b'.Civil Air Patrol continued from page 29As the auxiliary force of the Army Air Forces, CAP flew more than 750,000 hours with a total loss of 68 members and about 150 aircrafta credit to the organizations emphasis on organization and safety. So hats off to Civil Air Patrol! Well, not exactly.That recognition would come later70 years, to be exact.I personally never gave it any more thought after the war, said Col. Steve Patti, who joined CAP in January 1942 and was stationed at Vail Field in Los Angeles. For five months he was assigned to the 12th Task Force Anti-Submarine Patrol in Brownsville and San Benito, Texas, as an aircraft mechanic. He also flew as a replacement observer on convoy escort, anti-sub, beach and border patrols, and later served at bases in Marfa and El Paso, Texas. We did our job every day and we asked for nothing, he said. At the time, there was no thought of recognition; there was only the thought of getting the job done.Patti and the other CAP volunteers who performed this SincetheAmericanRevolution,Congresshascommissionedhighly unusual and extraordinary service, during a time of gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation forgreat need for the United States, just carried on with their distinguished achievements and contributions. Each medal honors alives after the war, not really expecting payback.particular individual, institution, or event. Although the first recipientsAt least until 2014, when the U.S. House of Representatives included citizens who participated in the American Revolution, thefollowed the Senates lead and approved legislation to present War of 1812 and the Mexican War, Congress broadened the scopethe Congressional Gold Medalthe countrys highest civilian honorto Civil Air Patrol for its World War II service.of the medal to include actors, authors, entertainers, musicians,Time is catching up, and at least there is still time for some pioneers in aeronautics and space, explorers, lifesavers, notables inof us to smell the flowers, said Wolff.science and medicine, athletes, humanitarians, public servants, andIts a great honor to be brought into the limelight offoreign recipients. recognition, said Patti.In addition to the requirement that all Congressional Gold MedalWolff made the trip to Washington, D.C., where the medal legislationmustbecosponsoredbyatleasttwo-thirds(290)ofwas presented. If fact, he was on stage with the leaders of theMembersoftheHouse,specificstandardsaresetforthbyCongress and CAPs national commander, Maj. Gen. Joe RuleX,2(h)oftheHouseCommitteeonFinancialServicesVazquez, accepting on behalf of the men and women of CAP Subcommittee on Domestic Policy and Technology when consideringwho served during World War II. Unfortunately, a lot of their suchlegislation.Additionally,theSenateBanking,Housingandcolleagues from CAPs earliest days were not. Most of them Urban Affairs Committee requires that at least 67 Senators musthave passed, and less than 100 are still living today.cosponsoranyCongressionalGoldMedallegislationbeforetheRegardless, their mission continues, even today. Because committee will consider it. they were such an incredible force, their story will notOn May 30, 2014, President Barack H. Obama signed legislationbe forgotten. These pioneering members of CAP forgedinto law awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the approximatelythe path of an army of todays volunteers that now serve200,000 World War II members of CAP. The medal is the countrysas one of the nations premier humanitarian servicehighest expression of appreciation for distinguished achievementsorganizations.and contributions.As the Air Force auxiliary, CAP provides essentialThis medal commemorates the organizations unusual contributionsemergency, operational and public service to all 50 statesin World War II. On its obverse, Stinson Voyager 10A aircraft armedand more than 1,500 communities nationwide, as well aswithdemolitionbombsescortanoiltanker.Theaircraftinthethe federal government and the military. And, like theirforeground has the coastal patrol roundel and the number 65, CAP counterparts, todays members are equal to any task, representing the CAP members killed during the war. To the left, twowilling to risk life and limb in their missions for America. civilian volunteers, a male coastal patrol observer and a female pilot,They, too, are courageous. And, they also perform amazing feats, much like their forefatherssaving lives, finding the both vigilantly scan the sky. lost, helping in times of disaster and working to keep the OnAug.28,2015,Gen.MarkA.WelshIII,AirForcechiefhomeland safe.of staff, announced CAP officially a member of the U.S. Air ForcesThe legacy of those brave, heroic subchasers from World TotalForce,joiningtheregular,guardandreserveforcesasWar II lives on. JAmerican airmen. (Col. Frank A. Blazich Jr., CAPs chief national historian, and countless others contributed to this article.)30 Military Appreciation Resource Magazine Thank You For Your Service'