South Dakota Wing Civil Air Patrol South Dakota Wing Civil Air Patrol

Wreaths Across America 2017

wreaths across america

The cadet flights of the Sioux Falls Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol successfully conducted the field operation of placing an estimated 500 wreaths on the graves of Veterans buried at the Hills of Rest Cemetery, Sioux Falls South Dakota on 15-16 December 2017. After the wreaths in the field were placed, a memorial ceremony led by Civil Air Patrol Chaplin, Lt Col Gary Rae was conducted beginning at 11:00 A.M. local time 16 December at the chapel on the Hills of Rest Cemetery site. The Cadet Color Guard marched, posted and retired the colors to open and close the proceedings. Flags from each branch of the Armed Forces were placed front and center in the chapel hall. Active duty members of each branch were there to individually place a wreath in front of each respective service flag in a dignified and solemn manner to honor all of the Veterans who have gone before us. Chaplin Rae delivered an inspiring remembrance followed by a powerful trumpet rendition of Taps by one of our program volunteers.



chamber ribbon cutting

The squadron recently joined the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.  One benefit of being a new member is hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony. Ours, on 30 March, commemorated the 75th anniversary of CAP and the Cadet Program. In attendance were over 20 business leaders in our community as well as Wing Commander Col. David Small, Wing Vice Commander Lt. Col. Buck DeWeese and Lt. Col. Jeff Meyers from CAP-USAF.  Squadron Commander Maj. Todd Epp and C/1Lt Blake Hayden both said a few words about CAP and thanked the Chamber of Commerce for the recognition.

The squadron held its first Open House of the year on 30 March. The theme was STEMful Night, to promote the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics activities that the CAP program has. The evening started with opening formation and a short presentation by Maj. Epp and C/1Lt Blake Hayden. We had stations set up in different areas of the squadron area that included activities like model rockets, robotics, emergency services, cybersecurity, flight simulator, radio communications, Drug Demand and Reduction, Color Guard, and Wreaths Across America.

We had a great turnout with about 40+ prospective cadets and parents. By the end of the evening, there were 5 adults that completed their membership applications. We beat our goal of two adult memberships! Based on the parents that attended, they will be back with their students to check out our weekly cadet meetings. We anticipate surpassing our goal of three new cadets!

Assisting the Sioux Falls Sidewalk Arts Festival

volunteers at the sidewalk arts festivalFrom 3am to 8:30am Saturday morning, our group of officers and cadets enthusiastically helped the organizers set up for Sioux Falls Sidewalk Arts Festival.  The items that were assigned to us were completed so quickly that the organizers had to find other things for us to do.  Here’s some of the tasks we did:

  • Assembling the trash and recycling receptacles with plastic bags
  • Distributing tables and chairs throughout the event area
  • Distributing the trash and recycling receptacles throughout
  • Delivering and setting up tents
  • Delivering soda to the pop tents

We were grateful that the organizers allowed us to use their golf carts to complete our tasks.  A good time was had by all and we look forward to participating again next year!

We LOVE having the Civil Air Patrol at the Sidewalk Arts Festival each year. This group is prompt, efficient, and always eager to help. Even when they’re asked to arrive at 4:15 a.m., they come with enthusiasm, great attitudes, and a willingness to assist wherever needed. They stay until the job is done, and their work consistently exceeds expectations! CAP is an invaluable part of our event – we couldn’t do it without them!

Kaia Hedrick, Special Projects Coordinator, Washington Pavilion