Posthumous honor for fallen Air Force 1st Lt.

I never had the pleasure to meet Air Force 1st Lt. Roslyn Schulte during her life, yet I continue to be in awe of this extraordinary young woman who, at the age of 25, was killed in May in Afghanistan when a roadside bomb struck her vehicle as she was on her way to an intelligence sharing meeting. After she died her family, including her parents, Robert and Susie Schulte of Ladue, and her only sibling, Todd, generously shared stories with me about Lt. Schulte’s many accomplishments, some of which were “firsts” for women in the U.S. Air Force. Unfortunately, she also was the first female graduate of the Air Force Academy to be killed by an enemy combatant.

However over last weekend, Lt. Schulte achieved an impressive first posthumously, in becoming the first woman to be awarded the National Intelligence Medal for Valor. Mind you, only four others have received this honor before her.


The Schultes, along with their son and other family and friends were in the Washington, D.C. area last weekend to accept the medal on Lt. Schulte’s behalf, which was presented by Dennis C. Blair, Director of National Intelligence. Blair noted that in only three months of duty in Afghanistan, Lt. Schulte “made a far-reaching impact on how intelligence was taught and shared with the Afghan National Army. She was wise beyond her 25 years, and respected as a leader by all those around her – from general to airman to Afghan tribal leader – regardless of the branch of service, regardless of nationality.”

Those of you interested in Blair’s comments and the ceremony, can go to for a look.

“Roz’s was the last medal to be presented. There was polite applause for all the others but then everyone stood up with hers so it was very humbling,” said Robert Schulte, who added that rarely a week goes by without he and his wife receiving letters, sometimes from strangers, who were so impressed with Lt. Schulte and wanted to write.

Even in death, Lt. Roslyn Schulte continues to amaze, and there is no doubt that her remarkableness is her legacy. It was noted at the ceremony that she was so concerned about the Afghan people, she spent three hours nearly every day organizing a charity for Afghan refugees. At Camp Pawan, a U.S. training facility in Afghanistan, a building has been named the Schulte School and Clinic in her honor.

* Do mean girls become meaner women? That is among the many questions psychologists Joan Rosenberg and Erika Holiday tackle in their new book, “Mean Girls, Meaner Women, Understanding Why Women Backstab, Betray and Trash Talk Each Other and How to Heal.”

Rosenberg, 54, who graduated from Ladue Horton Watkins High School in 1973, was visiting from Los Angeles a few days ago — her mother lives in Creve Coeur – and doing publicity for the book. It outlines why girls, and later women, often hurt one another, as it explains, among other things, how the female brain is wired to be “relational” and suffer more hurt, and how society’s view of femininity, and the way in which many girls are socialized, can be confining.

“The main message is that it’s really important for women to be authentic with each other,” says Rosenberg. “Women use meanness as a coping strategy. Women are not socialized to experience or express what we might call difficult or hard feelings of competition, anger, aggression, envy and jealousy. We either suppress them or turn them inward and develop eating disorders and other self-destructive behaviors or we turn them against each other and act hateful.

“Women should be able to comfortably feel what they feel and think what they think but express themselves in a more direct, kind and well-intentioned manner. Then once they’re done, let it go.”

For what it’s worth, Rosenberg seemed like a very nice woman – not mean at all. If you want to learn more about her book, go to

* The other day a bunch of us were talking about how Israel has emerged as a true hero in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, wasting no time getting into the country and establishing the most sophisticated field hospital now operating in Port-au-Prince.

So far Israeli doctors and medics have treated thousands of people, performed dozens of emergency operations and delivered several babies, one of them named Israel by his thankful mother.

For a look at the Israeli effort and reaction to it, go to

* Shout out to six members of the Washington University 2009 NCAA Division III national runner-up women’s soccer team and senior Nat Zenner of the men’s soccer team for being named to the Jewish Sports Review All-America Soccer Team. Seniors Becca Heymann, Caryn Rosoff and Libby Held joined freshman goalkeeper Clara Jaques on the first-team, while sophomores Rachel Haas and Lee Ann Felder were named honorable mention by the publication. Zenner was named to the men’s first-team. Go Bears!