When Barbara Jacobs and her high school English students from the Hesperia, California-based Shadow Ridge School attended an aviation education program event a few years ago, they were intrigued by a photo display of the late Lieutenant Valerie Cappelaere Delaney.
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 4, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- When Barbara Jacobs and her high school English students from the Hesperia, California-based Shadow Ridge School attended an aviation education program event a few years ago, they were intrigued by a photo display of the late Lieutenant Valerie Cappelaere Delaney.
They met with Doreen Cappelaere, Delaney's mother and the founder of the Wings For Val Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that awards scholarships through Women in Aviation International (WAI) to young women pursuing ambitious aviation careers as a way to carry on the legacies of Delaney and Army Captain Sara Knutson Cullen. The group inquired about Delaney, and Jacobs thought it would be an interesting real-life class project to write a book. This experience would lead them to write their first book: "Wings for Val: Memoir of a Young Pilot" published by Fig Factor Media.
After more than three years of writing and research with the help and guidance of Jacobs and Jim Hoffmann, a school history teacher, and author, their hard work came to fruition as these students and Cappelaere presented a recent book launch.
The book honors the legacy and the life story of Cappelaere's daughter, the late Lieutenant Valerie Cappelaere Delaney, a Navy fighter pilot who died at 26 in March 2013 when the jet she piloted crashed in Eastern Washington State during a training mission. She served as an EA-6B Prowler pilot in Electronic Attack Squadron 129 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington. Her military accomplishments include the Navy Achievement Medal, the National Defense and Global War on Terrorism Service Medals, and she was posthumously promoted to lieutenant.
"As my students and I investigated Val's life, we noticed there were challenging obstacles that pre- and young teens of today could relate to," Jacobs explained. "Overcoming those life challenges was inspirational for my students. So, instead of a short bio on the tragedy of a young adult Navy pilot, an inspirational message of triumph evolved. The text then became a memoir of Val's life from girlhood to womanhood. Being a Navy pilot became secondary to the text as a conduit of Val's passion for an exciting, healthy, successful, and awe-inspiring life."
At first, Cappelaere found it a little unusual working with Jacobs and Hoffmann. As the book development process continued, she deeply respected and admired their time and input in making this book a reality. The process included working long hours in different time zones—Jacobs and Hoffmann being on the Pacific Coast and Cappelaere being on the East Coast.
"I knew in my heart that Val's life story was extraordinary," she said. "I want people to know that Val's life made an impact in this world and she made a 'dent in the universe.' I want people to learn from Val's life story; that life is rarely easy, and that if you set high goals for yourself, you can achieve them by working relentlessly, being persistent, and adapting and overcoming situations when necessary. I want people to know that Val was compassionate, and thoughtful in reaching out to people ahead of her for mentorship, and yet she always remembered to reach behind to offer help and assistance to those coming after her. No matter what she was doing, she made time to care for her family and friends and make people feel special. The most wonderful thing about this book is that after reading it, people will know all of this about Val!"
Cappelaere added: "From this book, people should be able to take away Val's mighty motto: 'Adapt and Overcome!' and they will learn to use it in their own lives."
One hundred percent of the book's proceeds will go to the Wings For Val Foundation, which Cappelaere said since its inception in 2015, has awarded 29 scholarships worth over $106,000 to young women who want to become pilots.
"Wings for Val: Memoir of a Young Female Pilot" is available on Amazon.
About "Wings for Val: Memoir of a Young Female Pilot"
Navy Lieutenant Valerie Cappelaere Delaney (simply known as Val) describes her life trials and struggles, including self-esteem issues, being bullied, hanging with the wrong crowd, and her ultimate decision to "adapt and overcome" - to become something spectacular - a US Navy jet pilot! Val takes the reader on a wild ride as she recounts growing up as the middle child of three daughters, attending the US Naval Academy, and completing arduous flight training, while teaching readers that with prayer, love of God, family, and friends - anything is possible through hard work and perseverance. The book is now available on Amazon in paperback and hardcover.
Marie Lazzara, JJR Marketing, 630-400-3361, [email protected]
SOURCE JJR Marketing