Our Veterans

Jessica Clackum
Veteran, United States Coast Guard


In addition to Jessica Clackum's work managing social media and outreach, she is a freelance writer, contributor at Splice Today, and author of the blogs Release the Clackum, and Letters from Arthur. A military veteran, she is a member of Veterans in Media & Entertainment,  and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.


Joanne Gaishin

Veteran, United States Air Force Reserve 

Web Designer for The Red Door Films. Joanne served Active Duty and Reserve in the Air Force as an Aerospace Ground Equipment Mechanic, Space Command Historian, and Computer Support Administrator. She retired from the Air Force Reserve with over 30 years of service. She is an FAA rated Private Pilot and has flown amphibious seaplanes and float planes. She holds an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Flight Support Equipment and California Massage Therapy and Advanced Neuromuscular Therapy certifications. Joanne is the owner of EclipseView, retailer of Thousand Oaks Optical solar filters. She performed with The Sagebrush Wranglers country band and is a member of Veterans in Media & Entertainment (VME). 



Karen Fine Brasch
CDR, United States Navy (Ret)

 

Karen Fine Brasch holds an FAA Unrestricted Commercial Fixed and Rotary Wing License with Instrument Rating. She retired from the Navy with more than 1900 hours flying the UH1-N Huey, SH-60F/HH-60H Seahawk, TH-57 and T-34 rotary and fixed wing aircraft. With ten years active duty and ten years in the reserves, she completed two tours/deployments to the Persian Gulf War region aboard the USS Nimitz as a helicopter aircraft commander, instructed alongside the U.S. Marines for students training in the UH-1N Huey flight program, and led her reserve unit as Office-In-Charge and Executive Officer. She holds an MBA, with emphasis in Computer Resource Management, from Webster University and from Texas State with a Bachelors degree in Journalism.
 

Brasch has been involved in volunteer work and research centered around health issues that closely affect her family. Her oldest son has celiac disease and as an entrepreneur, she co-founded a 501(c)(3) non-profit to support gluten-free education and has designed and authored an educational gluten-free cooking website.  Over the years, she has been actively involved in her community through volunteer for numerous organizations and served as a committee member and co-chair for Scripps Health Foundation cancer research and fund-raising gala events. She currently works full-time in Program Management for a Fortune 500 company. Brasch is excited to be part of the FlyGirls Team to give back to the women who paved the way for her flight career.

Elizabeth M. Duca

Veteran & Former USAF Senior Pilot


Liz Duca is the proprietor of PreFlight Aviation Camp LLC, created for girls ages 11-14, whose mission is to transform beliefs about gender roles through aviation and inspire young girls to takeoff into their future. She holds an FAA Airline Transport Pilot Certificate, Airplane Multi-Engine Land; Commercial Airplane Single-Engine Land/Single-Engine Sea; and Certified Flight Instructor Certificate, Airplane Multi-Engine/Instrument Airplane. Duca has 2,100 hours flying the KC-10, C-21, T-1 and T-6 aircraft. She served four tours overseas flying combat missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.

She earned a Masters degree in Military Operational Art and Science from Air University and graduated Cum Laude from Texas State University with a Bachelors degree in Geographic Information Science. Duca is actively involved in her community as a member of the San Antonio Chapter of The Ninety-Nines and also serves as the secretary for the Alamo City Chapter of Women in Aviation.

 

Jill Meyers

Veteran, United States Air Force
 

Jill Meyers spent eight years in the Air Force operating radar and data communication systems worldwide. She obtained her Private Pilot’s License at the age of 17 but was not allowed to fly in the military due to rules in place at that time regarding female pilots. Meyers has a degree in Aerospace Engineering and has worked on many military and commercial aircraft programs, including the U.S, NATO, and U.K. Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) fleets; Air Force One; the Eclipse 500 jet; and the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter. In 2018, Meyers started an aviation management consulting business to provide management and engineering consulting services to commercial/business aviation organizations around the globe.

 

In 2017, Meyers was the primary support person for Shaesta Waiz, founder and President of Dreams Soar, Inc., who became the youngest woman to fly solo around the world in a single-engine aircraft. Meyers handled ground and flight logistics for the 145-day mission, and also led the planning of 32 Outreach events in 14 countries, where Waiz personally inspired over 3,000 students to work hard, never give up and follow their dreams.

 

Meyers is a member of Women in Aviation International (WAI), an organization dedicated to providing networking, education, mentoring and scholarship opportunities for women striving for challenging careers in aviation and aerospace. She founded the first WAI chapter in Philadelphia and is currently President the WAI San Diego chapter.


Shannon Huffman Polson

Veteran & Former U.S. Army Apache pilot

 

Shannon Huffman Polson, resident guest blogger for FlyGirls was one of the first women to fly the AH-64A attack helicopter in the United States Army after the lifting of the combat exclusion. She was the first woman Apache pilot assigned to a line unit in the XVIII Airborne Corps, and led two Apache line platoons at Fort Bragg, NC, taking one to Bosnia in support of the Stabilization Force enforcing the Dayton Peace Accords. After training in military intelligence, Polson was stationed in the 2d Infantry Division in Korea, where she was the first woman to command a line company flying in support of OPLAN 5027. At her final duty station, her responsibilities included development of the doctrine of time sensitive targeting for theater missile defense, deploying to Kuwait, Korea and domestically for international joint exercises. Polson earned her B.A. at Duke University, MBA at the Tuck School at Dartmouth and her MFA at Seattle Pacific University. She is a motivational speaker to corporate and organizational audiences across the country, and founder of The GRIT Project. Her first book is titled, North of Hope: A Daughter’s Arctic Journey, and her writing appears in High Country News, Huffington Post, River Teeth Journal, Alaska and Seattle Magazines, Ruminate Journal and Cirque Journal among others. In 2009, Polson was recognized by Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell as a Woman of Valor.

Rebecca Sutera Tulloch

Captain, US Civil Air Patrol
 

Capt Tulloch is an active member of the United States Civil Air Patrol (CAP), participating as a flight crew member for the past ten years. She holds a private pilot license and has served as the unit historian and aerospace education officer for her CAP squadron. Capt. Tulloch is a freelance video photographer and owner of Prairie Star Productions. She produces independent films, cable access television shows and various other media segments for clients. In addition, Capt. Tulloch loves history and makes presentations on WASP history to school children and adult audiences throughout the Chicago area.  Capt. Tulloch holds a bachelor's degree in history and master's degree in management from Northern Illinois University.  IMDB


Theresa Lowe
Veteran, United States Air Force 
 

Maggie Dewan-Smith

Veteran, United States Air Force 
 

Pamela Monroe
Veteran, United States Air Force 

 

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