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Dining Out; A Time Honored Tradition

posted Jun 15, 2018, 3:41 PM by Cynthia Smith   [ updated Jun 15, 2018, 4:16 PM ]

Manassas, VA - It is a longstanding military tradition for a Squadron to join together for a meal and celebrate where they’ve been and what they hope to achieve in the future. For the Prince William Composite Squadron (VA-102) of the United States Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol Squadron, their annual Dining Out is just that.

Prince William Composite Squadron stationed in Manassas, Virginia has held four Dining Out events since 2013 at the Edward Kelly Leadership Center.  The Dining Out is held to celebrate the achievements of the past year, celebrate traditions and emphasize the Core Values of Integrity first, Respect, Excellence in all we do and Volunteer Service. Cadet members ages 12 to 21 and adult members ages 18 and up gathered Tuesday, May 22nd in place of their regular meeting usually held at the Manassas Army National Guard Armory.

A “Dining Out” is a formal dinner where members are able to invite guests. These types of events originate from large feasts held by ancient empires to celebrate victories. All military branches, including the Civil Air Patrol uphold the tradition to honor comradery and the unit’s selfless contributions to achieve each organizations missions.

At a Prince William Composite Squadron Dining Out, members and guests enter a relaxed atmosphere decorated with sparkling china and overflowing fizzy soda drinks. When the Official Party entered and the Mess was opened, everyone took their seat with anticipation.
There are many special ceremonies that are held at each Dining Out. These ceremonies are a sobering moment that reminds each member and guest of the tremendous sacrifice of our armed forces and vision of Civil Air Patrol as responders. The U.S. Flag, the Prisoners of War and the Missing In Action Ceremony were all presented by the Color Guard Director Cadet First Lieutenant Brandon Lawson and the VA -102 Cadet Color Guard team. The memories and emotions those ceremonies left were an unquestioned impression on members and guests of those who have selflessly served in the past inspiring others to follow in their steps.

Many members who were chiefly responsible for the event arrived very early to carefully prepare each table and laboriously coordinated with the staff at the Edward Kelly Leadership Center. Then the ceremonial toasts were offered by members toasting America’s leadership and the branches of the military. Near the end of the evening the longest standing member present and youngest Cadet member cut the cake together to commemorate the past and future of the organization. The Dining Out is not merely an event for food and drink – it’s a demonstration of Civil Air Patrol’s ability to host an event with excellence and a sense of family.

Lieutenant Colonel Tim Day the Squadron Commander , Lieutenant Colonel Kimberly Frady the Deputy Commander for Cadets and Cadet Major Kaitlyn Frady and her Executive Cadre Staff would like to thank every member who made the evening successful.

Civil Air Patrol, the longtime all-volunteer U.S. Air Force auxiliary, is the newest member of the Air Force’s Total Force. In this role, CAP operates a fleet of 560 aircraft, performs about 90 percent 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 80 lives annually. CAP’s 58,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. CAP also plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to 24,000 young people participating in CAP’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com for more information.

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