Sometimes selfless service can lead to some surprisingly exciting opportunities and learning experiences. Thomas Edison was quoted in saying “Opportunity is missed by most people, because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” On 18 September 2016, Mt Airy Composite Squadron participated in the Maryland Wing, Group 1 Air National Guard Cook Team. They joined forces with Bethesda Chevy Chase, Parkland and Upper Montgomery squadrons to serve the noon meal and assist in cleanup duties as needed.
Master Sergeant Pettigrew arranged a tour of the Maryland Air National Guard’s 175th Fire and Emergency Services and Martin State Airport Crash Fire Rescue Station’s state-of-the-art facility while the meal preparations were being finalized. The cadets marched over and were introduced to Technical Sergeant Weglein, who welcomed everyone and gave a brief overview. Senior Airman Cherry then took over and provided a hand-on approach to the training equipment, response vehicles and office quarters at the facility. The highlight of the tour was the A10 training cockpit. The firemen were patient and encouraging. They assisted the cadets in trying out the equipment, answered the plethora of questions and enjoyed the overabundant enthusiasm exhibited. Lieutenant Brandenberg joined the cadets to thank them for choosing to volunteer their time to serve the Air National Guard; he offered encouragement in their pursuits and graciously joined in a group photo.
Back at the Dining Hall, the staff was better prepared to put the cadets to work. Ice bins filled, plates served and dishes washed. Service was done with a smile and eagerness to do a job well. The reservists responded to the zeal displayed. Brigadier General Randolph J. Staudenaraus, casually dressed in a flight suit, walked over to the senior members table (Lt Col Buzzard, Maj Trombley, Senior Member Trombley and 2nd Lt Alvarado) and thanked them for the Civil Air Patrol cadet involvement. Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Baker, as the cadet with highest rank, was asked to meet the General and represent the cadet group. The General made arrangements for the Cook Team to get a tour of the Maintenance Hanger after interest and enthusiasm for the A10 was clearly exhibited by both cadets and senior members. Senior member Lt Donahoe, from Bethesda Chevy Chase squadron, missed the introduction and chose to continue working in the kitchen; he was elbow deep in pots and pans, taking the most thankless jobs and providing an inspirational example of selfless service.
The Cook Team marched over to the Maintenance Hanger where they met with Chief Master Sergeant Queen. If ever there was a man who loved his work, it was Chief Queen. He began the cadets with the A-10 Attack Aircraft, affectionately called the “Warthog”. “Miss Revenge” and “Sure Thing” were introduced along with a short history of their service. Training incendiary devices were prominently on display; their names and statistics were explained. Chief Queen then demonstrated his passion for teaching as he encouraged any cadet interested to participate in a hands-on approach to learning about the aircraft; he patiently answered questions, demonstrated how the consoles worked, supervised cadet interaction and introduced new and varied career choices. Thank you, 175th Wing, Maryland Air National Guard.http://mtairy-cap.org/?post_type=easingslider&p=594