A Legacy of Service

I toggle between multiple news outlets to get a good variety of daily headlines, and a story on the local Fox affiliate in Boise caught my attention for a bittersweet reason.

It prompted me to learn more about the Civil Air Patrol, the nonprofit civilian auxiliary for the U.S. Air Force.

This month, my mother would have turned 86 had Alzheimer’s disease not robbed her of everything precious. One thing she was most proud of was her time in the Civil Air Patrol.

The photo above is of Mom in 1951, as the Outstanding CAP Cadet for the State of Oregon.

She would be thrilled to know CAP has flown almost 650 sorties in recent months, delivering vials of the coronavirus vaccine to rural and hard-to-reach areas of the nation.

2021 marks the Civil Air Patrol’s 80th anniversary. The organization describes its COVID-19 mission as the “largest coordinated effort since World War II.” There are 560 single-engine planes in its fleet, and almost 60,000 adult and youth members, all volunteers.

Today, the CAP trophy occupies a spot in my living room. I never really understood why it meant so much to Mom. But I have no doubt that, had the pandemic happened 60 years ago, she would have stepped up to do her part.

I’ll be doing my part, too, to honor her legacy and this fine organization.