"Virginia Lee Hagerstrom (WASP Class 45-W-4) was my sixth grade teacher in Pasadena, Texas during the 1949-1950 school year. I liked her because she was a very caring person and because she was a WASP. I loved flying and I knew about WASPs because my father was career Air Force.
I gave her a copy of that 60 year-old essay I had kept all those years in my scrapbook.
Fast forward to 2007. I was in the early stages of writing my second novel. I decided one of the main characters would be a WASP. Using information on the WASP museum website, and with the help of an archivist at North Texas University, I was able to track Lee down. I asked her to review some of the manuscript. Lee didn't like the character saying curse words. So I replaced all the "hells" with "heck" the "damns" with "darn".
WASPs did their part to break the glass ceiling for women. FlyGirls is one way of saying thanks to these pilots for what they did, although I feel like, if I said "thank you" to a WASP, she'd tell me, "Don't thank me, bub; I joined up because I loved to fly and we had a war to fight."
David Plylar, San Antonio, TX
FlyGirls salutes you David, for seeing the power and beauty of Virginia, when you were a child and then as you grew into a man. Her strength inspired yours and that's what a true leader does!