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Collectible price: $12.71
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I have the greatest admiration for this first generation of female fighter pilots. Being a woman in the man's world of naval aviation is tough. (I know that from my experiences, described in "Navy Greenshirt: A Leader Made, Not Born.") And fighter pilots are tough on each other. To take on that double challenge and succeed in this harsh environment requires a woman with extraordinary guts and determination. Those who haven't experienced the emotional pressure can't comprehend it.
As for whether Kara got special treatment, people seem to forget the pilots who trained these "tokens" are ordinary naval aviators (and men), and I have to believe they wouldn't give false grades because of command pressure. It they did, they don't deserve to be commissioned officers. Kara did get special negative treatment. Releasing a mishap investigation to the public, as someone released hers, would normally be a court martial offense.