Extraordinary
Women

  • Diana Gabaldon

     

    Brilliant author of the historical sci-fi adventure, Outlander books, novellas, and graphic novels. Herself, as fans call her, creates strong, loving, companionate female characters that span time.

  • Katherine Johnson. Dorothy Vaughan.        Mary Jackson.

    These brilliant African-American women worked as mathematicians and aerospace engineers at NASA and were referred to as human computers. Their work was instrumental in the successful launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit.  

  • Rose Antonia Maria Valland

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    Rose Antonia Maria Valland (1 November 1898 – 18 September 1980) was a French art historian, a member of the French Resistance, a captain in the French military, and one of the most decorated women in French history. She secretly recorded details of the Nazi plundering of National French and private Jewish-owned art from France.

  • Hedy Lamarr

     

    Beautiful and talented actress. Brilliant inventor. She may not have literally invented WiFi, she did invent an important precursor. In collaboration with George Antheil, Lamarr patented a frequency-hopping mechanism designed to keep Nazis from intercepting Allied transmissions during World War II. Not only is it impenetrable from a security perspective, it is the foundation used to develop Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS.

  • Margaret Atwood

    A Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayists, teacher, environmental activist, and inventor. She has published 18 books of poetry, 18 novels, 11 non-fiction books, 9 collections of short fiction, 8 children’s books, and 2 graphic novels.  A number of her works have been adapted for film and television.

  • Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz

    Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz

    Rear Adm. Sandra Stosz became the first female superintendent at any of the U.S. service academies. A 1982 Coast Guard Academy graduate and a surface operations officer with 12 years of sea duty, Admiral Stosz has plotted a course that includes many firsts for women in the military. Her performance in previous assignments as commanding officer for recruit training at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, N.J., the Director of Reserve and Leadership, and the commanding officer of two cutters, has demonstrated a commitment to building a diverse workforce.

  • Nancy Grace Augusta Wake

    Nancy Wake

    Nancy Grace Augusta Wake (August 30, 1912 – August 07, 2011), also known as the “White Mouse”, was one of the most decorated secret agents of the Second World War. By war’s end in Europe she had become famed as a resourceful, dauntless Resistance leader, who topped the Gestapo’s most-wanted list and had saved hundreds of Allied lives. She parachuted behind enemy lines, dodged bullets many times, rode a bicycle 250 miles to alert the French resistance to the Normandy invasion, was involved in ambushing German convoys and destroying bridges and railway lines.

  • Temple Grandin

    Temple Grandin

    Temple Grandin (born August 27, 1947) is an American doctor of Animal Science and professor at Colorado State University, bestselling author, and consultant to the livestock industry in animal behavior. As a person with high-functioning autism, Grandin is also widely noted for her work in autism advocacy and is the inventor of the hug machine designed to calm hypersensitive persons.

  • Bessie Coleman

    Bessie Coleman

    Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman (January 26, 1892 – April 30, 1926) was an American civil aviator. She was the first female pilot of African American descent and the first person of African American descent to hold an international pilot license.

  • Erma Bombeck

     

    Mrs. Bombeck was thirteen when she wrote her first newspaper column. Her syndicated column, “At Wit’s End,” was directed to the lonely plight of stay-at-home mothers and appeared in more than 900 newspapers. She spent twenty-seven years writing 4,500 columns and 12 books that touched the lives of an international audience of women, men and children. She was still writing her column and developing a new book when she died from complications of a kidney transplant in 1996.

  • Sally Ride

    Sally Ride

    Dr. Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) from Los Angeles, California, was an American physicist and a former NASA astronaut. She studied at Portola Middle School, Westlake School for Girls, Swarthmore College and Stanford University, and earned a master’s degree and PhD. Ride joined NASA in 1978, and in 1983, became the first American woman, and then-youngest American, to enter space. In 1987 she left NASA to work at Stanford University Center for International Security and Arms Control.

  • Carol Mutter

    Carol Mutter

    Carol A. Mutter (born December 17, 1945) is a retired United States Marine Corps lieutenant general. She is the first woman in the history of the United States Armed Forces to be appointed to a three-star grade. She retired from the Marine Corps on January 1, 1999. Her last active duty assignment was as Deputy Chief of Staff, Manpower and Reserve Affairs (DC/S, M&RA) at Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

  • Betty Reid Soskin

    Betty Reid Soskin, the country’s oldest active ranger in the National Park Service, turned 100 years old Wednesday, September 21, 2021.  She’s a published author, a songwriter-activist, a businesswoman and now serves in the National Park service as the country’s oldest ranger.

    The century-old ranger leads tours and public programs, sharing her experiences and observations at the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond California. In celebration of her milestone birthday the National Park Service created a special limited-edition ink stamp in her honor.

