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Text Box: not let Deanie’s story be forgotten.
	“They didn’t just fly airplanes; they served their country,” Nancy said. 
	Many WASP, like Deanie, hung up their wings after the WASP were sent home, never to fly again. Instead, they married, raised families and resumed more traditional roles. One became a nun.  Others, however, continued to take to the air – only not in any military capacity.
	Nancy started doing research – and found little was written on the WASP.
	“When she decided she wanted to do something, she started searching for historical information,” Deanie said. “She went to the public library, to the Baylor library, looked in school textbooks, and it seemed no one had even heard of the WASP.”
	That distressed her mother.
	“She told me, “I found a total of two footnotes,” Deanie Said. “I told her, “We didn’t do it for the glory; we didn’t do it for the recognition. Besides, it’s all over. Nobody cares!”
	But her daughter cared – very much.
	Nancy said it upset her that there was “not one word, not even a mention of the WASP” in the historical textbooks she consulted. According to the Women in Service for America Memorial Foundation’s website, almost 400,000 women served in and with the armed forces during World War II – a number that exceeded total U.S. male troop strength in 1939.
	Most books Nancy read had a little information about contributions of the Women’s Army Corps (WACS), the Navy WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Service), Coast Guard Women’s Reserve (SPARS), Marine Corps Women’s Reserve, Army and Navy Nurses’ Corps and “Rosie the Riveter” women who worked in factories, but not so much as a single sentence about the Women Airforce Service Pilots.
	While not considered officially in the military, WASP members were the first women to ever fly U.S. military aircraft, Nancy said. They proved that females could be as good as men when it came to flying airplanes, serving their country – and in many other areas.
	Before World War II, most women were restricted to certain roles – wife, mother, housewife and a scant handful of occupations deemed suitable for females. Because of the WASP and other women supporting the war effort, American women began to break out of their traditional – and very limited – prescribed roles in life. That makes these groups of women historically very significant.
	“I think the world is ready for this to come out,” Nancy said. “People are hungry for women role models!”
	At first, Nancy thought of making a single documentary on the WASP, but she reconsidered.
	“I didn’t think one documentary would make a difference,” she explained.
	So she took her mother’s old scrapbook from World War II and created a website,
	The site now contains information designed to appeal to people of all ages, from World War II buffs on down to those who are just now finding out about the WASP. Little girls can use the paper doll page as their own WASP Zwinky, dressing the pilot for active duty. There’s a crossword puzzle and pages of interviews. The Parrishes have interviewed surviving WASP members, each in the women’s own home, and recorded these conversations on digital video.
	Nancy said her mother is a good interviewer. Not only does Deanie share much in common with WASP alumnae, but she also knows what is true, and what stories may have gotten a bit exaggerated over time.  Nancy said the other women know they can’t bluff Deanie – and therefore are very truthful in their reminiscing.
	“WASP on the WEB” now has more than 2,000 pages of videos, pictures, songs, articles and other records.  Wings Across America says it is the largest digital collection of WASP memorabilia in the world.  Students can e-mail questions to WASP members, via the website, who volunteer to answer them.
	The website existed quietly for some time. Then, the site won the Yahoo Pick of the Week award. Since then, web surfers have visited by the droves. Several other national educational sites, including PBS, Britannica and NASA, have all linked to the site.
	From the website, the Wings Across America project grew to collecting and compiling interviews from surviving members.  Time is the enemy; all the former pilots are now in their 80s and 90s and many have passed away.
	When the Parrishes began their quest to locate former WASP, they sent questionnaires to 600 alumnae. Now, the population has dramatically dropped. They estimate less than 400 are still alive.
	Waco has its own connection to the WASP history. Both the present-day Madison Cooper Airport and the airport on Texas State Technical College’s campus started life as Army Air Fields during the Second World War.
	“There were WASP stationed at both local air fields,” Deanie said. “Yet, people in Waco don’t know about it.”
	One, in fact, paid the ultimate sacrifice.
	California native Bettie Mae Scott was killed—just 18 days before her 23rd birthday – while flight testing a BT-13 on July 8, 1944.  Stationed at Waco Army Air Field, Scott had entered flight training to become a WASP the previous October at Avenger Field in Sweetwater and graduated on April 15, 1944.
	Deanie said Scott was assigned to test-fly planes which had been damaged and then repaired, to see if they were once again air worthy.  This particular plane had not been repaired the right way, she said. Although WASP were equipped with parachutes, the plane lacked sufficient altitude for the pilot to make her escape.
	Scott was one of the 38 WASP members who died in service to their country during the war.  The WASP members were not considered full-fledged members of the military until 1977. Therefore, when a WASP member was killed, her colleagues offen had to take up a collection so her body could be sent back home – in an inexpensive “pine box” coffin. Either her family or colleagues had to pay to transport her body: the government wouldn’t.
	A male pilot, by contrast, would be escorted home by military members, at no cost to his family: his coffin and funeral also were provided by the United States. An American flag would drape the coffin. His family also received $10,000 in life insurance and were allowed to hang a gold star in the window, signifying their loss.
	Survivors of WASP killed during the war were not allowed to cover the coffin in the flag or put a gold star in the

On a Wing and a Prayer