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Rosemary Chapa
Military Spouse & Government Employee
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Rosemary Chapa
Attack Location: Pentagon
Age: 63
Home: Springfield, Virginia

RM Chapa PHOTO

The visiting Italian air chief couldn't find his uniform. Surely, the U.S. Air Force had lost it, he complained, and, deplorably, forced him to attend meetings in a business suit.

The evening of his complaint, Rosemary Chapa, an Air Force protocol officer, took the man's aide to Andrews Air Force Base, where they found the man's uniform in his official plane.

The Italian general later apologized to Chapa. She thanked him but added that more amends had to be made. The next morning, he apologized to her boss, the Air Force chief of staff.

Chapa, 63, of Springfield, recounted the story in a job application a few months ago.

While growing up in Texas, Chapa used to say that someday she wanted to work at the Pentagon, which she regarded as the most powerful place in the country.

Despite the lack of a college degree and the roles women in her Latino family traditionally took, she succeeded on raw determination: She was a few months from retirement at the Defense Intelligence Agency when she died Tuesday, having   worked for more than a decade in the building she loved.

But she had also been devoted to her large family: husband, Javier, five children, her elderly father, four siblings, five grandchildren and two dogs.

On Tuesday morning, right before the hijacked plane hit the Pentagon, she left a phone message for her youngest daughter, Elza, 32, who plans to get married in December. "Hi, darling," she said, "give me a call."

"I miss her more deeply than words can express," Elza wrote in an e-mail to a reporter Saturday night. "She was my best friend. And although she will not be here for my wedding physically, she will walk with me always through life."

-- Michael E. Ruane



CHAPA, JOSE JAVIER
A2C   US AIR FORCE
DATE OF BIRTH: 12/12/1932
DATE OF DEATH: 07/08/2005
BURIED AT: SECTION 5-M3  ROW 9  SITE 3
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
   
CHAPA, ROSA MARIA
DATE OF BIRTH: 04/06/1938
DATE OF DEATH: 09/11/2001
BURIED AT: SECTION 5-M3  ROW 9  SITE 3
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
WIFE OF CHAPA, JOSE JAVIER, A2C US AIR FORCE

Posted: 18 November 2001 Updated: 26 May 2003 Updated: 1 February 2006
United We Stand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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