCol USAF Ret, 12-1-01
Cecilia "Penny" Ellis (Riesenman), Maj USAF Ret
Shirley A. Rexford Ellis, 5-7-01
Dorathy E. Engle, LtCol USAF Ret, 4-21-01
Barbara Hall Finney, LtCol USAF Ret, 9-23-01
Shirley "Toni" O'Dell Johnson, LtCol USAF Ret, 4-29-01
June R. Kroupa, Capt USAF Ret, 5-16-02
Marion Cox Lichty, LtCol USAF Ret, 11-11-01
Audrey Penfold Lugg, SqLdr WRAF Ret, 12-31-01
Onnette Lethin Rhodes, 7-7-01
Hope Juhl Starbuck, 5-15-99
Ila Mae Tucker, LtCol USAF Ret
Charlotte Wildbur (Butterfield), LtCol USAF Ret, 6-8-01
Letha P. "Lee" Willingham, Col USAF Ret, 4-6-01
Nena Zitinsky, LtCol USAF Ret


Please take a few minutes to send your $10 dues to
P.O. Box 780155
San Antonio, Texas

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