Texas Wing Cadets Tells Board of Governors About CAP's Positive Impact
San Antonio, Texas — Three Texas Wing cadets and the wing's director of cadet programs appeared before Civil Air Patrol's Board of Governors this morning in San Antonio to give moving and inspirational testimonials regarding the impact of CAP's Cadet Programs on their lives.
Cadet Maj. Warren Friedrichs, 16, a member of the Randolph Composite Squadron, described how his participation in December in Medical Orientation School at Lonestar Emergency Services Academy influenced him to explore a medical career.
The four-year CAP member said he aspires to become an emergency medical technician and paramedic when he is eligible to undergo training. In the meantime, he enjoys teaching fellow cadets ground team skills, having become interested in emergency services while participating in a 2014 Virginia Wing search and rescue exercise and learning that he enjoyed teaching.
"CAP has pushed me out of my shell," he told the BoG members and others in attendance. "I enjoy teaching and training junior cadets."
Cadet Maj. Christopher Baker, 17, is cadet commander of the David Lee "Tex" Hill Composite Squadron - the fastest-growing unit with the best retention rate in Texas Wing Group 5 - as well as Group 5 Cadet Advisory Council chairman. A CAP member for 2 1/2 years, last summer he participated in both the Blue Beret national activity at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and in the Undergraduate Pilot Training Familiarization Course at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.
"Back then I didn't have aspirations to be a part of the armed forces, but I do now," Baker said. A freshman working on mathematics degree at Thomas Edison State University in Trenton, New Jersey, he hopes to obtain a doctorate in meteorology and wants to be a tornado chaser.
"Aerospace has helped me," he said. "It's all about weather." He expects to obtain his pilot's certificate by August.
"I didn't know CAP would change my life in such a huge and positive way," said Baker, who has three family members in CAP. "I have used everything I have learned to help me improve my character and the experiences and character of the cadets I work with. CAP has changed my life for the better."
Cadet Maj. Joseph Korona, 21, is also cadet commander of his unit, the Thunderbolt Composite Squadron, and is Group 2 chairman for the wing's Cadet Advisory Council. During his 4 1/2 years in CAP he has participated in five National Cadet Special Activities, including the International Air Cadet Exchange - he visited the United Kingdom - and specialized undergraduate pilot training.
"CAP has helped me to learn to give back to the community and to build interpersonal skills. I used to be shy," said Korona, who has his pilot's certificate and wants to become a commercial pilot and ultimately a pilot with the Air Force Reserves.
"If it weren't for CAP I wouldn't have my pilot's license or be digging into an aviation career," he said.
"CAP has made me the person I am today."
"I hope to teach others what it means to honor people. My teachers have seen a change in me since I became involved in CAP."
He told the BoG members, "Thank you for giving me the building blocks to help me build my life."
Lt. Col. James Peace, wing director of cadet programs, joined CAP at 17. He pursued an Air Force commission but had to give up that goal after being diagnosed as diabetic.
He later rejoined CAP as an adult, he said, because "I remembered my time in CAP."
"Being able to serve in some capacity and the chance to give back and repay what CAP did for me as a cadet" motivated him to get involved in the cadet program as a senior member, Peace said.
He became a schoolteacher, and he chartered a new school-based united - the East Houston Cadet Squadron - that started with 35 cadets and now has 173 members.
"This is our future," he told the BoG, referencing Friedrichs, Baker and Korona. "CAP makes a huge impact on their lives."
About Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force's Total Force, which consists of regular Air Force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve, along with Air Force retired military and civilian employees. CAP, in its Total Force role, operates a fleet of 550 aircraft and performs about 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 78 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol's 56,000 members nationwide also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. Its members additionally play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to more than 24,000 young people currently participating in the CAP cadet program. Performing missions for America for the past 75 years, CAP received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 in honor of the heroic efforts of its World War II veterans. CAP also participates in Wreaths Across America, an initiative to remember, honor and teach about the sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. Visit www.gocivilairpatrol.com for more information.
Lt. Col. Ron Diana, CAP
Squadron Commander & Public Affairs Officer
David Lee "Tex" Hill Composite Squadron, SWR-TX-435, Texas Wing
(512) 710-8435 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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