2/6/2014 12:41:00 PM Letter: Cottonwood Civil Air Patrol a true value for young people
In recent years, there has been a lot of planning for the teens and youth of the Verde Valley with the introduction of the Cottonwood Boys and Girls Club and now a new teen center on the horizon. However, I would like to notify the parents that there is a program that is structured, fun and can prepare their child for a career in aviation. This is the Cottonwood Civil Air Patrol.
In the late 1930s, more than 150,000 volunteers with a love for aviation argued for an organization to put their planes and flying skills to use in defense of their country. As a result, the Civil Air Patrol was born one week prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
Thousands of volunteer members answered America's call to national service and sacrifice by accepting and performing critical wartime missions. Assigned to the War Department under the jurisdiction of the Army Air Corps, the contributions of Civil Air Patrol, including logging more than 500,000 flying hours, sinking two enemy submarines, and saving hundreds of crash victims during World War II, are well documented.
After the war, a thankful nation understood that Civil Air Patrol could continue providing valuable services to both local and national agencies. On July 1, 1946, President Harry Truman signed Public Law 476 incorporating Civil Air Patrol as a benevolent, nonprofit organization. On May 26, 1948, Congress passed Public Law 557 permanently establishing Civil Air Patrol as the auxiliary of the new U.S. Air Force. Three primary mission areas were set forth at that time: aerospace education, cadet programs, and emergency services.
Since my son (who is a current student at Cottonwood Middle School) has joined the Civil Air Patrol, he has been involved with several community service projects, flown planes with a pilot and is looking forward to be involved in the Air Force summer camp. Every Tuesday night he goes to the Cottonwood Airport and practices military drill and has fun learning and socializing with other youth interested in a career in aerospace sciences or the U.S. Air Force. Uniforms are earned and provided by the U.S. Air Force. Approximately 5% of applicants to the U.S. Air Force Academy were former members of the Civil Air Patrol and are selected for the time they spent in the program while in high school.
Currently this "diamond in the rough" program is in need of two things, one more interested youth that want to join and funds to support their program to pay for air time, fuel, camps and other activities.
This program is one of the best programs for the youth in the Verde Valley. Anyone interested in making a donation or joining this program, can contact Maj. Hurley @ 1-928-821-0532 for more information.