If you’re like most people, when you hear the words, Civil Air Patrol, you think of search and rescue guys looking for crash victims or helping after tornadoes or fires. And, you would be right.
But, did you know children as young as 12 years old can become a cadet?
From its beginning, the Civil Air Patrol has served America valiantly. During World War II, they were called “Minutemen” and logged more than half-a-million flying hours, sinking two enemy submarines, and saving hundreds of crash victims.
Officially, the Civil Air Patrol is a “volunteer, non-profit auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. Its three missions are to develop its cadets, educate Americans on the importance of aviation and space, and perform life-saving humanitarian missions.”
Did you catch that word, “volunteer?” That’s what impressed me most when I conducted a media workshop recently at the Oklahoma Civil Air Patrol Wing Conference at the Reed Center in Midwest City.
I thought I knew what the Civil Air Patrol was all about. After all, I’m the wife of a retired Air Force master sergeant and I know a thing or two about the military — especially the Air Force. While I knew the mechanics of the organization, I didn’t fully understand the true dedication shown by cadets, members and maybe most importantly, by those tireless volunteers. Many are parents of cadets that want to be involved in their child’s interests, and many are businessmen, civic leaders, factory workers and others who want to devote their time and energy to a noble cause.
I salute these men and women who take time out of their busy schedules to help shape the mind of future everyday heroes.
Looking for something to keep your children occupied this summer? Something productive? Something life-changing, character-building, pride-inducing, and self-esteem-boosting? Face it, the latest video game won’t accomplish anything. Encourage your children to aspire to something bigger than themselves. Check out the Oklahoma Civil Air Patrol at www.cap.gov, or by calling 736-6044.