On February 6, 2019 five cadets from the Lynchburg Composite Squadron joined 17 others in participating in the first ever Virginia Legislative Day in our state’s capital in Richmond. C/Capt Cornelia Fassero acted as the coordinator for Lynchburg’s participation in the event, and helped send out emails of information about the event, including transportation details. In the past, cadets from Virginia were only granted the opportunity of the National Legislative Day in Washington DC, but this year, Wing Senior Member Leadership paved the way to provide additional opportunities at the state capitol.
The event involved sending highly qualified cadet and senior member volunteers to serve as ambassadors for the Civil Air Patrol as they discussed the program with individual Delegates and Senators in closed-door meetings.
Capitol Hill is usually very busy during this time, due to long committee meetings and general sessions, so naturally, some ambassador teams met with legislative staff and assistants in most meetings.
Some teams, however, were privileged to sit down with a few of the Senators and Delegates themselves, during which they had the opportunity to answer questions and really tell their story about their experiences in CAP.
“The event was really impactful for Virginia Wing CAP, and I really think that all of the cadets gained excellent communication skills”C/Maj Matthew Bell
Each meeting was a unique experience, and provided each cadet with valuable public speaking practice. “The event was really impactful for Virginia Wing CAP, and I really think that all of the cadets gained excellent communication skills.” commented C/Maj Matthew Bell, one of the cadets present during this event. “I feel that through practice, I learned how to pitch something to someone, and that’s a skill not all adults learn how to do, and this event helped provide that practice.”
After each successful meeting with either a legislator or their staff member, cadets handed them with a unique challenge coin and patch representing Virginia’s legislative squadron, VA-999.
Although the main purpose and highlight of the event was the individual meetings with legislators, cadets and seniors also had the privilege of taking an impromptu tour of the capitol building, and later participated in an aerospace convention at the Richmond Train Station.
Overall, the event was a huge success for all members involved, and had minimal issues considering this was the first time it had ever been done. C/Maj Bell summed it up best when he said, “I feel like everyone made a good demonstration of civil air patrol, everyone carried themselves professionally, and we made a lasting impact on the Virginia Legislature”
Special Thanks to the members of our squadron who participated and made this event possible!
- Maj David Honeycutt (Senior Member Driver)
- C/Lt John Sharp
- C/Maj Matthew Bell
- C/Capt Christiaan Grutz
- C/Capt Deannah Bennett
- C/Capt Cornelia Fassero
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