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545

So, I’m back home in New Hampshire for a few days. Tonight, it occurred to me that this was a Thursday evening, which is when Civil Air Patrol meets locally, so I though I would stop by and see how things were going for the squadron.

I guess this only really makes sense to those of you who knew me in high school, because I haven’t been active much at all in CAP since I came to college. While I was in high school, though, CAP really defined my existence. I poured much more time and effort into the organization than I did into my schoolwork, whenever I could get away with it… It was a way to prepare myself, to get used to the military environment and way of thinking. JROTC wasn’t available for me; my high school didn’t have it.

The squadron is doing really well, it seems. There were only a few people there who recognized me, but they were the ones in command; they had risen admirably to ranks I never had the time to achieve. There were many new faces, though; it looks like the squadron’s grown since I left. It’s kind of a bittersweet feeling, going back and chatting with the people there; CAP was a great thing in my life, but I feel like I’ve lost touch with the person I was while I was there. Basically everyone in the squadron, at least while I was a member, intended to become an officer in some branch of the military through one of the available means, be it ROTC, a service academy, or just rising through the ranks. At this point, I’ve lost that; I’m just a civilian now. The one question everybody there asked me was how I was doing in ROTC; when I told them that I was no longer part of it, faces fell, and the conversations tended to end shortly thereafter.

I don’t know. I guess that it was inevitable that I would have to move on eventually; this was the first time in about a year that I’ve been in the state when they’ve held a meeting, and meetings are weekly. It’s just that going there recalls all the memories about the good times of high school; it doesn’t feel like I have as much fun with any single thing I do now. And that feeling is a little sad.

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