(Lander, WY) – December 7th, 2020, The Wind River Composite Squadron marked the end of their first year with formal promotions and awards dinner. At the special invitation of Local Post Commander Bob Keiser, they gathered at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 954 in Lander, Wyoming. Maj Tim Thornton was the primary organizer and Master of Ceremony. The guest speaker was US Air Force Col (retired) Keith Trouwborst. Post Quarter Master Forrest Parker completed the Official Party at the Head table with Capt Karl Falken, Squadron Commander. C/SMSgt Ciely Daly presented an engaging slideshow of unit activities for the past year.
“My first impression of the Civil Air Patrol is very positive,” remarked Post Commander Bob Keiser. “When some of the other youth programs in the county are in decline, it is encouraging to see the CAP cadet program active and growing. They can count on my support through VFW Post 954.”
Promotions recognized were:
- C2d Lt Clark Bailey
- C/SMSgt Ciely Daly
- C/Amn James “Brad” Nunn
- C/SMSgt Timothy Stong
Awards were as follows:
- C/2d Lt Clark Bailey: Veterans of Foreign Wars Outstanding Cadet Non-Commissioned Officer, Air Force Sergeants Association Cadet NCO of the year, Red Service Ribbon, National Rifle Association Pro Marksman
- Capt James Bailey: Red Service Ribbon with 20-year certificate
- Capt Kirkman Baxter: Certificate of Appreciation
- 2d Lt Lynn Baxter: Certificate of Appreciation
- Lt Col Beverly Carlson: Certificate of Appreciation
- Lt Col Mike Carlson: Certificate of Appreciation
- Capt Karl Falken: Red Service Ribbon, NRA Pro Marksman
- C/SMSgt Ciely Daly: Cadet Advisory Council Ribbon, Daughters of the American Revolution Outstanding Cadet Medal, National Rifle Association Pro Marksman
- 2d LT Joseph Stong: Red Service Ribbon
- C/SMSgt Nicholas Stong: Air Force Association Outstanding Cadet Award, Red Service Ribbon, NRA Pro Marksman
- C/1stSgt Timothy Stong: Red Service Ribbon, NRA Pro Marksman
- SM Francis Obikoya – Certificate of Appreciation
- C/Capt John Swindell: Veterans of Foreign Wars Outstanding Cadet Officer Medal
“When I was part of an Army ROTC ranger platoon, we engaged in search and rescue operations for the Albany County Sherriff’s Office. We worked with Civil Air Patrol and I was positively impressed with their training and enthusiasm,” explained QM Forrest Parker. “As an officer in Post 954 I am glad to see CAP here in Lander and we will support and encourage them in their mission.”
Guest speaker Col Trouwborst spoke on how his childhood dream of flying was realized through an early and sustained effort to prepare and apply for a military academy appointment. Despite challenges and setbacks, he ultimately graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy. From there he launched a successful career as a fighter pilot. Through his speech, he advised and encouraged those who aspire to fly for the military to seize every opportunity and make the most of those that are realized.
He concluded, “As a former fighter pilot, I am glad to see the Civil Air Patrol bringing their aerospace education program to Fremont County. It is my experience that future pilots need to be engaged at an early age to realize the best opportunities that our country offers those that dream of flying.”
The event concluded with a change of command ceremony for outgoing Cadet Commander John Swindell and incoming Cadet Commander Clark Bailey. SM Leighton Nunn stood in for Cadet Swindell who had already returned home from school due to public health restrictions.
h/t Capt Karl Falken for providing the above information and photos.