CAP open house recruits new members

Photograph by Linda KC Reynolds

Civil Air Patrol cadets Kiralynn Wallis and Ian Hinds speak with potential members during an open house at William J. Fox Airfield in Lancaster, Calif. The 75-year-old organization provides aerospace education, search and rescue and various youth programs, building the nation’s finest force of citizen volunteers serving America.

The Civil Air Patrol held an open house April 3 at William J. Fox Airfield in Lancaster, Calif., to familiarize their new recruits who signed up during the Los Angeles County Air Show, which was also held at the airport.

An Auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, CAP provides search and rescue missions, aid and comfort in times of disaster, and works to keep the homeland safe.

Its 56,000 members devote their time, energy and expertise toward the well-being of their communities, while also promoting aviation and related fields through aerospace/STEM education. CAP helps shape future leaders through its cadet program, explained Maj. Gailmary Harper, Edwards AFB Composite Squadron 84.

Kiralynn Wallis, 14, signed up for CAP two years ago, at an air show. Coming from a long line of those serving in law enforcement, Wallis said she is planning on becoming a homicide detective. With CAP’s core values based on integrity, volunteerism, excellence and respect, Wallis said, “CAP prepares you for so many things. Everyone is very encouraging and I’ve learned so much through this program. I think all kids need to join,” she said, adding that whether a person has a direction in life or not, “CAP will definitely help you.” Members also go on camping trips to help prepare them for rescue missions, while having fun developing team-building skills.

John Demedio, 47, said he joined CAP about six months ago while looking for something to get his children, ages seven and nine, involved in. They fell short of the 12 year minimum age limit, but that didn’t stop Demedio from signing up to help with search and rescue missions and put his pilot skills to good use. “It is a great organization with people of all ages pitching in to help others. You don’t have to have aspirations to join the military to become a member, just to serve,” said Demedio.

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