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Civil Air Patrol Continues Its Mission
photo by Photo ProvidedWith a passion for science, flight and aerospace, VUHS sophomore Alyse Beauchemin and her corp members find the Civil Air Patrol a place to learn, grow, and acquire skills for future careers in science and as community leaders.
photo by Photo ProvidedAlyse Beauchemin with Doctor Who’s K-9.
Monday November 24, 2014
By Cookie Steponaitis
The Civil Air Patrol was created just prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and organized with 150,000 volunteers who loved airplanes and had the desire to defend their country. The group served under the Army Air Corps during World War Two and was assigned to patrol home skies and carry out vital missions in the states. Hundreds of Champlain Valley residents flew missions helping crash victims, patrolled the borders and kept watch for enemy planes and nationwide more than 500,000 flight hours were logged by the volunteers during 1941-1945. President Truman signed into law Public Law 476 in 1946 and in 1948 Congress formally assigned the group to serve as an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. The concentrated focus of the Civil Air Patrol was emergency services, cadet programs and aerospace education and the mission continues to be strong in America and the Green Mountain State.
Local high school student Alyse Beauchemin is passionate about flight and aerospace and joined the Green Mountain Composite Squadron, Vermont Wing when she was twelve. Beauchemin was part of the VT/NH Wing Summer encampment in 2014 at Norwich University from July 13- July 20th, where she drilled and had inspection and PT every morning. Beauchemin shares, “Most cadets had the unique opportunity to have a free flight lesson in a Cessna Aircraft. Throughout the whole experience we donned some type of uniform, whether it was Dress Blues, PT or our Battle Dress Uniforms. We overall learned to function in each specific flight as a team in a military fashion.” Aside from skills including making a bed so tight you can bounce a quarter off the top and how to clean and organize a room so there is not a single speck dust to be found, Beauchemin remarked about learning how to adapt and function in a challenging environment.
When sharing her experiences related to aviation and space, her face lights up as she talks ‘science’ and explains her future goals of having a career in the field. “At the camp we learned leadership skills, aerospace and perhaps just maybe going into space.” One thing is for sure, Beauchemin and the other cadets who continue to thrive and serve continue the mission of the Civil Air Patrol and bring to life civic engagement, passion for science and love of country that founded the organization and keeps its strong today, continuing to serve communities and challenging the next generation to reach high and follow their dreams of flight.
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