Archive for May 23, 2014

Poppies for Veterans – Results for OCS

The American Legion Auxiliary, Omaha Unit #1 has forwarded the results of the SUCCESSFUL fundraiser held on Armed Forces day.  Volunteers from the Omaha Composite Squadron raised $783.57 that will help the American Legion programs in direct support of our Veterans.  That is over $100 more than the previous year.  Below are the Letter and Certificate of Recognition sent to OCS.  The time spent handing out poppies  is a small, but welcome  contribution on behalf of those who serve our Nation.  We look forward to next year.


OCS Cadets raise funds for the American Legion during Armed Forces Day

Cadets and Seniors from the Omaha Composite squadron volunteered to hand out Poppies for the American Legion, Omaha Chapter #1, and collect donations which are used to provide housing, living assistance and other essential services to Veterans in the area.  Cadets met early in the morning and assisted during various shifts throughout the day.  This has been the seventh year in a row that OCS has volunteered to help the American Legion in their fundraiser.

A group of OCS cadets stand at the entrance of a local grocery store to hand out poppies and educate others on the significance of the Poppies for veterans

The Poppy Story:

From the battlefields of World War I, weary soldiers brought home the memory of a barren landscape transformed by wild poppies, red as the blood that had soaked the soil. By that miracle of nature, the spirit of their lost comrades lived on.

Poppies are hand made by veterans as part of their therapeutic rehabilitation.

The poppy became a symbol of the sacrifice of lives in war and represented the hope that none had died in vain. The American Legion Auxiliary poppy has continued to bloom for the casualties of four wars, its petals of paper bound together for veterans by veterans, reminding America each year that the men and women who have served and died for their country deserve to be remembered.

The poppy, as a memorial flower to the war dead, can be traced to a single individual, Moina Michael. She was so moved by Lt. Col. McCrae’s poem, “In Flanders Fields,” that she wrote a response:

. . . the blood of heroes never dies
But lends a luster to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders’ Fields.

On impulse, she bought a bouquet of poppies – all that New York City’s Wanamaker’s Department Store had – and handed them to businessmen meeting at the New York YMCA where she worked. She asked them to wear the poppy as a tribute to the fallen. That was November 1918. World War I was over, but America’s sons would rest forever “in Flanders’ Fields.” Later she would spearhead a campaign that would result in the adoption of the poppy as the national symbol of sacrifice.

Cadets can apply the time spent volunteering towards their community service Ribbon.

In Flanders Field

By Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow 
Between the crosses row on row, 
That mark our place; and in the sky 
The larks, still bravely singing, fly 
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago 
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
Loved and were loved, and now we lie 
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: 
To you from failing hands we throw 
The torch; be yours to hold it high. 
If ye break faith with us who die 
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow 
In Flanders fields.

OCS Cadets Participate in Squadron UTM

OCS Cadets enjoyed an afternoon of training outdoors as part of the Unit Training Mission planned by their cadet leaders.

The Omaha Composite squadron hosted a Unit Training Mission for its cadet members during the second weekend in May.  Cadets were trained in basic compass and distance navigation, building shelters, and caring for injuries in the field.  The cadets learned to work as a team and were led in training by Cadet Commander, C/Capt. Austin Henry and Cadet Deputy Commander, C/Capt. Matthew Norrie.

Cadets use tarps to build an improvised shelter.

Basic CAP ORM (Organizational Risk Management) practices were in effect at all times, and cadets were allowed to put their training into practice by taking charge of several scenarios after being provided with simple, basic instructions to achieve a predetermined goal.

Omaha Composite Squadron UTM organizers debrief the cadets on the days activities and lessons learned.

The skills learned during the UTM will be used to help the cadets advance towards their Ground Team Member Ratings and eventually, achieve the rating of Ground Team Leaders, which provide real world expertise during CAP Search and Rescue Missions.

Cadets learn to improvise a litter to carry a “victim” to safety.

Additional photos can be viewed by selecting the “Photos” link from the main menu.

Omaha Cadets get Orientation Rides in WWII Fairchild PT-19

Several Omaha Composite Squadron Cadets were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime Orientation Ride in a vintage WWII Fairchild PT-19 trainer aircraft in appreciation for their efforts and support of the Wingnuts Flying Circus in Tarkio Missouri last year.  Capt. Christopher Goodrich was kind enough to fly the aircraft to Council Bluffs and fly the cadets around the local area and enjoy a flight in an open cockpit aircraft.  The cadets were given control of the aircraft in the air so they could experience the handling characteristics of the aircraft.