“Vanquishing The Invisible”
An Independent Portrait Project  by James R Morrison and J Mara Morrison
Vanquishing The Invisible will be displayed at the California State Fair during Military and
Veteran Appreciation Day, July 18th continuing on July 19th in the Fine Arts Building 7
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Thank you for your interest in “Vanquishing the Invisible”. From the beginning, you recognized the value and importance of bringing these portraits and stories to the public. We truly appreciate your support and we look forward to seeing you at a future event.
Catherine Cook
U.S. Air Force
When I graduated from California State University with a degree in economics, my plan was to go to law school, but then I happened upon an article in the newspaper that captured my adventurous spirit about women becoming military pilots.  After reading the article, I knew what I wanted to do. I was young, smart, idealistic, naive and brave, so I decided to contact an Air Force recruiter. That decision changed the course of my life for the better, forever.
I had no idea what military life would be like. I took the oath of office and embraced the challenges and sacrifices that it would take to become an Air Force pilot. Two years of intense Officer and Pilot Training ensued. It was an exhilarating time in my life. I trained, tested and pushed beyond what I thought were my limits, both mentally and physically. I learned teamwork, camaraderie, and a never-give-up attitude—the greater the challenge, the greater the reward. I earned my Air Force Wings in 1981, one of my proudest accomplishments in life.  
I flew KC-135 Stratotankers on missions to provide air refueling for fighter jets, bombers, and cargo aircraft all around the world. In August 1990, I volunteered for Operation Desert Shield and flew a KC-135 from Mather Air Force Base, California to Saudi Arabia on a mission to deter Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. In 1991, Operation Desert Storm started, which marked the first time in American history that women were allowed to fly in combat missions. I'm honored that I was part of that history, flying as a KC-135 Aircraft Commander. After the Gulf War, the Air Force evaluated how women had performed in combat and made a groundbreaking change to allow women to fly fighter jets in the future. I'm very proud of my role in that decision.
Today, I am a B757 Captain for Delta Air Lines, married with two wonderful sons. I love my country and will always be grateful for the opportunity I had to serve as a pilot in the United States Air Force. I am honored to be a Woman Veteran.
We received the highest praise on the surveys and in personal comments affirming this project touches viewers in a deep and profound way. Their use of words like, “powerful”, “enlightening”, “passionate”, “thought-provoking”, and (we really liked this one) “take it national” reinforces our belief in this critically important exhibit.
However, “Vanquishing the Invisible” cannot continue - or grow - its outreach without your support. We would be honored if you would take a moment to help fund this project.
There’s so much more we can accomplish if we do it together. Your support will help others attend future exhibits and continue the outreach to new audiences.
Thanks to you, these stories and portraits are possible.

If you would like to honor Women Veterans and help educate future generations on the legacy of women in the military, please DONATE

“Women Veterans are often assumed to be spouses of a veteran. We are on a mission to change that assumption. Working together, we can not only change perceptions but bring to light the vast achievements and contributions our women veterans make every day. Impacting a woman veteran’s life not only positively changes her life, but also her family’s and the community in which she lives.”         Melissa Washington, Founder of Women Veterans Alliance
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