Another Truly Fascinating Interview From WAI 2009!
Lt. Colonel Jacqui Marty is a woman to this nation owes a great deal... and yet, during an interview with Aero-TV, Marty spent a considerable time telling us about all those she feels a debt to. That's the kind of person that flies an unarmed tanker into combat, time and time again, all over the world. An American Woman In Combat...
As ANN's Gina Doughty told us a few weeks ago, Jacqui Marty looks like an ordinary woman.
At least, she looks as ordinary as anyone can, wearing a well-worn flight suit with a Lieutenant Colonel's insignia, sitting on a panel with four other women telling "Stories from the War Front." A combat-experienced Air Force pilot who can claim to have traveled to every State and a dozen foreign countries, she's got a few stories to share.
"We were scared and excited," she says bluntly, describing the sleepless night her crew spent before a sortie over Kosovo. She describes her emotions with the same factual simplicity that she describes her aircraft.
But even on the front lines she found moments of levity. In the air her copilot--another female Air Force pilot on her first combat mission--exclaimed excitedly that there must be a celebration going on below. "She said, 'Look, they're shooting off fireworks!'" Marty says with a small laugh. "I told her, 'Uh, that's not fireworks. They are actually shooting at us." She is quick to reassure, "We were high enough it wasn't a factor."
She adds thoughtfully, "But is sure was something to see."
Marty recounts another story of being stranded in Thailand after a hydraulic failure on her KC-10. After several days and many phone calls to coordinate the arrival of parts and personnel to effect repairs, she caught the attention of the staff at the hotel. When asked, the Thai member of Marty's crew attempted explain that she was the commanding officer, in charge of a nine-person crew--which happened to be all male. Marty said "She understood the words, but couldn't grasp the concept of a woman in charge." After an extensive explanation, Marty's crew member eventually got the message across.
"Suddenly it was like the Red Sea parting when I walked into a room. They bowed and smiled [when they greeted me]. I went to my room and there was a huge fruit basket. It was very nice, but I thought it was a little late for a welcome basket," she recalls. "When I found out what had happened, you can bet I took advantage of that as often as I could!" She says with a laugh.
Able to pursue a career, given recognition and status equal to that of men, allowed the same opportunities, Marty expresses empathy for women denied such things. She struggles to find the words, and emotion fogs her voice as she continues, "It was then that I realized... how lucky I am to be an American woman, with the rights and freedoms we have... I'm very grateful."
Aero-TV Spends Some Illuminating Moments With 'A Woman In Combat' (Part 1)
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