Teen helps after Florence

Published 8:56 pm Monday, October 29, 2018

Being a member of the Civil Air Patrol gave Lakeland High School freshman Savannah Stevenson the chance to travel to North Carolina to help after Hurricane Florence.

Savannah, 15, has been a member of the Tidewater Composite Squadron for a little more than a year, and she is currently a Cadet Senior Airman.

“I’ve always wanted to be involved with the military, and I want to be able to fly,” Savannah said. “I’ve always been talking about going into the military.”

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Being involved with the Civil Air Patrol has given Savannah the chance to experience the military. The structure has been something she loves the most.

Her trip down to North Carolina gave her the chance to experience what tragedy can do to a community, and she is grateful for the experience.

“It definitely wasn’t easy, and I don’t want it to happen again,” Savannah said. “I got the chance to meet different people, and it was incredibly humbling. I learned about what could be taken away. People were living in their cars, and some of them had nothing to come home to.”

The opportunity gave Savannah the chance to learn more about those in other communities.

“I learned so much more about myself and other cadets. We had the time to talk and get to know more about each other,” Savannah said.

Savannah’s mission, along with other air patrolmen, was to provide emergency services, which is the Civil Air Patrol’s main mission.

The Civil Air Patrol perform emergency services for state and local agencies as well as the federal government as the civilian auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and for state and local communities as a nonprofit organization. They provide air support to search for missing people.

Savannah plans to continue her work and expand her opportunities with the Civil Air Patrol. She recently attended the Encampment and Honor Guard College, which will allow her to begin learning how to fly and attend various other training with the Civil Air Patrol.

Her squadron commander, Capt. Robin Haight, has been impressed with Savannah’s growth over the last year, and she believes that Savannah can be successful during her time as a civil air patrolman.

“She is one of our all-stars. She’s not very loud, but she has a lot of passion and is very controlled,” Haight said. “It’s very evident that she already knows the direction of her life.”

Haight has been impressed with Savannah’s maturity during her time in the Tidewater Composite Squadron.

“She has really come into her own now,” Haight said.

Savannah currently has a leadership role with the squadron as a flight commander.