Green River Squadron of Civil Air Patrol honors outstanding cadet

Lt. Col. Paul Hansen, left, and Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, 94, one of four remaining Doolittle Raiders, present Hunter Storm the Air Force Association Award. - Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter
Lt. Col. Paul Hansen, left, and Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, 94, one of four remaining Doolittle Raiders, present Hunter Storm the Air Force Association Award.
— image credit: Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter

Hunter Storm, say those who know her, is a girl of remarkable drive, energy, resolve.

Storm's been baking pies to raise money so she can head off to the Florida Everglades this summer to pitch herself into marine oceanography research, one more rung on the ladder that will, given her resolve, allow her to do what she loves best in the world: "oceanography and all sorts of science, animals, the universe and everything that's in it."

Storm already has a black belt in mixed martial arts.

She plays the flute and piano beautifully.

She's working on her pilot's license.

And if any more evidence were needed that some kind of rare fire burns in this kid, it came Tuesday night at the Hazelwood Elementary School gymnasium where Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, 94, one of the four remaining Dolittle Raiders, presented Civil Air Patrol Cadet Technical Sgt. Hunter Storm, 14, an award and medal from the United States Air Force.

Jessica Jerwa, Second Lt., Civil Air Patrol public affairs officer, cadet activities officer historian, and assistant information technologies officer for Green River Composite Squadron PCR-002, explained what the award and medal were about.

"Storm has promoted five times since joining on Feb. 22 2013, receiving her most recent promotion on the same date this year," Jerwa said. "She is part of our Cadet staff, meaning she has other more junior Cadets under her command. She was recognized as an honor cadet for her flight at Washington State's Cascade Falcon (Basic) Encampment at Joint Base Lewis McCord last summer."

Storm explained not only what's pushed her, as an eighth-grader at Thunder Mountain Middle School in Enumclaw, to take high school math, but her rapid ascent in the CAP.

"The hope of getting my pilot's license, mostly," Storm said. "I'm excited to get it — by the time I can drive would be nice. All modes of transportation, you know."

She follows a simple, direct, effective philosophy: "Just go out and do it; don't just sit there and wait for it to come to you."

Her father, Joseph, is a second lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol. Little brother, Trevor, is 9.

"She's just an amazing person," said Lt. Paul Hansen, deputy commander for the Green River Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol.

Receiving honors as VFW Cadet of the Year on Tuesday evening was Zecharia Lepeska, 16.

The Civil Air Patrol is a Congressionally chartered, federally supported, non-profit corporation that serves as the official civilian auxiliary of the United States Air Force (USAF). It is a volunteer organization with an aviation-minded membership that includes people from all backgrounds, lifestyles, and occupations. It performs three congressionally-assigned key missions: emergency services, which includes search and rescue —by air and ground — and disaster relief operations; aerospace education for youth and the general public; and cadet programs for teenage youth.

What's more, the Civil Air Patrol has recently been tasked with homeland security and courier service missions. It performs non-auxiliary missions for various governmental and private agencies, including local law enforcement and the American Red Cross.

The squadron meets weekly at Hazelwood Elementary school.

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