Female Helicopter Pilot Took on the Taliban—and the Pentagon: Mary Jennings Hegar, a former helicopter pilot for the U.S. Air National Guard, is only the second woman, after Amelia Earhart, to get the Distinguished Flying Cross with a Valor Device. So it’s not that surprising that Angelina Jolie is in talks to play Hegar in the movie version of her new memoir, Shoot Like A Girl.
When National Geographic caught up with Hegar by phone at her home in Austin, Texas, the Purple Heart recipient explained why she sued the Pentagon, how she would never have become a pilot if her mother had not left an abusive husband, and how, in 2009, in Afghanistan, everything she had prepared for came together when her chopper was hit by the Taliban.
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