Wally Funk has contributed to her country in a unique way. The requirements of the recipient of the DAR Community Service Award must be one who has contributed to the community in an outstanding manner through cultural, educational, humanitarian, patriotic, historical, citizenship, or environmental conservation endeavors. If we analyze these requirements and those of Wally’s life we are able to see a strong parallel between the two. Wally always loved being free as a bird-flying through the air and studying nature at its best. She started off this way jumping off her family’s barn and while this is not a recommended way to start a career that would lead her to love of space flight, it did show her love of beautiful earth and her love of flight. She ended up being one of the first women chosen as a candidate for astronaut testing for the space program in 1961-she ended up being one of the Mercury 13 astronaut candidates.
Through a career of serving her country, Ms. Funk has continued to give of her talent and time. Because of this she received the Veterans of Foreign Wars Aeronautics and Aerospace Award, a Gold Medal, and Citation. This humanitarian has spent numerous hours volunteering and training pilots with a total of over 2000 hours. Wally’s love of students and adults who are interested in the educational and historical background of America’s quest for space exploration leads her to give lectures and provide programs for all interested groups. Daughters of the American Revolution have benefited from Ms. Funk’s generosity of time and expertise. They all get a wonderful treat of touching space through her eyes and descriptive talks. Wally’s love of the planet’s outer limits also makes her aware of its environmental and conservational consequences. She is quick to bring us down to earth reminding us of the consequences of environmental forgetfulness. She is recognized as an expert on aviation safety, presenting programs on the subject both in the United States and abroad. Ms. Funk has been a pioneer for women in aviation having set standards for flying all along the way, as a pilot, flying instructor, and an astronaut-in-training. When she wasn’t in the air, she was encouraging young women to reach for their dreams Wally Funk’s pride and devotion to our country is contagious-she is a citizen always participating in her community while bringing people into the realm of a space odyssey. She is truly a Goodwill Ambassador and a recipient of the DAR Community Service Award.