Civil Air Patrol cadets help hurricane Matthew victims in North - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Civil Air Patrol cadets help hurricane Matthew victims in North Carolina

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HERRIN -- Civil Air Patrol cadets from southern Illinois travel to North Carolina to help with Hurricane Matthew recovery.

The storm brought serious and deadly flooding to the Carolinas, as it brought heavy rain, strong wind, and a big storm surge. In the wake, the Shawnee Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol deployed nearly a dozen people left to help with disaster relief.

Civil Air Patrol Cadets Rose Perkins and Aaron Ferguson, saw first-hand, the devastation Hurricane Matthew left behind.

"It's unbelievable that something of that size can happen," said Ferguson.

Last week their Squadron, based in Herrin, deployed to Lumberton, North Carolina to help with disaster relief.

"You just see on the news all the destruction that happened down there and it just felt like a good way to help give back," said Ferguson.

Around 8 CAP members, including Ferguson and Perkins, volunteered to help distribute supplies like food, water and clothing.

"One of the nights we helped serve meals, hot meals to about 3,000 people," said Ferguson.

"Seeing all the things that had happened up there and all the people come to you and thank you with tears in their eyes, some of them," added Perkins.

The CAP provides training for cadets and other members who help out in emergencies. Members also learn discipline and leadership skills.

"The Cadet program as well as the senior program offers ground team training and any individual that is qualified in ground team operations can participate in either something like this, with disaster relief or with something on emergency services," Captain Evan Youngblood, CAP. 

Squadron Commander Youngblood said an experience like this gives his cadets an opportunity to help others.

"Being that were so far away from home, it's people that they don't know. It's people that they will likely never see again but it gave them an opportunity to shake hands with people, to help people out," said Youngblood.

Perkins, just 15, and Ferguson, 18, both hope to join the Air Force and both said they would answer the call again.
   
"It's an amazing experience and it's awesome to be there and to be helping people," added Perkins.

The cadets that participated earned a disaster relief ribbon to wear on their uniforms, which the Civil Air Patrol will award them, next Tuesday night.

To learn more you can go to their Facebook page.

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