Four area youths were honored in a promotion ceremony Thursday as part of the Durant/Eaker Field Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol.
Cadet siblings from Denton, Texas, Miranda Ellinghaus, a lieutenant colonel, and Richard Ellinghaus, a captain, received special milestone awards. They joined cadets Cade Norton of Ada (a master sergeant) and Terry Doggett of Durant (Airman First Class) who also received promotions.
“These cadets will learn so many skills that most adults will never learn,” said Civil Air Patrol Captain John Wyatt. “This is also a very big milestone for Durant and for Oklahoma.”
The local Civil Air Patrol cadet program is supported by the City of Durant, mainly through the use of Eaker Field. City Manager Jim Dunegan, Councilman Stewart Hoffman and Mayor Jerry Tomlinson were on hand to help present the promotional awards.
“These young people are our hope and our dream for the future,” Tomlinson said. “The support of your family members is essential, so don’t forget that. Continue your efforts and continue your passion.”
State Sen. Josh Brecheen presented citations to the Ellinghaus siblings commending their accomplishments in the program. James Patterson of the local VFW chapter also presented special awards.
The prestigious Ira C. Eaker Award was presented to Lt. Col. Miranda Ellinghaus, a remarkable 17-year-old who finished high school at age 16 and will graduate from junior college this week.
Her brother, Capt. Richard Ellinghaus, was presented the Amelia Earhart Award.
The presentations were made in the airport terminal at Eaker Field, with a large group of family members and new cadets on hand to witness the ceremony.