about Donna

blog.Whatever I do, I do for the glory of God; not that I have already attained this but that I press on toward that for which Christ took hold of me (paraphrase of 1 Cor 10:31, Phil 3:13-14)

mile 56 in the SC Half Ironman

Mile 56 in the SC Half

Donna is a freelance writer whose tales of the front lines have been published in the National Endowment for the Arts’ books Operation Homecoming (2004) and Grace Under Fire (2007), in Officer Christian Fellowship’s “Command” magazine (2003, 2011) and in Columbia International University’s “Connection” magazine (2008). Her online publications include an article for PCAnews.com (2003) and several devotionals for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (“EVERYTHING In It” and “Fix My Eyes”, 2008). She also maintains this semi-active blog.

More recently, Christian Camp and Conference Association (CCCA) published her article on Collaborative Leadership. She also researched and created a two-week leadership camp program from Camp Cedarbrook, then helped teach it with resounding success.

After four years skiing and working in Summit County, Colorado, Donna was commissioned onto the Air Force, where she served four adventurous years flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon during which she logged many hours of combat time in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She was then chosen as the first woman to fly the F-117 Stealth Fighter. After she met and married Slick, she transitioned to the AF Reserves as an Academy Liaison Officer for the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO, from which she retired in 2017.

As a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), Donna taught flying at various points along their journey. She also earned a degree in Biblical Exposition (teaching and preaching the Bible) from Columbia International University seminary. An avid triathlete, she was the top female amateur triathlete in South Carolina in the Set-Up Events series in 2007 and 2008, and used triathlon as a platform for ministry through Fellowship of Christian Athletes – Endurance.

The arrival of her first daughter Zoe in 2009, whose name refers to God’s gift of life,  impacted her sports but she has yet to stop racing – and winning. Donna believes that Zoe was God’s blessing in response to her hard-won submission to Him regarding children.  Now, she wouldn’t have it any other way. Children are truly a blessing from heart of Love Himself.

Conceived in France, gestated in Kenya and born in South Carolina, Matilda “Matti” Grace arrived in 2012. She seemed to be God’s affirmation of Donna’s decision to pour her life into the next generation instead of flying for Africa Inland Mission, though she had completed all the required training for mission aviation, to include a thrilling mountain flying course with Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in Idaho and an immensely fun sea plane rating in Florida. In Palau, she occasionally filled in for Slick in the cockpit of PMA‘s twin engine Islander.

Unique even in childbirth, Donna brought Gwendolyn “Gwendi” Joy into the world in the back of Slick’s SUV outside the hospital in Misawa, Japan. That wasn’t the plan but God couldn’t have arranged it more perfectly, given the situation. Now Donna focuses on raising the girls, sometimes flying and still racing, thanks to Slick’s support on those fronts.

Prior to enrolling in seminary, Donna was an active duty Air Force Captain, where she became the first woman to fly the F-117 Stealth Fighter. She had previously served four adventurous years flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon during which she logged many hours of combat time in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She now serves in the AF Reserves as an Academy Liaison Officer for the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.

Never the norm, Donna has been featured in “100 Greatest Women in Aviation” (she appears as “Kirby”), in several newspaper articles (El Paso Times and Alamogordo Sun) and an online interview in “Winged Victory, Women in Aviation Web Magazine”. Most recently fellow pilot and writer Pierre-Philippe wrote an article on her called Une Femme Furtive (in English: Une femme furtive – english) that was published in the French magazine Aviasport. She has also been invited to speak to veterans, women and students of all ages.

Courtesy of the El Paso Times

Photo courtesy of the El Paso Times

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Responses

  1. I am sending your link to my youngest daughter Leah, she was 4 when the F117A WST started it’s first week of its operation at HMN, after the move from TTR. She will be pleased to see that a woman got to command the Black Jet, Wow Bandits all – I was part of the PS99 team that maintained the WST {Betty}. Pleased to see you working for the real goals in life.


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