President Allan Cady called the meeting to order and invited John Pennypacker to the podium to deliver the thought for the day.  February 22 would have been the 49th wedding anniversary of John and his wife, Betsy.  He recited a following poem from an unknown source (see the end of this article to read the poem).  Polly Cady led the pledge of allegiance.
President Allan continued to challenge the members to wear their pins to the meeting by paying a dollar for each member wearing their Rotary pin.  There was a record count  of 22, costing him 22.00.  He reminded everyone the challenge would last one more week.  He also held up the progress meter for the sponsorship program celebrating the fact that the committee had been able to bring in the last $300 necessary to take the total collected to $40,000 secondary goal set after the original goal of $30,000 was reached quicker than anticipated.  The successful campaign will support the charitable work funded by our club locally and internationally.
Many guests were present at the meeting.  PDG Terry Cowan,  Immanuel Beeson with the Salvation Army, Angel Pilato, Parker Robertson, Dick Thomas of Sun Lakes Rotary, Pamela Mason, Mary Wyatt (Melody's guest), and Brett Morey from LaJolla CA Golden Triangle Rotary Club (who created "Surfers Unite Rotarian Fellowship, which is now 320 members strong) Bob James, Mike Polley (who works in energy), Bruce Devon (a rehab doctor from Michigan), and Abe Harrison from the Superstition Club.
Greg Okonowski won the attendance drawing after the holders of badge numbers 21 and 25 were absent.  In the weekly drawing, the small pot of $41 dollars was won by John Benedict, but he did not draw the Ace of Clubs, so the large pot, which is now up to $880 will continue to grow.  Chuck Flint explained the Buck Board for the benefit of the guests.
Members were encouraged to look into attending the Arizona Mining Days activities at the state capital on March 15.  
President-Elect Chris Krueger announced the upcoming Club Leadership Academy to be held at Black Canyon University on Saturday, April 21.  Rotarians who attend the academy will each have the opportunity to attend five of the forty offered subjects at the academy.  The cost to attend is $65 per person, and to encourage incoming officers and interested club members to attend, the board has approved covering that cost for any member who wishes to do so.  Members can contact Chris for more information or CLICK HERE to visit the district website for information and/or on-line registration.  
Yordi Miguel, who is being sponsored by Mesa West Rotary to be an outbound youth exchange student next year,  was invited to the podium to announce that he has learned where he will be going.  He was excited to report he will be going to Brazil and thanked the club for their sponsorship.  
Pam Cohen reminded members of the Steak and Beans dinner Saturday, February 24 to celebrate the successful sponsorship program.
John Pennypacker introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Angel Pilato, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel, who took the club down memory lane to the sixties.  She not only was the first woman assigned to manage an Officers' Club, she was the First to run one on a fighter pilot base in a war zone.  At the time she enlisted, she had a Bachelor's in Food Management from Rochester Institute of Technology.  She later earned a doctorate from Oregon State and has held management positions in a fortune 500 company, higher education and a non-profit.  She is a Rotarian, a Paul Harris Fellow, and a board member of Boots to Shoes.
In her presentation, Dr. Pilato kept her audience's attention with both humorous and heart wrenching accounts of her experiences as a woman in the military in the late sixties in general and her time managing the officers' club at the fighter pilot base in Udorn, Thailand during the Vietnam War.  Early on, she could see that she was in uncharted territory for women in the military with a base of mostly men who were flying or supporting the flying of dangerous missions.   When MiG's were shot down, she allowed the crew's jeep to be parked in the officers' club.  When one crew tried to park their truck in the club, it got stuck in the door frame and the crew wanted to tear the wall down so they could put it inside at 3:00 in the morning.  Hence a sign with the name Angel's Truck Stop went up on the building until it was stolen and never recovered. 
Angel had been encouraged by friends to write a book about her experiences as she would tell stories at dinner parties and enjoyed a reputation for entertaining those who listened.  Writing her book, Angel's Truck Stop, our speaker came to terms with some of her own feelings about the war and how women were regarded in leadership positions during that time period.  During the writing, she found some of the material very sobering.  Not all the pilots made it back to base.  The book has enabled Angel to locate family members of some of those who lost their lives.  The cousin of one of those who lost their lives was present at the meeting.  
At the end of her presentation, Dr. Pilato presented certificates acknowledging their service to Don LaBarge and John Pennypacker as well as to Paula Robertson who lost her cousin in the war.  Many members took advantage of the opportunity to purchase personally autographed copies of Angel's Truck Stop.