Cadet Airman Xavier Jeffries of the 143rd Composite Squadron introduces students to Cadet Ken.
Cadet Chief Master Sgt. Rebecca Lange explains CAP’s cadet program to a young visitor to the squadron's tent while Cadet Lt. Col. Matthew McCandless gives younger students drug demand reduction program premium items.
Cadet Ken with 143rd Composite Squadron cadets.
Maj. Joe Palys
Drug Demand Reduction Officer
143rd Composite Squadron
CONNECTICUT – When Waterbury students turned out for a back-to-school event in preparation for the new school year, members of the 143rd Composite Squadron were on hand to share Civil Air Patrol’s drug demand reduction message as well as information about the cadet program.
This marked the third year the squadron has participated in the annual Waterbury School System Back To School Rally. The event is held at the city’s Library Park, which includes a permanent stage and is located directly behind the Connecticut Army National Guard armory, where the unit meets.
The event, focused on exciting students for the coming school year, included musical and dance performances; addresses by Waterbury Mayor Neil O’Leary and Dr. Kathleen Ouellette, school superintendent; and music provided by Hartford’s WZMX-FM, as well as free food and school supplies.
After-school programs and community resource organizations set up information tents around the park.
In addition to the CAP tent, which featured information about the cadet program and a drug demand reduction presentation, Cadet Ken – the antidrug program’s mascot – wandered through the rally, greeting students and parents. At one point Ken joined a group of dancers when the radio station’s DJ played a popular line dance.