Florida Wing Old Timers Beg Congress for Funding

Col Henry Irizarry and Col Michael Cook with Rep. Gwen Graham.
Col Henry Irizarry and Col Phil Zedonek with Rep. Gwen Graham.

By Leggy | AuxBeacon News Contributor

[Editor’s Note: We received this from a CAP member. Thank you for your contribution.]

WASHINGTON DC — One of the most important dates for Civil Air Patrol comes in the month of February. This is when members from the Florida Wing (FLWG) travel to Washington D.C. to say thank you [to beg for funding] to their representatives for the support they have shown for CAP programming and to remind them of the important work these volunteers are doing in their communities.

National Legislative Day allows organizations like Civil Air Patrol the opportunity to help Members of Congress understand the importance of the services our volunteers provide and to help them justify their decision for continued funding of the missions.

The trip comes after delegates from Florida Wing visited the state capitol in Tallahassee for the state legislative day. After speaking with state representatives, the Florida Wing delegates took to the nation’s capital and talked to representatives from each state about the impact of Civil Air Patrol.

This year’s Wing delegates included FLWG Commander, Col Henry Irizarry and former FLWG Commander, Col Michael Cook. During the time on Capitol Hill, the Florida Wing delegates spoke with multiple representatives including Congresswoman Gwen Graham, Representative for Florida’s 2nd congressional district.

Last fall, Secretary of Air Force, Deborah Lee James, emphasized that as part of the U.S. Air Force’s “Total Force”, CAP volunteers are a valued resource that return more than 8 times the value of the investment made by the Air Force each year.

Florida Wing membership totals 3,558, making it the largest of 52 wings in Civil Air Patrol.

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