Hear LeAnn’s Operation Babylift Story
As a volunteer for Friends of Children of Vietnam in 1975, LeAnn helped raise money and supplies for the war orphans. In April, she agreed to escort six babies from Saigon to their adoptive homes in the USA.
By the time she arrived in Vietnam, bombs were dropping outside the city! She was greeted with, “Have you heard the news? President Ford has OK’d ‘Operation Babylift’. You’ll help take out not six, but 300 babies!”
LeAnn’s “Operation Babylift” adventure came full circle when, on the 25th anniversary of the airlift, President Gerald Ford asked to meet her.
LeAnn met former First Lady Rosalynn Carter after she wrote a personal forward to Chicken Soup for the Caregiver’s Soul. A portion of that book’s proceeds were donated to the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving. At the invitation of Mrs. Carter, LeAnn presented her ‘Caregiver’s Soul’ keynote at the Institute’s annual conference in Atlanta.
While the “Operation Babylift” experience dramatically changed her life, LeAnn credits her rural roots for having shaped it. One of eight children, she was raised on an Iowa farm. This simple, honorable, faith-filled lifestyle established the principles and priorities that guide her life today.