You probably heard of the Tyler Civil Air Patrol, but many of us couldn't really describe exactly what it is they do.

I wanted to share a bit more about the mission and work of the Tyler Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, because you, like I was, may be unfamiliar with the scope of what they do in our communities.
After meeting some of the squadron at the airport, I learned enough to want to learn more. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with 2nd Lt. Clara Landrum and we chatted more in depth about the organization.
One of the first things we discussed was the mission of the organization which is
"to develop young men and women (ages 12-18/21) into the leaders of tomorrow by providing training in leadership, aerospace, emergency services, communications, fitness, public speaking, planning, writing, ethics, drill and color guard, and character development." 
Wow. What an enormous and worthy undertaking. I have to reiterate that one of the most important things we can do is train our young people to become the type of adults we'd all aspire to be, and want to have, in our society. How many organizations are you aware of that offer training and instruction in such a wide variety of both purely functional and cutting-edge skill sets?
Not only that, but the Civil Air Patrol is an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and have been around since 1941. It is comprised of unpaid "vigilant citizen volunteers." Some of the services they provide include helping with search and rescue missions, aiding during disaster, and protecting our country. These 60,000 members nationwide contribute their time and energy to their communities in times of need.
I was also impressed when Clara told me about the training these young people commit to doing as a part of the CAP cadet program. In return they are taught skills related to aviation, aerospace education, and how to fight computer hacks, and more. They also receive instruction in character development. They learn how to lead, how to follow, how to do what's right when no one is around to see--integrity. Fortitude. Honor.
Additionally, you can find them serving as color guards at public events in places such as nursing facilities, schools, graduations.
One of the integral parts of making all of this work are the adult volunteers that contribute their time and energy to the development of these young people. But they also have fun doing it. Clara shared that she initially got involved because of her son's involvement. She's found she enjoys so many aspects of the organization such as

 the field training exercises and times out at the camps and schools where help is needed. I love how much Clara enjoys working with the cadets--being a part of helping them, learning about their unique stories, being a part of this worthy mission.
Another bonus for adult volunteers? You have the opportunity to learn skills, too. Clara describes some of the experiences she's enjoyed like going up in the plane and learning aerial photography, working on communications on the ground or flight line. She even just loves having a cup of coffee and a chat with the other senior members.
But yet, there's still more to the story.
They would love for you to reach out and learn more. Connect with the Tyler Civil Air Patrol via their Facebook page and stay tuned.

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