From the Wing Commander: A Message for our New Hampshire Civil Air Patrol Airmen and Families
Team Granite State,
Today, I want to reach directly to each one of you as members of our wing during this time of national upheaval and uncertainty.
As we look around us, or perhaps follow news and social media, everything we are going through collectively and individually can be incredibly discouraging. We began 2020 bearing the burdens of the pandemic: quarantines, social distancing, the loss of some aspects of our communities, and even our regular squadron meetings. Despite it all, you pressed on with great resilience: emergency services training, aerospace education, and cadet programs adapted to teleconferences, and you continue to support our state’s COVID-19 response brilliantly.
However, on top of the stressors everyone is dealing with we now face mounting tragedies—truly awful events—challenging the very fabric of our nation and communities. How we respond to it, both personally and as members of CAP, is important.
On a personal level, it’s important for us to acknowledge that there is a continuing issue of racial divide and divisiveness in the United States. And it’s important for us to be willing to have civil, healthy, respectful conversations about the topic.
Though we are facing difficult circumstances around us, as Civil Air Patrol members we can find some reassurance and strength in the core values which serve as a foundational framework for our organization: Integrity, Volunteer Service, Excellence, Respect. Respect is perhaps the paramount precept we need now. As a starting point, we must demonstrate respect for the beliefs, values, and cultural differences of others—especially when they differ from our own. Letting our core values guide us, it’s important that our path forward is founded on a basis of respect, kindness, and compassion for our wingmen and our fellow citizens. Don’t lose sight of who we are.
How each person responds to these challenges is, of course, personal. Regardless of your response, it is important to understand that our words have consequences that can extend beyond our personal and private lives. Already, the careless and inconsiderate words of some members have generated a cascade of negative consequences. As I know you always are, we all must continue to act and speak prudently, especially in the highly-visible sphere of social media. “Remember who you are, and what you represent” when in uniform was one of the first lessons I learned as a cadet. If you choose to represent yourself as a member of Civil Air Patrol in your online persona, you have an additional duty of care to ensure your words and deeds live up to our core values.
The events unfolding today and what may yet come will naturally impact each of our members differently. Know that we care deeply about our CAP family and that your chain of command from the local to the National level is here for and available to you. Similarly, I ask you to do the same and check in with your wingmen and make sure that your squadronmates are doing well. Remember, our chaplains are a resource you can draw on, too. Chaplain (Capt) Atkins and Chaplain (1st Lt) Batchelder have a rotating chaplain “duty roster” that can be found here, and you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com if you have a question or a need.
No member of our Granite State team should feel they have to navigate this difficult landscape and these tough conversations alone. I know our members so I am confident we can continue to be resilient, rise to the occasion each day, and live our core values as role models to each other and our community, state, and nation.