Graduate To Land Military Helicopter on Campus

January 20, 2004

Army Capt. Sherri Sharpe, a 1999 Mary Baldwin graduate, will pilot a Army helicopter from Fort Stuart in Savannah, Georgia, to Mary Baldwin’s lower athletic field Thursday afternoon. The public is invited to talk with Sharpe — who flew combat duty in Afghanistan and Iraq — and tour the large aircraft between 2:30 and 4 p.m.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom, Sharpe shuttled supplies, including food, water, ammunition and mail, from Kuwait into neighboring Iraq. She volunteered for the dangerous assignment, which sometimes included transporting soldiers and Marines killed in action back from the front lines.

In April, Sharpe was profiled on NBC’s “Today Show” as part of a segment on women in the war effort. Sharpe, a member of the first graduating class of the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership, flies a Chinook, the U. S. Army’s largest helicopter.

Sharpe, a native of Martinsville, Virginia, has been back in the states for less than a year, said Brig. Gen. Mike Bissell, VWIL commandant of cadets. She is scheduled to land at the college at approximately noon. “She is a great mentor for the young women in the corps,” Bissell said. “Her success in such a short period of time demonstrates to them that they can follow their ambitions.”