When I was in fifth grade, I played softball, little girls softball team. I did good. In sixth grade, I wanted to play for the next league up, I was old enough and I was good enough but they had enough so they said sorry you have to stay where you’re at. But my father actually said, do you want to play boy’s little league? And I said sure, why not. And so at a very early age, with my father’s help I learned that there doesn’t have to be any barriers between the girls and the boys or the men and the women. He taught me to be very independent. If there is something that I wanted to do there should be no reason why I couldn’t do it.
I was a tomboy. Always interested in sports. I don’t not remember not being interested in flying helicopters as a little girl. I’d go to the library and check out books. My hero when I was in grade school was Leonardo DaVinci, one for the art side but also for his helicopter designs. In high school, I still had that desire but I also realized that I wanted to do something else: whether it was a fireman, a paramedic. I really wanted to have some sort of an adventurous job that meant something. Not just to go to work and not contribute. I always wanted to be someone to do the right thing, to be fair and honest, and to stick up for the little guys.
Putting the bad guys away. Right. And the FBI is very successful in doing that. But there are times when we don’t. You just try to think back to what we could have done better. I know one of the cases that the tech agents in Dallas worked, it was a kidnapping. A boy had been kidnapped. And we were doing everything we needed to do. We were putting the traces on the phone calls at the parents’ house. We were informing SWAT. SWAT was doing what they needed to do. And we were all working toward getting this child back. And SWAT went in, we got the information, we got the phone calls, we traced it. So they went forward and we put tracking devices on the case with the money. All the typical stuff you would think of. And we get there and we find where the child is and we go in and the child was dead. And that was very devastating to me and to my co-workers because we couldn’t stop thinking of what we could have done differently. And this was earlier on in my career. And it also made me realize the importance of my job and that someone’s life could be at stake if I don’t do the right thing. So it really was, you got to take your job seriously because someone could get killed or get seriously hurt because you don’t.