It has been a whirlwind few months since the Civil Air Patrol KY225 Elkhorn Cadet Squadron was officially chartered.
They have been getting outfitted in uniforms, taking classes and forming the foundation of their unit. On Saturday, the community got to see firsthand what the Civil Air Patrol is all about at its first Open House.
A couple hundred people came out to the Georgetown-Scott County Regional Airport to learn about CAP’s missions and activities.
“I’ve been very impressed with the turnout from the community,” said Lt. Col. Jaimie Henson, Group IV Commander. “I would call this a huge success, especially for their first one.”
Denise Manari, deputy commander of the Elkhorn Squadron, was also pleased with the attendance. About a half dozen students expressed interest in joining Civil Air Patrol.
“This has been a good community response,” she said. “I am so proud of the cadets. They have been learning what CAP is all about, and everyone has jumped in and helped each other get this event ready.”
Cadets were manning various tables highlighting the missions the Civil Air Patrol undertakes, including search and rescue and STEM studies.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the students,” sad Stephanie Lowry, a parent of a cadet. “We were disappointed when the Jr. Air Force ROTC program was disbanded, but the Civil Air Patrol has been fantastic. It takes service and character to the next level, and is perfect for a child like mine.”
U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, Georgetown Mayor Tom Prather, County Judge-Executive Joe Pat Covington and state Veterans Affairs Commissioner Ben Adams were on hand as well.
“It’s always a pleasure talking to young people who are active and doing things like this,” Adams said. “This lets me know the youth of today are the future of this nation.”
“It is important to celebrate all of the young people’s interest in CAP and possible military careers,” Barr said. “CAP has an important mission in youth development.”
There was one couple whom could attest to the impact Civil Air Patrol can have on lives. Paul and Judy Licato have served in Civil Air Patrol themselves.
“Kids can learn a lot about themselves and responsibility,” said Judy. “They learn how to be a team player and all do a different job.”
“When it comes to flying and missions, it has to be done right every time and that is what they teach,” Paul added.
Steve McClain can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.