Kelly Flinn might have been a fine pilot, but she's not much of a writer. That said, her book, Proud to Be
, still manages to hold your interest and elicit your sympathy. Flinn, the first female bomber pilot in the United States Air Force, achieved a different sort of notoriety when she was forced to leave the service in the wake of an affair with a married enlisted man. In the civilian world, stories like Flinn's are a dime a dozen and, though painful for the parties involved, hardly the stuff of national controversy. In the military, however, sex is a hot-button issue. Already racked by the Tailhook scandal a few years ago (for which not a single male participant was punished), the Air Force whipped up a storm of controversy when it threatened Flinn with a court-martial for her adulterous behavior.
Certainly Flinn is not blameless in all this; she admits to her involvement with an enlisted man who was married to an enlisted woman, though Flinn is rather disingenuous when it comes to accepting responsibility for her actions. Nevertheless, the real story behind Kelly Flinn's run-in with the Air Force is less about sex than double standards in the military. Think what you will about Flinn, but her book raises some important and troubling questions about America's military establishment.
The perky adulteress airs her side of the armed forces melodrama.