Civil Air Patrol Holds Awards Banquet

Friday, May 22, 2009
Right to left: Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Jonathan Fox, Major Darryl Spurlock, Command Sergeant Major Dan Armour

Press Release

by Maj Darryl Spurlock

The Trail of Tears Composite Squadron of the US Air Force Auxiliary, Civil Air Patrol, held their Spring Awards Banquet at the Fruitland Community Church on 25 April 2009.

Guests in attendance included guest speaker Command Sergeant Major Dan Armour of the 1140th Engineer Battalion, Missouri Army National Guard, and his wife Sondra with their son, Staff Sergeant Brent Armour, 1138th Military Police, Missouri Army National Guard. Also in attendance were Pastor Mike Parry of the Fruitland Community Church and his wife, Grace. The banquet was attended by the members of the Trail of Tears Composite Squadron and their families and friends. The meal was provided by the efforts of Abby Williams and was served buffet style. The colors were posted by the Trail of Tears Color Guard with the National Anthem performed by a quartet of violins played by 14 year old Cadet Senior Master Sergeant Hannah Harmon of Perryville, 13 year old Cadet Master Sergeant Josef Meyer and his sister, 11 year old Elizabeth Meyer of Bloomfield and 11 year old Naomi Williams of Gordonville.

Command Sergeant Major Armour spoke to those in attendance on leadership skills and spoke of his experiences in Iraq in 2004-2005 as First Sergeant of the former C Company, 1140th Engineer Battalion out of Sikeston.

Major Darryl Spurlock of Jackson, Commander of the Trail of Tears Composite Squadron, was presented his new rank by Command Sergeant Major Dan Armour and Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Jonathan Fox.

Other awards and recognitions were presented as follows:

Lt Col Virgil Green was recognized for his 20 years of service to the Civil Air Patrol.

1st Lt Sara Bohnert, 1st Lt Rita LaVanchy and Cadet 2nd Lt Arielle Bohnert were presented with the Disaster Relief Ribbon with "V" device for their work in Malden, MO during the ice storm. The "V" device is given to individuals in recognition of service during a Presidential Declared Disaster.

Cadet Chief Master Sergeant Jonathan Fox and Cadet Master Sergeant Meghan Fox were awarded their Red Service ribbons in recognition of two years service in the Civil Air Patrol.

Cadet Master Sergeant Maghen Fox received the Cadet Honor NCO award.

Cadet Airman First Class Seth Hovis received the Honor Cadet award.

Cadet Airman Umar Brimah received the Most Improved Cadet Award.

Pastor Parry was presented a plaque from the squadron in appreciation of his support to the Civil Air Patrol and the Trail of Tears Composite Squadron.

Command Sergeant Major Dan Armour was presented a plaque from the squadron in appreciation of his service to our country and his support of the Civil Air Patrol.

Staff Sergeant Brent Armour was presented a proclamation from the squadron declaring the adoption of Staff Sergeant Armour and his unit, the 1138th Military Police Company, while they are deployed to Iraq.

Mrs. Abby Williams was presented a certificate of appreciation for her hard work in preparing the meal and for her support of the Trail of Tears Composite Squadron.

The banquet ended with Lt Col Virgil Green and Cadet Airman Seth Hovis, the oldest and youngest members of the Trail of Tears Composite Squadron, cutting the squadron cake during the cake cutting ceremony.

The Civil Air Patrol was created on December 1, 1941 by Administrative Order 9, issued by Fiorello H. LaGuardia in his capacity as Director of the Office of Civilian Defense with Major General John F. Curry as the first National Commander. During World War II, CAP was seen as a way to use America's civilian aviation resources to aid the war effort instead of grounding them. The organization assumed many missions including anti-submarine patrol and warfare, border patrols, and courier services. CAP pilots sighted 173 enemy U-boats and sank two.

After the end of World War II, CAP became the civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force, and its incorporating charter declared that it would never again be involved in direct combat activities, but would be of a benevolent nature. CAP changed command several times, to Continental Air Command in 1959, Headquarters Command, USAF in 1968, and Education Command, Air University in 1976. Since its incorporation charter, CAP has maintained its relationship with the USAF, and has continued its three congressionally-mandated missions; Emergency Services, Aerospace Education and Cadet Programs.

The Trail of Tears Composite Squadron was chartered April 1990 under the name Cape Girardeau Composite Squadron. Its Charter number is 23127. It had its headquarters located at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport. In 1995 the location moved to the Naval Reserve Center by Arena Park where it continued its missions. In 2007 the squadron moved to the Fruitland Community Church after the closing of the Naval Reserve Center.

The Trail of Tears Composite Squadron has its drill meetings every Thursday from 7pm to 9 pm at the Fruitland Community Church on Highway 61. More information can be found at the Trail of Tears website at

or calling 573-824-5546.

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