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posted Dec 31, 2014, 4:08 PM by Ray Schnell
Posted by Maj. Gen. Joseph Vazquez | December 30, 2014

As we begin a new year, I would like to reflect on the year just completed and the year ahead. In particular, the past few months have seen some historic developments.
The most important event was undoubtedly the award of the Congressional Gold Medal to CAP and its World War II members. We had all four leaders of Congress present at the ceremony, which I've been told was the first time that has happened at a Gold Medal ceremony since the 1960's. This was quite a tribute to Civil Air Patrol and demonstrates the level of support we enjoy in Congress due to the efforts of our 52 Wing Commanders.  
But what was the most memorable part of the Congressional Gold Medal event was not the actual ceremony at the Capitol but the dinner that followed, where I presented the medal to the WWII CAP veterans and families of veterans present. The stories those veterans told were heartfelt and moving and demonstrated how CAP contributed to the American war effort during the difficult early years. It made all of us in the room proud to be members of CAP and of the legacy of service to America we inherited from our founding members.
2014 also saw the opening of many new initiatives and the expansion of CAP’s connection to the U.S. Air Force and other agencies. I was privileged to sign a new memorandum of understanding with the American Red Cross, and I recently met with the administrator of FEMA to discuss CAP’s growing relationship with that agency. I also met with the president of AOPA just last month to see where CAP (as one of the largest operators of single engine airplanes in the U.S.) can assist with aviation safety and other general aviation initiatives.  
Many exciting opportunities have been explored and will be followed up on in 2015. CAP is well positioned, as a low-cost provider of aircraft reconnaissance, to expand into new missions, becoming a recognized component of the Total Air Force (Active Duty, Reserve, Guard and Auxiliary).
For 2015, I look forward to not only new mission development but also continued success in developing our members. Gen. Larry Myrick, Col. Larry Ragland and I will travel as much as possible to visit CAP members throughout the U.S. Last year I was privileged to attend conferences or events hosted by 16 different wing or region headquarters, and I will look to continuing that schedule this year.  It is important to keep in contact with CAP throughout the country, and I look forward to meeting members in as many different places as possible.  
Thank you for your support of CAP last year and your continued support of our great corporation this year!

Joseph R. Vazquez