By Alicia Doyle

The Writer
Specializing in Good News
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Angelica “Angel” Pilato, the first woman Air Force officer to be assigned to manage an officers' club on a fighter pilot base in Thailand, will talk about her experience at the breakfast meeting of the Simi Valley Kiwanis Club on May 21.

"It's a unique story of war told from a woman's perspective,” said Pilato, of Lake Oswego, Oregon. “You won't find another story written by a woman during that time period, except from a couple of nurses.” 

Open to the public, the meeting at 7 a.m. at the Junkyard Cafe in Simi Valley will include free breakfast. Reservations are recommended by May 19.

Pilato’s talk, “How Being Part of History Turned into a Memoir,” will start with events of the 1960s, Pilato’s perspective on it, and what led her to volunteer for the Air Force.

“I review some of the incidents that happened to me as the first woman officer assigned to manage an officers' club – what happened while I was in Southeast Asia on a fighter base with 800 fighter pilots open 24/7,” explained Pilato, a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the United States Air Force and a Vietnam veteran who served on active duty from 1967 to 1972 and retired from the reserves in 1991. 

The author of “Angel's Truck Stop: A Woman's Love, Laughter, and Loss during the Vietnam War," Pilato will also discuss how she started writing her book after years of thinking about it.

“Some of the stories I relate are hilarious and others are heart breaking,” said Pilato. “The audience will be enlightened, entertained and leave with a new perspective of that era.”

A question and answer period will follow Pilato’s talk and autographed copies of her book will be available for sale. Pilato’s books can also be found on Amazon, Kindle and the iPad.

“The United States has been almost silent on the Vietnam war,” said Floyd Martin, of Simi Valley, vice president of Kiwanis.

“Often our returning Vietnam veterans were shamed and remained silent,” continued Martin, adding that the Vietnam wall was one of the first breaks in the silence. 

“The dedication, service, and impact of war on individuals' lives need to be heard,” Martin said. “Angel's story gives a unique woman officer's perspective on this conflict.”

We can all benefit and be inspired by real life stories of others who have faced and overcame huge difficulties, Martin added. 

“Angel's presentation should inspire us all to appreciate and make the most of our lives,” Martin said.

Pilato hopes to stimulate the audience to a new understanding of that time in our U.S. history.

“I hope to give them a glimpse of what a woman did to survive in that environment and remember those that a served gallantly,” she said.


What: Angelica Pilato

When: May 21 at 7 a.m.

Where: Junkyard Café, 2585 Cochran St. in Simi Valley

Reservations are recommended by May 19: 807-5100

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