The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

Memories Of Heroes Create Resilient People

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Monday, May 30, 2016
Featured Image

I think heroes are people who look for opportunities bigger than themselves. They put themselves on the line to benefit others. And it often comes with no fanfare, no thank you, no awards and no money.

The pay is felt in the heart. And in the memory.

Meet Bev Beesmeyer, Women’s Air Force Pilot WWII. She was my Mom’s classmate when they trained at the AF base in Sweetwater, Texas. She is among the less-than-100 living WASP who collectively flew 60 million air miles of domestic wartime duty, flying every plane in the U.S. arsenal. Bev flew the B-26 bomber called the Marauder, towing targets for gunnery practice with live ammunition. It was not without hazard. Thirty two WASP died in the course of duty but because they were not considered official military, there were no benefits and in at least one case, the women passed the hat to send the body home to the parents.

Unceremoniously disbanded in 1944, the Air Force refused to let women back in the cockpits of military planes for 30 years! Bev (affectionately called Beezy) left to work in an airport—doing anything to keep herself close to flying. In the course of her 97 years, she’s delivered planes, been a fight instructor, ran a string of employment agencies, and retired to Marina del Rey, driving speed boats and then Leisure World to take up golfing and her love of painting.

Despite the loss of her partner, breast cancer, hearing loss and macular degeneration, Beezy still lives alone with day time caregivers. Through all these adventures and losses, Beezy has remained a resilient, upbeat soul. She turns her head to one side, peers out of what’s left of her vision and paints through a gigantic magnifying glass.

But mention “plane” and she’s ready to be taken out to the flight line in her wheel chair. Just last week, she was assisted into an AT-6 and taken up where the pilot let her do some acrobatics.

She’s a hero to me—for what she did and continues to do. She has appeared on numerous panels and was a prime subject in the PBS special We Served Too, the Movie.

To all the women and men who served us then as now, a grateful nation salutes you.

PS: In 2010, the WASP were finally awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for their service.

Beezy (in uniform) and my mom!

Share This Post

Like this post? Please share it!

< Back to All Posts


Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

View all posts by Eileen

Subscribe to My Blog!

Like My Blog?

Please share it!

Recents Posts




Sustainability Charity Education Energy teams Technology Employee Attitude Mark Scharenbroich Option B Happiness Building Resilience Labor Day Bullying Thanksgiving customer service Book Reviews goals Children Memorial Day Patriots Survive Your Resiliency GPS holidays Diversity Laughter Humanity Volunteer John Blumberg angels women in leadership Superbowl love Walk For Hunger Tornadoes in Texas Sexual Harassment The Last Jedi Intentions Breathe LGBTQ resilient leaders Leadership Skills More Fun at Work Vacation Back To School Persuasion Marriage Alzheimer's Jewish Married Corporate Culture Human Interaction cancer Spelling Bee Animals Content Generation creativity Guns resilience civil discourse Road Trip Optimism Gifts From The Mountain Napping employee retention Strangers Networking WASP Sales Stress Energizing Others Depression Trust Disrupt New Year resolutions Seder Eve Dogs Career Advice Motivating Others Suddenly Single Women Interview Faith Aging Nursing Relationships Play Hurricane Harvey Kindness Twas The Night Before Christmas Listening Multi-tasking Adventure preresilience Postive Work Environment waiting Radical Resiliency Environtment Branding Breath ecology Empathy Speaking Adaptability coaching Yoga stuck Soft Skills e-mail Hurricane Irma Deloitte Siblings Meetings gratitude Writing Bill Treasurer Engaged Workers servant leadership Arlington Cemetary Henry VIII Leaders Open Doors Book Boston Marathon Ownership Learned Optimism Christmas earthquakes Office Celebrations USAA Communication Emotional Intelligence Disruption St. Patrick's Day resiliency U.S.A.A. Travel work life balance Fun Work Environment Idea Voting Girls Energizing Reshaping the Brain Loss Ecotourism employees Politics Change Sheryl Sandberg Exercise Positive Brain Repatterning Mother's Day Divorce Talk Ain't Cheap Book Adam Grant Feedback Burnout conscience Humor Spirit Family Sleeping Art Climate Change Social Media resilient organizations Honoring Veterans John Havlik