RAF Flight Sgt Elizabeth Brady visited Omaha Burke High School recently for a presentation to 21 students of LeeAnn Vaughan’s aviation and aerospace class. Brady gave the students an overview of her RAF career with highlights from her training, deployments, other experiences. MS Vaughan is an aerospace education member of Civil Air Patrol.
Brady was, by her own admission, a relatively indifferent student in high school and left college before graduation. After working in a number of unsatisfying positions, she decided to join the RAF because she “needed a job.” She discovered the military tested her physically and intellectually, teaching her things about herself and her strengths she would not have
discovered in any other way. Though small in stature, she stood up to the challenges of learning several foreign languages, mastering weapons training, and quite literally “surviving” survival training. After over 20 years in the RAF and numerous overseas deployments, FS Brady is Weapons Systems Officer (Linguist) and a qualified instructor in a variety of aircrew courses including maritime survival and Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE).
Perhaps her most important message to the class was not to fear failure. “Don’t be afraid to fail,” Brady said, “just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back at it.” She encouraged the students to pursue their dreams and be true to themselves, whatever career they choose. “Don’t let others define you by your race, gender, or whatever”, she said. “You will encounter obstacles and prejudice, but don’t give up, and let your actions demonstrate that you are up to the task.”
Flight Sergeant Brady’s presentation was well received and generated several follow up questions from the students who enjoyed her self-described “dodgy” English/Scottish accent. FS Brady is in the US as part of a joint US/UK team preparing for the delivery of the RC 135 Rivet Joint aircraft to the RAF. She is also helping facilitate a budding relationship between Nebraska CAP’s Omaha Composite Squadron cadets and Royal Air Cadets of 47F Squadron in the UK.
The visit to Burke was arranged with assistance from Nebraska CAP’s Omaha Composite Squadron which is supporting Burke’s newly designated Aviation and Aerospace Academy which Vaughan heads.
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 61,000 members nationwide with almost 550 volunteers in Nebraska. CAP operates the nation’s largest single engine aircraft fleet with 550 aircraft including six in Nebraska. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 80 lives annually. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to nearly 27,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet programs. CAP received the World Peace Prize in 2011 and has been performing missions for America for over 72 years. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatr