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Nicole Malachowski has a story of amazing success followed by tragic events to be overcome later in life. She began her success story as a Civil Air Patrol Cadet, then on to the U.S. Air Force Academy, then to become a fighter pilot. She flew in combat over Iraq as a Strike Eagle F-15E pilot. After that she became the first female member of the Thunderbirds, the Air Force flight demonstration team, flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon. Then she went on to be a White House fellow. In her solid career, she set a great example for women, and for men, both in military service and in leadership positions everywhere. 

In what appeared to be an outstanding progression in her military career, she became a Lt Colonel and the commanding officer of the 333rd Fighter Squadron, an F-15E Squadron of elite pilot trainers. But then something entirely unexplainable happened. She began to lose control of her body movements, eventually ending in near total paralysis. After many exams and tests by specialists, continued hospital stays, and failed diagnoses, the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston saved her life when it determined that she had received a tick bite and suffered from severe tick-borne disease. She was unceremoniously medically retired from the Air Force and set about learning to walk and regain her normal functions. In 2020, she was a retired Colonel, still could not read or write well, but could speak. In an astounding display of resilience, or as she prefers – resurgence, she continues to present her unique story as a popular motivational speaker enjoying great success. 


Contact and more:

Nicole M.


Cadet Kenzie Kubitschek used her grant to participate in the 2021 Texas Glider Academy, a summer cadet special activity.



Cadet Colonel Brendon Todd, Jr. of the Mesa Verde Cadet Squadron used his Foundation grant to attend the 2018 Southwest Region Flight Academy and solo in a Cessna 172 aircraft.



PHOTO: The Jeffco Senior Squadron


The Jeffco Senior Squadron used its Foundation grant to provide cadet orientation flights to cadet squadrons in its area and to provide aircrew proficiency exercises to train its senior crews in use of the G1000 avionics package , direction finder equipment, and search techniques.  

The Mesa Verde Cadet Squadron used its 2018 Foundation grant to fund continuation of its robotics program for cadets.

The Thompson Valley Composite Squadron used its Foundation grant for color guard equipment for its trained cadet honor guard members to provide professional honor guard services for the community. 

The Mile High Cadet Squadron used its Foundation grant to obtain and launch a weather balloon to 95,000 feet. 

The Boulder Composite Squadron used its 2020 Foundation grant to support purchase of drones for unit training toward full mission capability in the use of unmanned aerial systems. 

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