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November '99

Karen's Comments

l am in the process of taking down the Halloween decorations and putting up the Thanksgiving things. Fortunately, that uses much of the same leaves, vines, etc., so the job is less daunting than it might be. Carol Habgood has sent me a bunch of reminders about things that I should cover in my remarks, and I have some of my own, so I will get to them.

The Board has agreed to sponsor a yearbook in conjunction with our 25th Reunion in San Antonio in 20On. There is a flyer in this newsletter for each of you to use to send in your biography and photographs (the printer will return them to you) and with which to order your books. Please note: you will work directly with the publisher on printing your biography and ordering your books. This will be a great way to commemorate our Silver Anniversary and to collect memories. Please support this worthy project and send in your orders early.

We asked recently that you provide us with information upon which to base our Strategic Plan for the 21st Century. To date, responses have been great, but if you have not yet sent in your survey response, please do so soonest. We need your input. You can go snailmail or email. Just send to me at bkds_rankin@msn.com.

Many of you send regular donations to help fund AFWOA. We do not want to discourage that and in fact, would like to suggest that more would be sincerely appreciated. We have almost enough in the treasury to cover the cost of the annual directory, which is our largest cost each year. If you are looking for a home for that stray $20, $50, or whatever, please consider AFWOA. By the way, the Directory will be delayed until January to get us on a calendar year basis and to avoid the December mailing crunch. Look for yours then.

We are all looking forward to Reunion 2000 in San Antonio. Brigadier General Terry L. Gabreski, who is currently the Director of Logistics for USAFE, will be our featured speaker at the evening banquet. She is a personal friend, and I'm sure many of you have met her. Terry is extremely well thought of in maintenance circles and is an interesting and articulate speaker. I know she will give us a good presentation.

Finally, some of your may know that I am also on the National Board of Directors for TROA. I am also extremely active with the San Antonio chapter of the Air Force Association. I just recently attended the yearly membership meetings for both groups. You know, virtually all of the decision makers of both groups are very mature, white, males. We women need to get involved. These organizations are crying for help. They are losing members at the rate of 700- 1,000 per month as the WWII veterans go to their rewards. Women have tremendous talent. We survived in an organization where many did not. We should get involved and start to assume some of these national and state positions. We can work to change things for the better and make these veteran's organizations more representative of the populations they are supposed to be representing. Let's get involved!

Reunion 2000 . . . . . by Sue Wright

Y'all come on down to Texas to celebrate AFWOA's 2Sth Anniversary on the Riverwalk 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 (210224-2500, 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.]

Of General Interest

Women Veterans' Stories Wanted . . .Do you have a true military story about yourself or other women veterans during wartime. . .or peacetime? A story that would uplift or inspire people all over the world? If so, you are invited to share your story. The New York Times best-selling book series, Chicken Soup for fhe Soul, is now collecting stories for an exciting new book, Chicken Soup for the Veteran's Soul!

Women were "there" too. It is important to capture their experiences while we can. Stories from all wars, all eras, and all branches of service are welcomed. Help us recognize and honor veterans everywhere by sharing your stories. Submissions up to 1,200 words are accepted. Compensation is offered for selected stories. Deadline for submissions is December 31, 1999.

For guidelines, call 888-387-6373. Visit the web site: www.vetstories.com . Options for sending stories: email: remember@vetstories.com mail: Chicken Soup for the Veteran's Soul/WIMSA 607 W. Broadway Fairfield IA 52556 FAX: 515-472-0719.

U.S.-Korea 2000 Foundation . . .has been designated as a member of the Department of Defense's Korean War 50th Anniversary Commemorative Community. It is a private, publicly-supported, non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to ensure that Americans who served in the "Forgotten Way" are forgotten no more. Anyone who served in uniform during the period June 25, 1950 to July 27, 1953, even if not in the Korean theater of operations, is encouraged to register with the foundation and participate in 50th anniversary commemorative events honoring Korean Way veterans. You can request an information and registration packet by contacting:

U.S.-Korea 2000 Foundation, Inc.
4600 Duke Street, Suite 416
Alexandria VA 22304-2517
Telephone: (703) 212-8128 FAX: (703) 684-0193
Email: Info@USKorea2000.org

"Broken Promise" Bill .Carmen Reynolds, Navarre, FL, forwarded us the following information about the House Bill advocating medical care benefits for retired veterans. H.R. 2966, the Keep Our Promise to America's Military Retirees Act, was introduced on September 28th.

Prior to June 7, 1956, health care for retirees varied from service to service, but Congress never authorized any of those systems. This changed when CHAMPUS was enacted. For those who entered before CHAMPUS was enacted, the promises of free health care for a lifetime turned out to be empty promises. Those who entered the service after 1956 are eligible to participate in CHAMPUS or the subsequent Tricare programs. But with military downsizing and base closures, access to military treatment facilities is difficult and is impossible for those who cannot travel even short distances. And at age 65, retirees lose coverage and become eligible for Medicare benefits. Post-CHAMPUS retirees have few health care options.

"The Keep Our Promise to America's Military Retirees Act" is landmark legislation to restore adequate health care that was promised to all military retirees. It will provide health care to military retirees who entered the service prior to CHAMPUS, under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), with the United States paying the full cost of enrollment. This bill also allows all military retirees to participate in FEHBP, CHAMPUS after they become 65, or to remain in Tricare.

You may want to write to your Senators and Congressmen encouraging them to support the bill.

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September '99

From the President
Karen Rankin

Dear Members,

In the beginning, AFWOA was a "word of mouth" organization spreading from friend to friend and established primarily for friendship and retirement. We are changing!

