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West Bend Composite Squadron Open House is Thursday, May 30, 2024 | By Cadet Second Lt. Dawson Peterson

West Bend, WI – If you attended the West Bend Memorial Day parade, you may have seen youth in formal blue uniforms marching. These are some of the youth who, along with adult leaders, form the Civil Air Patrol West Bend Composite Squadron.
West Bend Composite Squadron marched in the 2024 West Bend Memorial Day parade. Left to right: Cadet Elliot Schulz, Cadet Ellen DeTroye, Cadet Dawson Peterson, Cadet TJ DeTroye, Cadet Lucas Stasson, Cadet Jack Volesky (partially hidden), Senior Member/Squadron Commander Jessica Szymanski, Cadet Connor Holl. Photo by Linnea Peterson

There are many youth programs nowadays, but Civil Air Patrol is unique in that the cadets (youth in the program) share a common interest in aviation and military-like traditions. Cadets grow their leadership skills during the weekly meetings and strive to plan or volunteer at events that will help others while also growing and developing their skills.


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Did you know that youth ages 12 to 18 can join their local Civil Air Patrol squadron and become a part of the U.S. Air Force’s Auxilary? The West Bend Composite Squadron meets weekly at the Wisconsin Army National Guard building located at 125 Chopper Dr. in West Bend, just west of the West Bend Airport.


The group is holding an open house this Thursday, May 30 from 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. They will showcase and welcome youth to show what the Civil Air Patrol, an all-volunteer organization, teaches and provides every week.

Do you want your child to become a growing leader in aerospace, emergency services, time management, and character development? Are they interested in someday getting free orientation flights in aircraft with the Civil Air Patrol? Members and leaders of the West Bend Squadron would love to see you Thursday to tell you about these opportunities.

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Excellence and respect are two of the core values they are especially proud to show on Memorial Day weekend each year by marching in the parade and helping with the flag retirement ceremony at the Hubertus American Legion. All of the cadets have grown since the day they joined and are improving their skills in drills and ceremonies by participating in these events.

Cadet First Lieutenant Elliot Schulz has been a member for two years and has enjoyed the leadership program very much as it has taught him responsibility, time management, and delegation. Lt. Schulz said, “It’s impacting me by putting a responsibility on my life and it’s made me become a stronger person mentally to handle all the responsibilities given to me when I’m in charge of cadets at meetings”

Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Ellen Detroye is the Cadet Commander for the West Bend Composite Squadron. She is currently playing a big part in planning the open house to invite members of the community to come see what they are all about.

The West Bend Composite Squadron volunteered at the Milwaukee Airport to honor the veterans as they arrived home on their Honor Flights on May 18.

Cadets from West Bend Composite Squadron were lined up waiting for Honor Flight participants to arrive at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport on May 18. Depicted left to right: Cadet First Lieutenant Elliot Schulz, Cadet Staff Sergeant TJ Detroye, Cadet Airman Basic Grayson Lehman. Photo by Cadet Ellen DeTroye

“Serving for the Honor Flights has brought me a lot of joy,” said Cadet DeTroye. “Honor Flights provide veterans a trip to D.C. and a warm welcome back home. Most of the Vietnam Veterans were not treated right when they came back from serving, so knowing I’m helping to right that wrong and assisting in something they won’t forget satisfies me and I will always be willing to honor them.”

Volunteer service is one of the organization’s core values, and the Honor Flight was a great way to show that. This was the squadron’s second time doing one of these events and they look forward to future opportunities.

If you have any questions about Civil Air Patrol or the open house being held on May 30, please contact Lt. Jessica Szymanski at [email protected] or (810)-922-3216.

Civil Air Patrol is the longtime auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and as such is a valued member of its Total Force. In its auxiliary role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 single-engine aircraft and 1,550 small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS).

It performs about 90% of continental U.S. inland search and rescue missions as tasked by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center and is credited by the AFRCC with saving an average of 82 lives annually. CAP’s 66,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief, and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state, and local agencies. Operating as a nonprofit organization, CAP also plays a leading role in STEM/aerospace education, and its members serve as mentors to 28,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.CAP.News or www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information.

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