Release #09.047
August 5, 2009

Capt. Valerie Thal-Slocum Receives ALPA’s Presidential Citation
Moscow, Tenn., Pilot Recognized for Compassionate Support of Pilots and Families

WASHINGTON—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), will recognize FedEx Express Capt. Valerie Thal-Slocum with its 2008 Presidential Citation for her outstanding efforts to assist pilots and their families in times of crisis. The award will be presented today during ALPA’s 55th Air Safety Week in Washington, D.C.

In more than a decade of work with ALPA’s Critical Incident Response Program (CIRP), Capt. Thal-Slocum has made significant contributions to the physical and emotional well-being of cockpit crewmembers at Federal Express and nationwide.

“Capt. Thal-Slocum is the consummate peer support volunteer,” said Capt. John Prater, ALPA’s president. “She has a unique insight into how to approach and support people in stress, and numerous pilots, family members, and others have benefited from her understanding and compassion.”

Capt. Thal-Slocum has worked extensively to deepen cooperation among ALPA, airline management, and the International Critical Incident Response Foundation, both as the FDX CIRP chairman and as a member of ALPA’s National Pilot Assistance Committee. She helped her company rewrite its policies for employee death notification and transportation, coordinated the CIRP response to numerous crewmembers hospitalized while on layovers, and has personally counseled the relatives of several families of FDX crewmembers killed in accidents.

“Capt. Thal-Slocum’s dedication showed through in exemplary fashion during our recent accident in Japan in April of this year,” said Capt. Scott Stratton, FedEx Master Executive Council chairman. “She and her committee members responded to support the families and friends of the pilots involved, and their efforts were invaluable. This shining example was but one of many over the last decade. We congratulate Capt. Thal-Slocum on receiving the Presidential Citation, one of ALPA’s highest awards.”

In addition to her direct support of ALPA members, Capt. Thal-Slocum is a respected CIRP coordinator, sharing her knowledge with fire and rescue first responders and non-ALPA pilot groups.

“I speak for all of ALPA’s members when I commend Capt. Thal-Slocum for her extraordinary dedication and service in always being there to help the ALPA family when crisis strikes,” said Capt. Prater.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilots union, representing nearly 54,000 pilots at 36 airlines in the United States and Canada.

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Contact: Linda Shotwell or Rusty Ayers, 703/481-4440 or