While reviewing your edition of May 31, I happened to notice an advertisement for Airport Appreciation Day on June 11 placed by the “893 Beaufort Squadron” of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets (RCAC).
That ad brought back a host of vivid and positive memories for me.
I was a Grade 9 student in Winnipeg in 1956 when an RCAC recruiter came to our high school and informed us about the benefits of joining that organization and I chose to accept their offer. It was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life.
During the next two years I was given the opportunity for my first-ever flight experience; learned a great deal about the military history of our country — a history in which we can take a great deal of pride; attended two exciting summer camps in British Columbia and through regular attendance at Air Cadet meetings and functions found that I had also acquired some valuable self-confidence and discipline.
I also learned to take pride in wearing a Canadian uniform, and, because I was wearing that uniform, to take added care regarding my personal appearance.
Undoubtedly, today’s air cadets experience the same kind of benefits as I did more than half a century ago and if I could speak to those aged 12 to 18 who are offered a similar opportunity today, I would heartily say, “Go for it!”
Leonard M. Melman