Posted: September 14, 2012
Future Officer and a Gentleman
My fifteen year old grandson, Baine Towers, made an announcement about a year ago that he wanted to join Civil Air Patrol (CAP). I’m proud to say my grandson has become an active member who takes his membership to heart. Al and I were honored to be able to help sponsor him with paying his tuition to CAP camp, called the Joint Dakota Cadet Leadership Encampment. We see it as money well spent.
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of interviewing Baine about his experience and what he’s learned in the program. In July, he attended the camp where he spent ten days learning about leadership, aerospace education, how to shine shoes, the proper way to make a bed, how to take orders, how to take being drilled or yelled at, and what it feels like to ride in a helicopter among other valuable skills. A helicopter ride nurtured his desire to one day learn to ski dive, but the thing he loves best about CAP is that he is learning the basics of piloting a plane and has been allowed to take control several times already, a major highlight and benefit to being in the organization.
He belongs to the Brookings CAP along with approximately sixteen other young men and women. I asked him what were the personal benefits to him. “I like wearing a uniform and doing things like crowd control at parades and stuff. Being in CAP is helping me reach my goals. I’m learning about leadership and respect. I’m getting into better physical shape. I’m learning how to address the commanding officers. I’m very committed to CAP, because it’s helping me to find my purpose.” He said it is to become an officer and pilot in the United States Air Force one day.
When asked if he would recommend CAP to others he said, “I highly recommend it as long as you are committed to the program. I’ve learned a lot and made some lifelong, loyal friends there.”
Baine says he’s looking forward to working on a CAP fundraiser called “Wreathes Around the World” where they will raise money to purchase wreathes to place on Veterans graves on Veterans Day as a way of honoring them. Other cool things he got to do recently was assist with CAP recruitment and to assist with Bingo calling one night.
I know he’s already a gentleman, at least around me. I have no doubt he’ll become an officer one day and I will be able to say, “That’s my grandson, an officer and a gentleman!” And when they pin those wings on him, we’re all going to be crying, his mom and step-dad, Al and I and the rest of his proud family!
To learn more about Civil Air Patrol, check out their link: