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Malmstrom family pledges to Montana Civil Air Patrol

Teresa Conner, now headquarters Civil Air Patrol Montana wing administrator, left, and husband John Conner, now 341st Logistics Readiness Squadron assistant director of logistics and a retired Air Force veteran, second from left, pose for a photo during a Civil Air Patrol event in 2011.

Teresa Conner, now headquarters Civil Air Patrol Montana wing administrator, left, and husband John Conner, now 341st Logistics Readiness Squadron assistant director of logistics and a retired Air Force veteran, second from left, pose for a photo during a Civil Air Patrol event in 2011. Teresa and John have been a part of the CAP since 2003 and now serve with the unit in Montana. (Courtesy photo)

Teresa Conner, headquarters Civil Air Patrol Montana wing administrator, left, and husband John Conner, 341st Logistics Readiness Squadron assistant director of logistics and a retired Air Force veteran, poses for a photo March 1, 2019, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.

Teresa Conner, headquarters Civil Air Patrol Montana wing administrator, left, and husband John Conner, 341st Logistics Readiness Squadron assistant director of logistics and a retired Air Force veteran, poses for a photo March 1, 2019, at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. Teresa and John have been a part of the CAP since 2003 and now serve with the unit in Montana. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Daniel Brosam)

MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- Founded on Dec. 1, 1941, The Civil Air Patrol was formed to mobilize the nation’s civilian aviation resources for national defense.

For one Malmstrom family, John and Teresa Conner, their commitment to CAP has spanned across many years, countries and continents.

The CAP, a total force partner and auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, has a mission to support America’s communities with emergency response, diverse aviation and ground services, youth development and promotion of air, space and cyber power.

The Conners began their journey in 2003 while stationed at Yokota Air Base, Japan, when their son joined CAP. Within a few months, the Conners moved to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany.

“At the time, there was a squadron just forming there in need of members,” said Teresa, headquarters CAP Montana wing administrator. “My husband and I both joined to help get it off the ground, and within months we were running it.”

Because it was an overseas squadron, the unit did not receive financial assistance from the headquarters so they had to fundraise for everything they needed. This allowed them more opportunities for cadet training and more involvement with active-duty members.

“The reason I joined and enjoy the CAP is more like a habit formed from my active service in the Air Force,” said John, 341st Logistics Readiness Squadron assistant director of logistics and a retired Air Force veteran. “The core values I took serious and lived by set the tone not only in my military career, but encouraged me to volunteer on base and in the community.”

According to the official CAP website, CAP exists to search for and find the lost, provide comfort in times of disaster and work to keep the homeland safe. The organization’s 60,000 members devote their time, energy and expertise toward the well-being of their communities, while also promoting aviation and related fields through aerospace and STEM education, and helping shape future leaders through CAP’s cadet program.

“We had so many adventures while in (CAP) from seeing my son become the squadron commander, leading local parades as U.S ambassadors, to exploring underground bunkers,” Teresa said. “We did everything with the cadets… we were one big family and [we] still have so many friends from our units.”
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