Arundel squadron supports Wreaths Across America in Crownsville
December 27, 2019 – CROWNSVILLE, Md.– The Arundel Composite Squadron, a unit of Civil Air Patrol’s Maryland Wing, hosted the annual Wreaths Across America ceremony at Crownsville Veterans Cemetery, Md., on December 14, 2019. With the approximately 4,400 community volunteers, members of the Arundel Composite Squadron placed wreaths on the headstones of those interred at the cemetery.
Civil Air Patrol Maj. Kevin Harris, former commander of the squadron, presided over the ceremony. The squadron cadet color guard presented the U.S., Maryland, and Prisoner of War / Missing in Action (POW/MIA) colors. Part of the ceremony is the placing of a remembrance wreath to honor each of the branches of the armed services and the POW/MIA. Personnel from each service placed their services’ wreath. At the ceremony’s conclusion, the unit’s cadet honor guard rendered a 21-gun salute to honor those interred.
The notable speaker during the ceremony was Jeanette Middleton-Sudano. Her son, U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Nathan McDavitt, perished on April 10, 2016, while deployed in the Middle East supporting Operation Enduring Freedom and is buried at the Crownsville Veterans Cemetery. Mrs. Middleton-Sudano remembered her son in her message and emphasized “… a service member dies twice. The first is on the battlefield or of other causes; while the other occurs with the service member is forgotten.” In her closing, Middleton-Sudano issued a challenge to all within the audience to research the name of a service member buried at the cemetery and tell their respective story; consequently, the service member will not be forgotten.
Hosting an event as large as this requires an increased need in logistics and support. Several squadron cadets and senior members worked jointly with the Anne Arundel County Reserve Police Officers and the U.S. Military Vets Motorcycle Club to control traffic and parked over 1,500 vehicles without incident. Squadron members also provided escorts to those families that requested assistance in laying wreaths, and rendered honors to their interred loved ones after the wreath was placed. Upon the event’s completion, the squadron assisted with clearing the cemetery of empty wreath boxes and trash.
The Arundel Composite Squadron would like to give recognition to Mrs. Jill Harris for her enduring efforts and utmost devotion to honoring the United States’ combat fallen for not only for those buried at Crownsville, but also for those buried across the nation, and all veterans who served or are serving. Just six years ago, Mrs. Harris, witnessed that merely 184 graves received wreaths at the cemetery. Through her involvement and dedication to raise awareness about Wreaths Across America and concerted effort to increase the number of graves receiving wreaths over the years, approximately 16,000 wreaths were laid at the Crownsville cemetery this year. Mrs. Harris has been the WAA principal site coordinator for Crownsville Veterans Cemetery for six years.
Special acknowledgments are given to the following Civil Air Patrol, Arundel Composite Squadron cadets: Color Guard – C/Capt. Nicholas Novak, C/1st Lt. Kaitlyn Amaya-Olivia, C/1st Lt. Nagrongrit Dulsaeng, C/2nd Lt. Jakob Behrendt, C/Chief Master Sgt. Zachary Jackson; Honor Guard – C/Chief Master Sgt. Joseph El-Haddad, C/Chief Master Sgt. Scott Biggs, C/Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Boxall, C/Chief Master Sgt. Logan Tilman, C/Tech Sgt. Leyna Vo, C/SSgt Annabelle Death, C/SrA Zhanaya Taylor, C/A1C Lukas Novak.
The Arundel squadron is a composite squadron consisting of both senior and youth programs with members from Anne Arundel and surrounding counties. The squadron meets Monday nights, 7:00-9:00 p.m., at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and School located at 308 Oak Manor Dr, in Glen Burnie, Maryland. It welcomes new members who may have a passion for aviation, dream of flight or are considering a career in the military. Civil Air Patrol is a great way to serve your community and enhance your leadership skills. Youths, ages 12 to 18, parents and adults interested in the cadet or senior program are always welcome to drop by our meetings. Contact the Arundel Composite squadron at https://arundel.mdwg.cap.gov or follow the squadron on Facebook.
More than 1,500 members serve in Civil Air Patrol’s Maryland Wing. Last year, wing members flew 13 actual search and rescue missions. Overall, the Maryland Wing flew 32 missions for the State of Maryland, flying 2,245 hours in all mission categories, and was credited with four finds. Volunteers contributed services estimated at $4.6 million. For information, contact the Maryland Wing at mdwg.cap.gov or follow the wing on Facebook.
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, Civil Air Patrol 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 82 lives annually. Civil Air Patrol’s 61,000 members also perform homeland security, disaster relief and drug interdiction missions at the request of federal, state and local agencies. In addition, Civil Air Patrol plays a leading role in aerospace/STEM education, and its members serve as mentors to over 25,000 young people participating in Civil Air Patrol’s Cadet Programs. Visit www.GoCivilAirPatrol.com or www.CAP.news for information.
1st Lt. Jeffrey Robertson, CAP
Public Affairs Officer
Maryland Wing, Civil Air Patrol