Hi friends! Yes it is another Smithsonian Heritage Month! Or, whatever. I’d link you, but the Smithsonian website is down O_o. So, if you’re interested, the Women’s History Month government page is up. You might be all “but Lime – if this has been a thing, why didn’t you celebrate it last year?” Well, two answers. I had this sneaking suspicion even in 2013 that 2014 might kick my ass. Also, because I had no idea how the Heritage Months would go and figured “well, focusing on romance is kickass enough and sufficient for ALBTALBS.” But for 2015, we’re kicking it up a notch! So without further ado … here’s Kim with her contribution!
My oldest son recently wrote an essay for a scholarship offered to military dependents. The topic was unusual – discuss a woman who contribute to WWII. He wrote about Jacqueline Cochran, a trailblazing woman in military aviation. She developed an interest in flying in the early 1930s, ultimately setting speed records along with Amelia Earhart. With the arrival of WWII, she volunteered to ferry planes to Britain and advocated for the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) once the US entered the war. After the war, she broke more records. From the National Aviation Hall of Fame:
- In 1935, she became the first woman to fly in the Bendix Trophy Race, which she won in 1938.
- In 1937, she Became the first woman to make a blind instrument landing.
- During World War II she was the first woman to fly a bomber across the Atlantic Ocean (leading to the WASPs).
- In 1950, she Received the Harmon Trophy as the Aviatrix of the Decade.
- In 1953, she became the first woman to exceed the speed of sound.
- In 1962, she set 73 records in three years.
- In 1964, She exceeded Mach 2 in 1964.
Cochran left a legacy of “can do” spirit, opening the doors for future generations of women in the military.
I joined the Air Force during President Reagan’s military expansion to outspend the Soviet Union. Yet women were still not welcome in all careers (and not always welcomed at all). Shortly after I transitioned from active duty to military spouse, I met a group of women who understood the challenges I faced on active duty. These women belong to the RomVets – veterans who write romance. They welcomed me into their ranks. Leading this band of sisters is Merline Lovelace, a military brat, Vietnam veteran, and retired Air Force Colonel. She commanded the 3200 Support Wing at Eglin AFB – the equivalent of winning the RITA award in Romanceland. After serving her country, she served up romance novels. Merline recently signed a three book deal which will bring her total published books to over 100. She’s a writing “ace” who has also won the RITA award. Merline never tires of encouraging writers and supporting veterans. I thank Merline for setting the bar high for other women to achieve their own success.
I am giving away military swag plus a copy of Merline’s Course of Action with Lindsay McKenna (another RomVet) to celebrate Women’s History Month.
So! Women’s History Month … military edition! 😀 Any other veterans out there? Do you have a favorite female veteran? Any inspiring figures for Women’s History Month? Let’s hear it! 🙂