A DIS­CERN­ING EYE

Air cadets look­ing for a few good youth

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - FRONT PAGE - TIM MILLER

An of­fi­cer in­spects mem­bers of the 608 Duke of Ed­in­burgh Royal Cana­dian Air Cadet Squadron Wed­nes­day at the Belleville Ar­mouries.

The 608 Duke of Ed­in­burgh Royal Cana­dian Air Cadet Squadron is look­ing for a few good youth to help swell its ranks.

“It’s an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for kids. It cre­ates lead­er­ship ca­pa­bil­i­ties in young peo­ple that they re­ally don’t get any­where else,” said Capt. Cyn­thia Rus­sell, as squads of youth rang­ing in age from 12 to 18 gath­ered in for­ma­tion at the Belleville Ar­mouries Wed­nes­day night.

As cadets move through the pro­gram they take on the re­spon­si­bil­ity of bring­ing the newer cadets along, she ex­plained.

“So they learn to in­struct, they learn to lead, they be­come good cit­i­zens and it’s just a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity.”

One of those cadets is War­rant Of­fi­cer Sec­ond Class Wil­liam Danahy. At 18 he’s near­ing the end of nearly five years with the cadet pro­gram as cadets re­tire be­fore their 19th birth­day.

“I joined when I was 13,” said Danahy. “I’ve al­ways wanted to be a pilot.”

For Danahy, avi­a­tor am­bi­tions run in the fam­ily. His fa­ther, cur­rently serv­ing as a tech­ni­cian in the mil­i­tary, had dreams of be­ing a pilot but vi­sion is­sues kept that dream at arm’s length.

“I wanted to be­come a pilot, sort of fol­low­ing his foot­steps.”

The first time Danahy re­ceived a taste of what it is like to fly was dur­ing a fam­ily day for the mil­i­tary where he flew from CFB Trenton in an air­bus and flew around the CN Tower in Toronto.

“That was amaz­ing,” he said. “Low fly­ing over the CN tower, we did a cou­ple of turns and that re­ally caught my at­ten­tion.”

Since join­ing the cadets he’s spent hours upon hours in flight and has been up in a glider 80 times. Last year he com­pleted his glider course.

While Danahy is near­ing the end of his time with the cadets, 12-yearold Corp. Quinn McGuin­ness is just be­gin­ning hers.

McGuin­ness joined a lit­tle less than a year ago, fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of her older brother.

“It’s re­ally great,” she said about the pro­gram. “You meet a lot of peo­ple and you get to ex­pe­ri­ence a lot.”

While McGuin­ness hasn’t had an op­por­tu­nity yet to fly a glider she has al­ready spent some time in the tow-plane and said she would jump at the chance to do it again.

Both Danahy and McGuin­ness highly rec­om­mended the cadet pro­gram. Danahy said its helped him hone his pub­lic speak­ing, lead­er­ship, time man­age­ment and teach­ing skills.

It’s also helped strengthen his in­ter­est in avi­a­tion as a ca­reer.

“I’m al­ready a pilot,” he said. “I know that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

For more in­for­ma­tion on join­ing the 608 Duke of Ed­in­burgh Royal Cana­dian Air Cadet Squadron visit http://www.608dukes.com/be­come-an-air-cadet.html

TIM MILLER/THE INTELLIGENCER

TIM MILLER/THE INTELLIGENCER

War­rant Of­fi­cer Sec­ond Class Wil­liam Danahy looks over mem­bers of the 608 Duke of Ed­in­burgh Royal Cana­dian Air Cadet Squadron as they stand in for­ma­tion at the Belleville Ar­mouries.

TIM MILLER/THE INTELLIGENCER

A mem­ber of the 608 Duke of Ed­in­burgh Royal Cana­dian Air Cadet Squadron is shown in sil­hou­ette Wed­nes­day at the Belleville Ar­mouries.

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