Cultural Revolutions

Peyton Place

Peyton Place is the name of the North Dakota bar where First Lieutenant Kelly Flinn went to relax, and the name sums up her case very well. It has been a soap opera all through. And as often happens in the soaps, the worst characters prove to be the most popular. Thanks to her healthy good looks, her position as a female ground-breaker, her well-connected attorney, and an effective p.r. campaign which garnered her friends in Congress and supportive mail from a half-informed public, Flinn has retained her freedom if not her Air Force career.

Court-martialed for disobedience, lying, adultery, and fraternization (the last for a brief tryst with a Senior Airman), Flinn was given the relatively light punishment of a genera] discharge. Her career as the first woman B-52 pilot is over. Denied the honorable discharge she sought, she will probably not be allowed to fly for the Reserves, and she will have to pay back one-year's worth of Academy tuition, about $18,000. But considering that all the charges made against her seem to be true, and that she faced a possible prison term of nine and a half years, she has been fortunate.

In an effort to deflect criticism for prosecuting Flinn for her private life, Air Force Chief of Staff General Ronald Fogleman said the case was really about lying and insubordination, not "the adultery thing." Yet adultery is a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice because it is a...

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