Rescuers : Captain Lauren Ross

It is really hard for people to imagine what it’s like as an Air Force pilot. Most people have only flown in commercial airliners. This movie will give them an amazing opportunity to come fly with me, to see what I see. I have the best job in the world and I am really excited to share it with people, especially children that might have an interest in aviation like I did when I was young. I love sharing the joy of my job with school-aged children so they can imagine themselves in my shoes … or combat boots. I started out just like them, a little girl with a big dream.

Captain Lauren Ann Ross was born in Valdosta, Georgia on September 28, 1981, to parents James and Cynthia Baize. As a child, she moved every three years because her father was an Air Force F15 pilot. Her fondest memories of her childhood were with her older brother Jonathan and their parents, exploring the places they lived. They sled down the White Sand Dunes of Alamogordo, New Mexico, learned to Scuba dive in the reefs and shipwrecks off the coast of Okinawa, Japan and enjoyed the waterfalls and beaches of Oahu, Hawaii. Lauren’s family moved to Texas when she was sixteen years old, where she attended Burkburnett High School. She attributes her involvement in volleyball, basketball, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, Peer Assistant Leadership, and Student Council to helping her earn a Congressional appointment to the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado. There, Lauren achieved a Bachelor of Science in Humanities while competing in Division 1 volleyball and club water polo. She was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force in 2005. As a cadet, she met her future husband, Christopher Ross, and they were married shortly after graduation. She attended pilot training at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi where she earned her pilot wings in 2007 as the Distinguished Graduate.

Lauren and her husband both currently fly the C-17A Globemaster III as members of the 21st Airlift Squadron, stationed at Travis Air Force Base, California. She is a C-17A Aircraft Commander and Executive Officer with over 700 combat hours. She has been deployed into combat twice, earning four Air Medals as well as Iraq and Afghanistan Campaign Medals. Lauren was selected to play on the 2009 Air Force Volleyball team and they won the silver medal at the All Armed Forces Championship. She is currently working towards a Masters degree in Business Administration. Lauren has coordinated field trips to share the C-17 with children and recently flew an American flag into combat in honor of the students of Bethany Lutheran Elementary School.