HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – Members from the Company Grade Officers Council here recently donated approximately 200 sets of Airmen’s used battlefield uniforms to the Massachusetts Wing Civil Air Patrol.
The donation drive aimed to reduce the financial stress on cadets and their families, as local CAP units transition to ABUs from the previous variant of the Battle Dress Uniform. Organizers estimate the total savings to cadets to be just under $10,000.
“When given the chance to give back to an organization that gave you so much, you take it,” said Capt. Francis “Mickey” Condon, CGOC drive organizer.
A former CAP cadet, Condon, who is acting chief of the Acquisition Intelligence Division at Hanscom, says he understands the impact donations can have on the unit.
“I remember being a cadet and working a part-time job to help pay for uniforms and activities,” he said. “These donations are absolutely saving cadets and their families’ out-of-pocket costs.”
The CAP cadet program is the official auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, and according to their website, develops youth into dynamic leaders through a curriculum focused on leadership, aerospace, fitness and service.
Condon and officials from the Mass. CAP said cadets were excited about the donations.
“Everyone in our organization was in awe at the number of donations we received,” said Maj. James Mazzola Sr., CAP Mass. Wing assistant director of cadet programs, who has handed out 125 sets of uniforms to his unit so far.
“I want to thank everyone who made donations,” he said. “The costs can really be a financial burden on some families.”
Condon and 1st Lt. Evan Papp, CGOC president, said the council is looking to organize similar drives in the future.
“If we find the opportunity to assist and help a group, we’re more than willing and capable to make it happen,” said Papp, a Kill Chain Integration Branch program manager.