Military Fly Moms is a stupendous collection of true stories by seventy women who shared the same two dreams—becoming a military aviator, and being a mom. The first few women, who, in the 1970’s, took their places in the world of all-male military aviation, paved the way for other women to follow. From flying during the Cold War to rescue missions during Hurricane Katrina to flying in combat during the current war on terror, these gutsy women—our nation’s sisters, daughters, neighbors, friends, and, yes, even moms—have done it all. Illustrated throughout with stunning color photos, Military Fly Moms depicts women aviators in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard alongside their helicopters, transport aircraft, or fighter planes, as well as highlighting their families. These stories and their accompanying photographs weave a beautiful tapestry, passing on a lasting legacy to inspire future generations to reach for their dreams.
How do you capture the essence of these amazing women who straddle lives in two fundamentally different worlds: motherhood and military flying? Military Fly Momsnot only gives a taste of the adventure, accomplishments, and surprises these female pilots face in their professional lives, but also a rare glimpse into how they each balance their personal dreams, triumphs, and sacrifices while blazing paths in a complex world that was not initially designed for them. A must-read for any woman daring to pursue the path less traveled.
Of all the advancements made in the 20thcentury, nothing was more important to the viability of women making a career in the U.S. armed forces than the ability to combine military service with parenthood—just as men did. This was the result of hard-fought policy and statutory battles in the courts, Congress, and the Pentagon. By 1976, all the military departments revised their policies so that pregnant women, including aviators, were no longer automatically discharged. Retired Naval Flight Officer Linda Maloney, one of the first women to serve in combat duty as part of a carrier air wing, has collected the personal stories of many female military aviators who have served on the frontlines as well as the home front. Their service narratives are an important contribution to our national defense, their children, and to the corpus of American military social history.
Linda Maloney’s book is an uplifting, inspiring, and sometimes sobering account of the lives of military women who fly and raise children. I highly recommend this book for parents, teachers, young adults, and anyone interested in aviation and military history. It is a personal, as well as historical, account of women aviators, their families, and their military missions. Military Fly Moms would have been a wonderful read for me as a teen. It certainly is now. More young women need to understand that flying opportunities are open to them and that ‘Yes, you can be a mom and have a challenging and rewarding job!’ Young women can pursue the dream of flying without excluding the possibility of having children someday. My career took me to the stars—four times—and three of these flights were as a mom!
Not only are the descriptions of the difficulties of raising a family while on active duty extremely interesting, but [so are] the many experiences, sometimes dangerous, these military women faced. Their children’s reactions all make for a worthwhile read.
This inspirational, educational book is filled with fascinating, factual stories about some of America’s most outstanding and courageous women military aviators. I’m proud of each of them.
Military Fly Moms is a book that’s long overdue. It does a wonderful job of showing a side of America’s women military aviators that has always existed but is seldom discussed or seen, particularly in such an honest and beautiful light. This is a book that will spark conversations, tears, and laughter—a must-have! There’s a place for this book on many tables.
In Military Fly Moms, Linda Maloney captures in magnificent fashion the personal and professional commitment of many of the women who fly for our armed forces. Their contributions to our national security are significant; their sacrifices make for a great read.
Military Fly Moms is an awe-inspiring exploration into the lives of ground-breaking women military aviators whose most challenging and rewarding job outside the cockpit is motherhood. Representing all five branches of our armed services, these flyers stood proudly on the shoulders of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II. Many of them pioneers in their own right, these airwomen discuss their love of flying and proudly serving their country, while also tackling the challenges of raising children in a military family. Linda Maloney has generously given a voice to her fellow military fly moms, who are role models, each and every one.
There are pioneers whose stories must be told. Linda Maloney has done us a great service by telling the stories of military flying moms. How far they’ve come—from being mistaken for stewardesses in their uniforms to some of their sons and daughters thinking that only women can fly airplanes! This truly inspiring book is a must—especially for youngsters making decisions about their own boundaries.
Linda has compiled a powerful visual representation of the contributions that women have made in military aviation while still remaining true to themselves as moms. As a founder of an organization to use women in aviation as role models to young girls, I believe that Linda’s book provides a resource to encourage their interest and to let them know that having an aviation career and having a family are not mutually exclusive. Thank you, Linda, for highlighting these women and their accomplishments.
Retired naval aviator, Linda Maloney, brings together stories from women aviators who are moms —from every military service, asking each to tell her story—her path to the military and flying, combat experiences, her joys in being a mom, how she balances family and career, the advice and encouragement she would give to other women seeking a military or aviation career, and the legacy she wants to pass down to her children and future generations.
Every woman interviewed stressed repeatedly that balancing family and a military career was not easy. Many concluded that things don’t always have to be perfect—in fact, frequently they can’t be, especially when juggling demanding jobs, flying schedules, and family priorities.
When asked, “Why stay in the military?” they gave resoundingly similar answers. “I can’t think of any job I’d want other than the one I have. Being an aviator and an officer is part of who I am. It’s not just a job. I serve because I love my country, and I want my family to live in a country that is free.”
As much as these women love their careers and are proud of their military service, they love and cherish being moms even more. Susan Maitre, one of the Coast Guard aviatrix moms says, “I love being a mom, because it reminds me every day what really matters, and what doesn’t. The bottom line is very simple: Between the grins and giggles and hugs and kisses, I realize that my husband and I are molding these sweet creatures into [having] remarkable lives of their own.”
The pages of Military Fly Moms are filled with tales of little girls who grew up looking to the skies and dreaming of soaring overhead; of young women hesitantly realizing they could become pilots as well as flight attendants; of young moms juggling flying schedules at odd hours but making time to read bedtime stories to their little ones; of women struggling to decide whether to stay in the military because too many deployments are impacting the family; and of experienced career women military pilots mentoring younger men and women, sharing their own experiences, sprinkled with some “been there, done that” wisdom.
Each woman’s perspective is uniquely different, but together they weave a beautiful tapestry that tells a bigger story and passes on a lasting legacy to inspire future generations to reach for their dreams.
Military Fly Moms was compiled and edited by retired naval aviator Linda Maloney and published by Tannenbaum Publishing Company and is offered on Amazon.