When I took the reins of AFWOA last year, I told you of my intention to conduct a strategic planning exercise. The purpose would be to determine the future direction of the organization. To effectively do this, we must have your inputs. The Board and I will collate the information and use it to develop the Strategic Plan. The information, specific goals, and objectives will constitute the AFWOA Strategy for the New Millennium and will be presented at ReUnion 2000 in San Antonio.

You can see the survey or download a PDF version at Survey . Please complete the form and mail it to us at:

Air Force Women Officers Associated
P.O. Box 780155 ~ San Antonio, Texas 78287

Or you can respond via email to me at rankin@aaicorp.com or to Carol Habgood at chabgood@world-net.net .

Thanks in advance for your help.


Of General Interest

Web Sites of Interest

AFWOA Reunion 2000
Help celebrate the Silver Anniversary of AFWOA in San Antonio, TX, Sept. 7-9, 2000. Sue Wright is chairing the reunion committee.

Vietnam Reunion
To be held in Olympia, WA, Nov. 10-13, 1999, for women who served in Vietnam. Contact

Claire B. Starnes
Vietnam Women Vets
P.O. Box 9
528 Conowingo Rd.
Conowingo, MD 21918

Cold War Recognition Certificates Available
Eligibility includes anyone with military or civilian service with the War, Navy or Defense Departments between Sept. 2, 1945, and Dec. 26, 1991. You need to show proof of your service (but don't send original documents.) The Total Army Personnel Command is the executive agent for this project. For more information, call their help desk at 703-275-66279. Or you can apply via

  • the Internet: http://coldwar.army.mil
  • email: cwrs@Fairfax-emh.1.army.mil
  • Fax: 703-275-6749
  • Snail mail: Cold War Recognition, 4035 Ridge Top Road, Suite 400, Fairfax, VA 22030

  • The Soldiers', Sailors', Marines', and Airmen's Club
    Provides affordable lodgings (currently $25 - $40 per person per night) in New York City. It's open to members of the active duty forces, academy/ROTC cadets/midshipmen, National Guard, Reserve, military retirees, and honorable discharged veterans and their dependents and guests. Visit the Web site at http://www.ssmaclub.org/

    University of North Carolina at Greensboro's Women Veterans Historical Project
    The university's Jackson Library is developing a collection of materials relating to women veterans, with emphasis on the women veterans of World War II. The collection contains photographs, correspondence, scrapbooks, oral history interviews, posters, and memorabilia. Additional information about the project can be found on the Web at http://library.uncg.edu/depts/archives/msspapers/womvets.html/

    Syracuse University Research on World War II Veterans
    Sponsored by the Spencer Foundation, this research will culminate in a book about the participation of these veterans in political and civic activities, as well as their experiences of public policies such as the GI Bill. The researcher is looking for World War II women veterans to be surveyed. Those who participate will be sent a mail survey, with a small number of interviews this fall (in the Washington D.C. and New York areas.) If you're interested in participating, send your name toCarol Habgood at the AFWOA Post Office Box or via email at chabgood@worldnet.net . She'll compile the list and forward it to Syracuse University.

    Special Note: WIMSA
    When considering where to send your historical items, don't forget WIMSA.

    Most Valuable Swimmer Award (Women)
    Our annual award at the Air Force Academy was presented to Connie M. Cann, Class of 1999. Connie was also selected as the Air Force Academy's Female Athlete of the Year. She will remain at the Academy for a year and will enter pilot training next year at Columbus AFB. Paula Flavell presented the award.

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    January '99

    From the President
    Karen Rankin

    I am delighted to be your new President. This is a great honor for me. I owe a huge debt to Laura Currie for her excellent stewardship over the years. She has set the standard; I will strive to maintain it.

    I believe AFWOA is at a crossroads as we move toward the new Millennium. As President, I hope to initiate the planning process that will set our course for the future. I strongly believe we must ask ourselves some very important questions:

    • Where is AFWOA?
    • Where do we want AFWOA to be?
    • What role do we see for AFWOA's future?
    These are seminal issues we must consider. To that end, in early 1999, with your assistance, we will send a survey to our members asking for their ideas, their thoughts. This survey will identify the direction our membership desires for the future. We will report back to you on the results of the survey and will then begin the planning process to achieve those desires.

    Our Air Force has changed so much since AFWOA was formed. The role of women in the Air Force has changed. There are so many more women now impacting daily, at every level, the direction the Air Force will take in the future. AFWOA has been a strong organization; we need to ensure its continued viability.

    Karen's biography is available on the Web.

    Reunion 2000

    Mark your calendars now for Reunion 2000 in San Antonio. Sue Wright, our reunion committee chair, has announced that the dates are September 7-9. We will gather at the Holiday Inn Riverwalk to greet old friends and meet new ones. The reunion toll free number is 1-877-22AFWOA.

    To obtain low-season rates, we're meeting in September instead of the usual October. The rate will be $119.95 per room per day - so sharing can also help with costs. We will of course have a hospitality room for informal gatherings. One fun event that is already scheduled is a cocktail party Thursday evening - on the Riverwalk barges. Sue and her group are also looking into scheduling a golf tournament on Thursday morning, and maybe a military parade at the basic training school at Lackland .

    To make this reunion even more special, we'll also be celebrating
    AFWOA's 25th anniversary!
    Join us!

    Vietnam Veterans

    Claire B. Starnes is trying to locate women who have served in Vietnam for a nation reunion in Olympia, WA. Dates are November 10-13, 1999. If you are interested, contact Claire at:

      Vietnam Women Vets
      P.O. Box 9
      528 Conowingo Rd.
      Conowingo, MD 21918
    $ $ $

    AFWOA does not have membership dues. As always, we appreciate monetary gifts to help defray costs such as printing and distributing our newsletters. Anything helps - it all adds up and helps us keep you informed. Thank you in advance for your support!

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