This Girl Is A Hoot

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I just completed reading Shoot Like A Girl, by Mary Jennings Hegar. I love stories about people who live their dreams. This is the second one that I have read, and they are similar.  What I admire most is that when a person really believes in something there is nothing on this planet that will prevent them from accomplishing their goal. Shoot Like A Girl is such a story. Mary Jennings or MJ as she refers to herself throughout the story saw herself as a pilot when she was eight years old. She never let go of that dream. She finally made it in her mid-twenties. In between, she prepared herself in every way she knew how. She had to be the best in school, she had to learn math and science, she had to prepare herself physically. She did that by being good at sports. Along the way she decided that one route to becoming a pilot was to join the Air Force. She learned to shoot and became an expert marksman. Later when she was in the service one of her instructors told her that girls can shoot very well. There is something about feminine physical stature that gives them balance, and the ability to breathe easily and relaxed. There are many women who are snipers.

During MJ’s course through the Air Force she experienced male discrimination. She not only fought against it, but demanded equality. The discrimination never ended, but by the end of her career she earned respect by her valor proving she could equal any male warrior.

The first few chapters of her story seem to be somewhat hum-drum, but as she progresses through the service her story becomes more exciting. When I read Space Man by Astronaut Mike Massimino I found his journey to be similar, always studying, always following orders, always picking himself up after disappointments, but never, never giving up.

MJ’s valorous actions as a pilot in Afghanistan cost her pain and discomfort, but she didn’t let it slow her down. She finally left her service job and took up the cause of women in the services. She successfully caused our government to rescind policy preventing women from fighting alongside men in shooting wars.

 

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