I have read many articles and books about the WASP and how they were finally recognized as veterans of WWII.  Always I am disappointed how this subject is reported.  Usually a few sentences stating that in Nov., 1977 President Carter signed into law that the WASP could be recognized as veterans of WWII and receive some benefits.  Some give the credit for this to Barry Goldwater.  Some give credit to the fact that we were organized.  What is sadly overlooked is what actually happened.Col. Bruce Arnold, USAF RET volunteered to assist us in obtaining this goal. 

He had two main reasons for signing on to such a tremendous task. One was his desire to fulfill the wishes of his father, General Hap Arnold (which I find dramatic), and the other was that he had a sincere appreciation of the WASP contributions to their country.  Col. Arnold was a lobbyist for Garrett Airesearch, Inc. in Washington, D.C. 

He personally knew not only Barry Goldwater, but many other influential Congress men and women.  I was the president of the WASP organization from 1975 to 1978 and worked closely with Col. Arnold.  We had the use of his office and secretary, his toll free phone (remember in those days no computer, no emails), his participation and mainly his direction in how Congress functions and how to get things done.  He was spending so much time with our cause that at one point his job was threatened.  It was then he arranged for us to headquarter at the Army Navy Club in D. C. and personally signed for our ability to be responsible for any debts incurred.  Col. Arnold should be credited for the success we now enjoy.

And why am I writing this?  To inform those writing or reporting on our belatedly becoming veterans, be sure to give credit to this wonderful friend of the WASP for all he did for us. Without his astute advice it would never have been. 

Bee Haydu
March 5, 2007

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