9/2/2010–Baltimore, MD–Civil Air Patrol national commander Maj. Gen. Amy S. Courter, CAP, has requested support in gaining cosponsors for legislation in the House and Senate which will award a single Congressional Gold Medal in honor of Civil Air Patrol’s World War II volunteer members. Col. John Knowles, Maryland Wing commander, has requested the same support for both bills from all Maryland Wing members in order to get this recognition for our earliest members.
In the House Congressman Bob Filner (CA) has introduced H.R. 5859 for this purpose and in the Senate Senator Tom Harkin (IA) has introduced S. 3237. The Senate bill also has Senators Daniel Inouye (HI), Mike Crapo (ID) and Michael Bennet (CO) as cosponsors.
In 2009, similar bills recognizing the early efforts of female pilots in World War II were signed into law by President Obama. An article about this successful recognition effort can be found at http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123157228.
Before the relevant committees will take any action on this legislation each bill must have a critical number of cosponsors. In the Senate, 67 Senators need to sign on as cosponsors and in the House there must be 290.
In order to receive the necessary support for this legislation, members, families, and friends are asked to contact their Senators and Representatives and ask them to be cosponsors. This needs to be done sooner rather than later to ensure action before the Congress recesses for the upcoming November elections.
Contact information for each Member of Congress can be found at www.house.gov for the House and at www.senate.gov for the Senate. Maryland Wing members can find their elected officials in the below listing.
This is our best opportunity to honor the unique combat and emergency roles that CAP members played during World War II, especially at the beginning when we were a part of a very thin line of defense against submarines that threatened the nation’s very survival. It is important that we do this before it is finally too late to honor these outstanding Americans.More information about this important piece of legislation can be found the Civil Air Patrol national website at http://capmembers.com/cap_national_hq/gold_medal.cfm
Civil Air Patrol, the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, is a nonprofit organization with more than 60,000 members nationwide. CAP, in its Air Force auxiliary role, performs 90 percent of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and has been credited by the AFRCC with saving more than 100 lives this fiscal year. Its volunteers also perform homeland security, disaster relief and counter-drug missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. The members play a leading role in aerospace education and serve as mentors to the more than 25,000 young people currently participating in CAP cadet programs. CAP has been performing missions for America for 68 years.
There are approximately 1,500 members of CAP in Maryland. Last fiscal year wing members flew 42 search and rescue missions and were credited with 31 finds. For more information about the CAP, visit www.mdcap.org