Posted by: annemartinfletcher | October 12, 2012

We Thought We Were Indestructible

Mourning the Loss of an Eighty’s Lady

Karen O'Hair Fox.  Thanks to Karen Selva for finding this photoThree days ago, a shock deeper than our treatment on the Assault Course descended on the women who graduated in the first class to include women at the United States Air Force Academy.  For decades now, we have pulled together, even though as individuals we are very different. Intel work in Iraq/Afghanistan; missionary work in the jungles of Latin America; mothers of twins; flying into Beruit, Grenada, and Zaire/Congo; months on a space station; even surviving D.C. traffic and Pentagon politics; we have overcome so many barriers, that, as Terry Meyer said, “I think I’ve thought we were indestructible.”

Of course, we are each only human.

Dr. Colonel Karen A. O’Hair Fox, M.D., one of our own, succumbed to pancreatic cancer. Please sign her Life Legacy and read her biography at this link.

Karen is the daughter of a West Point graduate who traveled the country as a child, including a time when her father taught at USAFA. She attended El Dorado High School in Albuquerque, NM, and was a junior at the University of New Mexico, when she gave that up to become a USAFA cadet and Air Force Officer.

My impression of Karen is that she was tall, quiet and kind. Behind her veneer was a steel, determined to find a way to achieve her goals. Recruited by Coach Arata (or did she recruit him?) Karen became an All American swimmer. After graduation, she was one of few cadets who are assigned to Medical School. After graduating from Baylor College of Medicine, she became a Flight Surgeon, the only way, at the time, that any of us women were allowed to fly in fighter aircraft.

I pass our condolences to her mother, Marilyn, to Jeff and Michael Fox, to Karen’s brothers and extended family, and to her husband, William. Karen and William’s home is in San Antonio. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the charity of your choice.

God bless you, Karen. I see you there among the towering “Cu’,” where I hope you will do “one more roll for me.”

 (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nathanael Callon)

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