  •  Carol Burnett

     

    A comedian with a decades-long career. Her own beloved comedy TV show, a number of feature films and on Broadway. A published author and known to help young comedians starting out. She has been the recipient of numerous honors. American Comedy Awards, Emmy and Golden Globe awards, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Kennedy Center Honors, given to the creative minds who influence American culture with their art.

  • Antonia Novello

    Antonia Novello

    Dr. Antonia Coello Novello, M.D., (born August 23, 1944) is a Puerto Rican physician and public health administrator. She was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and served as fourteenth Surgeon General of the United States from 1990 to 1993. Novello is the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as Surgeon General.

  • Pvt. Minnie Spotted Wolf

    Minnie Spotted Wolf

    Private Minnie Spotted-Wolf (1923 – 1988) was the first Native American woman to enlist in the United States Marine Corps. She enlisted in the Marine Corps Women’s Reserve in July 1943.

  • Sergeant Kimberly Munley

    Sergeant Kimberly Munley a civilian Department of Defense police officer at Ft Hood credited with stopping the firing rampage of an Army Major within a few minutes after he launched his attack. Munley, a 35 year old petite mother of two, put her life at risk and drew the attention of shooter. She fired and took the man down. But not before she was shot three times. Munley is credited with preventing many more deaths.

  • Rosie the Riveter

    Rosie the Riveter

    Rosie the Riveter is a cultural and feminist icon of the United States, representing the American women who worked in factories during World War II, many of whom worked in the manufacturing plants that produced munitions and war supplies.

  • Wives of Police Officers, Firemen, Soldiers, Sailors and Marines.

  • World War II Women Airforce Service Pilots

    World War II Women Service Pilots

    A few more than 1,100 young women, all civilian volunteers, flew military aircraft — including the B-26 and B-29 bombers — as part of the WASP program. They tested newly overhauled planes, towed targets to give ground and air gunners training shooting — with live ammunition. They ferried new planes from factories to military bases.  Most importantly their service freed a male pilot for combat duties.  The WASP expected to become part of the military during their service. Instead, the program was canceled after two years. Thirty-eight WASP members lost their lives and one, disappeared while on a ferry mission. In 1977, for their World War II service, the members were finally granted veteran status by Congress. Brave woman all.

     

  • SPAR Olivia Hooker: First African American Woman in the Coast Guard

    Olivia Hooker

    In February 1945, Olivia Hooker was sworn in by a Coast Guard officer, becoming the first African-American female admitted into the United States Coast Guard. Hooker joined the service to become a SPAR (Semper Paratus Always Ready), the acronym used for female service personnel during World War II. She remained in the Coast Guard until the war-time SPARs were disbanded by mid-1946. Dr. Hooker later earned a doctorate in psychology had a distinguished career as a professor.

  • Marjorie Harris Carr

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    (1915-1997) an American environmental activist. She is best known for leading the fight against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Cross Florida Barge Canal. Carr and her colleagues won a temporary injunction against construction of the canal in January 1971. Days later, President Richard Nixon halted construction of the canal.

 

 

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Celia West’s Interview of Hunter

My name is Celia West. I work as a private contractor for the US government in Washington DC. I’m commissioned by select committees to interview people who’ve played a part in sensitive events. I have no particular skills in military or government procedure. I do have an ability to gauge the veracity of what has already been put in a subject’s reports. Today is the last of three interviews with persons involved in an event that took place in Ecuador. The man I’m interviewing is a Navy SEAL. Interviews with Special Operations men are intense.

This interview will be conducted at an undisclosed naval facility. As is my custom, I arrive slightly early. I am led down a long corridor by an armed marine guard and ushered into a room with no windows and subdued lighting. The door closes and a man sitting in one of the large chairs stands causing me to take a step back. He is huge. I’m only 5’ 2” but I’m sure he qualifies as huge to anyone.

“Ms. West,” he thrusts out a hand the size a ten-inch iron skillet. “I’m Hunter.” He finishes in a deep baritone voice. I warily slip my hand into his and note his hand also feels like a skillet.

“Nice to meet you.” I say, making an effort to smile at him. He releases my hand and says nothing. There is something about this man, a presence, a power, that fills the room. He waits for me to sit then drops back into his chair. The leather chair groans as he shifts and brings an ankle to a knee. I take a moment to note his appearance. Long hair protrudes around the edges of a knit cap pulled low on his forehead. Sunglasses and a long un-kept beard complete the look designed to keep me from ID’ing him. A non-descript polo shirt is stretched over his chest and arms. Well-worn jeans with a tear over the right knee cover his legs. I have the distinct feeling that from behind those glasses he is giving me the same going over.

“Is Hunter your first or last name?”

“Yes.” he says.

“Is it your real name?”

“It is today.”

Alrighty then. “How do you feel about this interview?” Might as well get right to it.

“Feel? Ma’am I was told to come here and answer your questions. I wasn’t told to feel anything.”

An evasive answer. “Do you always do what you are told?”

“No.” He says quietly. I read truth and a touch of wry humor in the single word.

“Did you do what you were told on this mission?”

“I was inserted into a situation and told to achieve a certain outcome. How I do that is up to me, the team. If you’re asking did I achieve the outcome, that is an affirmative.”    

“Admiral Hendrickson said she diverted from the original flight plan because Dr. Walsh asked her to fly back the coast. Do you believe her?”

“Yes.”

I was taken aback at how quickly he answers. I launch into the next question. “Dr. Walsh said the reason he asked to fly that route was to enjoy the coastline scenery. Do you believe him?”

“No ma’am.” The hair around his mouth twitches.

This surprises me and I take a moment before I speak to be sure my voice is even. “What do you believe the reason was?”

“He wanted some alone time with the admiral.”

“What makes you think that?” I give up hiding my surprise.

He puts both feet on the floor and leans forward. “You haven’t seen them together.”

I can’t decide if it’s a question or a statement. I do know when I interviewed the doctor he displayed a great deal of concern for the admiral. I shake my head.

“You in a serious relationship?” His voice is so deep I swear it reverberates around the small room. I’m glad the light is low so he can’t see the color creep over my face.

“Mr. Hunter I’m not going to answer that. I’m here to ask you questions and then you can be on your way.”

He makes a sound and leans back. “Thought so.” My not answering confirms to him I’m not. I think I hear him say, good, under his breath.

“Tell me why you think Dr. Walsh wanted to be alone with the admiral.”

“I’ve been in this job nine years. An important part is reading people.” He pauses. “It isn’t all body language. It’s what you say and when you say it. How you look or don’t look at a person. I’m good at what I do and I can tell you without a doubt the doc has it bad for the admiral. ” There is some amusement in his voice. “He’s one of the good guys. The admiral is not only an extraordinary woman, but a classic beauty. Can’t fault him for wanting time with her.”

“I see.” Heat rushes over my face. “What is your impression of the admiral?” I try to get the interview under control.

“She is upfront. Honest. She gives and asks for a hundred percent.”

“She gave an account of killing two men. Can you corroborate what she said?”

“Lady,” he says harshly, “you’ve already read my take on the show. You know I saw nothing of the fight Admiral Hendrickson and Dr. Walsh had with the bad guys. I have nothing to add. I can guarantee the admiral answered your questions with the straight up truth.” He starts to rise. “Are we done here?”

“No. Sit.” If he thinks he can intimidate me, he is very mistaken. He settles back in the chair. I begin recounting the details of the action and asking questions. Hunter agrees and when he doesn’t, he clarifies.

Half way through he says, “You aren’t writing any of this down.”

“I have an excellent memory.”

He says nothing.

“Would you say the job ended successfully?”

“No.”

“Why not?” I am beyond surprised. The operation netted a billion in counterfeit money, and almost that much in drugs.

“I don’t consider coming back short a team member successful.”

One of the SEALs, a Lt. Mercer, was gravely injured and died during the op. I understand and give him a nod. “I have what I need. Is there anything you want to add?”

Hunter is still and silent for a long while then he shakes his head side to side. “No ma’am.”

“Then we’re done.” Strangely, I feel letdown the interview is ending.

Before I can gather my briefcase, the door opens and the armed marine appears. “This way Ms. West.”

What the hell? “Was this interview being recorded?” I say angrily. I look at both men who remain silent. “It was.” How dare they? “This is not….”

“This way Ms. West.” The marine says in a voice that lets me know saying anymore is useless. I sling the briefcase strap over my shoulder, shoot Hunter a vicious look and storm out. And, it doesn’t get any better. Outside I discover the afternoon sky has opened up depositing torrents of rain that are pooling in the parking lot. I check my smart phone for the weather. On the radar, a red blob covers the entire area. I look back at the door but decide I will stand here and wait it out. A black truck, one of those with two rows of seats, rolls to a stop close to the portico cover. The driver’s door opens and a large man dashes around the hood and stops a few feet in front of me.

“Can I give you a ride or help you to your car, ma’am?” he says in a deep voice I recognize as Hunter’s.

“Hunter?” I say tentatively. He looks nothing like the man I interviewed. His hair and bread are much shorter than the man I saw inside. His clothes neat.

He gives me a broad smile. “Santino Lozano, ma’am.”

This is most definitely Hunter, sans his disguise, But why is he revealing himself to me.    He leans to me. “I like you.” He says as if reading my mind. “I’m offering a ride. Nothing else.” A beard splitting smile slides across his face.

“Nothing that is, until after you turn in your report. Then maybe you’ll want to give me a call.”

I know my mouth is moving but no sound is coming out. I give him my keys. Our hands touch producing what every romance novel I’d read describes when the handsome hero touches the heroine in the story. Sheer sexual energy.

I calculate how many hours it would take to write my reports and turn them in.

   

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