As has become a bit of a recurring theme around here, another CAPTalk thread is the genesis of this post. What do we, the volunteer membership get out of Civil Air Patrol? I responded in the thread the Leadership experience. However, these are just the quantitative things that we see on a regular basis.
In addition to my CAP responsibilities, I am a full time college student; and work as a Resident Assistant in the Freshman dorm. This past weekend, a colleague and friend of mine passed away in his sleep. The cause of death is still unknown; as the family has not released that information, as is their right. I was alerted to this crisis when a friend of mine called me and asked why an ambulance was outside my building. The resident hall I live in is usually bustling with activity; something that one learns to tune out. I had no idea that EMTs were in my building, and the hall right across from mine. I hung up the phone and went into the main lobby to find a public safety officer. I ask what's going on and that's when I got the above news. Naturally, I jumped into response mode. The officer gave me the job of crowd control; and I did it. I asked what I should say, and was told. That was the rest of my day until we gathered the residents of my building to announce the news.
This is not a self-aggrandizing post. It is meant to show that some things we get from our Civil Air Patrol experience is not quantitative; or something that is easy to count. Some of the best things that come from our experiences here is what happened to me. I can say that CAP gave me strength, calmness under pressure, and the ability to deal with a crisis effectively and professionally. With emergencies my specialty, I knew how to react, what to say and what not to when many of my colleagues were uncomfortable an unsure about the above. One never knows what their CAP service has given them until events like the above happen. I feel that it is important to remember this every time you re-up for another year.
I also ask that you keep this family in your thoughts, and if you are the praying type, your prayers as well.