Aviation for Women

JAN-FEB 2018

Aviation for Women is the flagship member publication of Women in Aviation International. Articles feature women who have made aviation history, professional development ideas, and current-topic articles.

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20 AviationforWomen J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 In a loving tribute to her older sister, Allison Righter, presi- dent of Wings for Val Foundation, led the Third Annual "Winging Ceremony" on November 4, 2017, at the Women's Memorial at Ar- lington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. Allison's sister, Lt. Valerie Cappelaere Delaney, WAI 44548 and Navy fighter pilot, lives on through her charity that has award- ed four WAI scholarships to date in her honor. At age 26, Valerie perished on March 11, 2013, when the Navy jet she was piloting crashed in Washington state during a training mission. A Maryland native and middle child of three girls, Val was a 2004 graduate of Centennial High School and a 2009 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering with a minor in French and played var- sity lacrosse. She achieved her dream of becoming a Navy pilot when she earned her Wings of Gold in 2012 and was assigned to VAI-129 of NAS Whidbey Island. Friends and family members shared touching stories of Val as a person of great integrity, tenacity, faith, and compassion. She em- braced the motto "adapt and overcome" and used it when she en- countered adversity. This serves as the driving mission of the foun- dation to promote and support women in all fields, especially in the military and in aviation, and to inspire future genera- tions of female leaders. At Va l's 2013 f unera l, t he Cappelaeres were overwhelmed with the collective strength and sisterhood of all female aviators as over 200 female military aviator wings were presented to the fam- ily. While individually these wings represent amazing personal ac- complishment, together the wings are now on display at the Wom- en's Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery with the inscription "We leave our wings with Val and carry her with us in the sky." This year's tribute welcomed another pair of wings from WASP Florence "Shutsy" Reynold. While Shutsy could not make the trip, Erin Miller, granddaughter of WASP Elaine Harmon, pre- sented the wings. Visit www.WingsforVal.org to learn more about this growing foundation and its support of other veteran organizations and fe- male leadership programs, and to view pictures and videos. Adapt and Overcome Wings for Val Foundation B Y K E L L Y M U R P H Y (L to R) Allison Righter; Patrice and Doreen Cappelaere; Amy Looney, Travis Manion Foundation vice president; and Jane Marie Komyathy, David Mattingly, Ryan Vincent, TMF ambassadors and volunteers.

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