Like kids not realizing their parents used to be young, or even possibly cool, many of you don’t realize that prior to being a farmer, I used to be a pilot. I flew lots of different airplanes including some pretty fancy ones. However due to career pressures I hung up my flying suit back in 2003 and really haven’t done much with it since.
Earlier this year Spork and I joined the Civil Air Patrol (CAP). It was all really SWMBO’s fault. She was looking for some new way to torture our first born and make sure he becomes a man when he grows up (apparently torture is a catalyst). I’m not one to argue, lest she turn her focus on me.
Despite having been based at Johnston County Airport (JNX) when I was flying, I really didn’t know anything about CAP or the CAP chapter based at JNX. I figured they were some kind of ROTC thing. I really wasn’t interested and did as much as possible to poo poo SWMBO’s idea.
But as luck would have it, I bumped into the CAP booth at the AOPA fly in in Beaufort, NC this spring. While there, I had Spork talk to the representative while I stood to the side and politely listened. I wanted him to ask the questions and get his own answers. That’s when a guy in a flight suit started talking to me. Turned out he flew A6s for the Marine Corps. I didn’t even realize A6s were still in service but the Marines always get the last of everything so it made sense.
In talking with this Marine aviator, he realized I was a former pilot. Quickly he asked, “Why don’t you join CAP?”
Have you ever tried to push someone in the pool and ended up falling in instead? Yeah, that’s what happened. I’m trying to get Spork recruited and it turns out the need adults too. Well heck, how do I get out of this?! But then I learned more about CAP and maybe it isn’t too bad. Especially important, I learned that we can do it together. Anything you can do with your kids is pretty much a lock on getting approval from the Mrs. However I wasn’t convinced and neither was Spork. I decided, with Spork’s input, to at least go see our local chapter and get the skinny.
To sum up a lot of information from that meeting and cut to the chase, it really came down to this. As a current pilot, I would enter CAP with an advanced rank, basically getting credit for my piloting abilities. That meant that after a six month intro period, I would become 1st Lieutenant Dan Moore, Civil Air Patrol, or more importantly, Lt. Dan.
Yep, I was in.
Luckily, Spork thought it was pretty cool as well. He really likes his squadron mates and so far has enjoyed the whole program. But recently we had to turbo charge the process. There was a hurricane coming, and despite the look of it fizzling out and heading offshore, we needed to be prepared in case it didn’t. But that’s our next post.