N.C. Cadet, Affected by Florence, Helps Distribute Supplies
Capt. Lynne T. Albert
Public Affairs Officer
North Carolina Wing
Despite damages to his family home from Hurricane Florence and a lengthy evacuation, Cadet Tech Sgt. Corbin Endre is helping ensure storm and flood victims receive much-needed disaster relief supplies at Civil Air Patrol’s Point of Distribution in Wilmington, North Carolina.
As Hurricane Florence bore down on Wilmington, Endre and his family prepared to evacuate. "This was not our first hurricane living in North Carolina, but it was the first one where we felt evacuation was the right way to go," said the Brunswick County Composite Squadron cadet’s mother, 2nd Lt Heather Endre. Corbin’s father, 2nd Lt. Mark Endre, also belongs to the Brunswick County Squadron, as does his brother, Cadet Senior Master Sgt. Justin Endre.
As the family packed up and evacuated inland, they carried supplies for a week, not knowing that their evacuation would extend 11 days. Corbin packed his treasured karate belts, his Xbox and his CAP Airman Battle Uniform.
"At the last squadron meeting before we evacuated, our deputy commander for seniors, 2nd Lt. Cynthia Willard, told us that after the hurricane we may not be called to do a mission because we would likely be the mission."
After Florence hit Wilmington and the surrounding areas, the evacuated Endre family watched news of the rivers rising and their routes home being shut down, one by one. Roads were flooded or washed completely away, or trees and power lines lay across them, making the way home impassable.
After a week and a half, they returned home to the devastation left by Florence. Storm damage to their home included blown-out screens, crushed fencing and numerous felled trees. On Saturday morning, while Heather and Justin Endre helped clear debris from Justin's school, Mark and Corbin Endre got to work with pole saws and chainsaws clearing the fallen trees near their home.
That morning Corbin saw notification of the Points of Distribution mission CAP had opened in Wilmington. He immediately contacted his local CAP coordinator to add his name to the mission list; the next morning, he showed up at the mission base near Wilmington at 5:30 a.m., ready to serve.
He has been helping out at the POD every day since.
"Since we didn't have that much damage at our house, I felt an obligation to help those who needed it,” he said. “Volunteer service is a CAP cadet core value, and one of the primary missions of CAP is emergency services."
The family’s squadron commander, Maj. Kathy Nicholas, noted that damage from wind and water was extensive in many Brunswick County neighborhoods, and most of the members of the unit’s squadron evacuated before the hurricane made landfall. The few who stayed saw the powerful force of the storm up close.
Brunswick County encompasses a large, low-lying area and the squadron’s members are spread out over several communities. For those who left, like the Endres, flooding and impassable roads meant getting back home took many days. Upon arrival they found trees down, leaks from wind-driven rain, water damage from blown-off roofing tiles, flooding and loss of power for multiple days. One cadet’s family was left isolated when emergency responders were unable to access their neighborhood.
Many local North Carolina Wing members were looking after their own families and homes, but the Brunswick County Composite Squadron was able to send three senior members and a cadet, in addition to Corbin Endre, to help with the POD mission. Cape Fear Composite Squadron members who were directly affected by Florence served at the POD site as well.
“Our unit appreciates how our fellow CAP members in the state, from Virginia, Maryland, the Middle East Region and throughout the extended CAP community, came to our area to provide disaster relief,” said Nicholas, the Brunswick County squadron commander. “We are honored to be able to serve alongside these great members of our CAP family. Thank you!”
She added, “Cadet Endre is an exceptional cadet and leader. Through his volunteer actions he exemplifies service before self and excellence in accomplishing a mission well.”
The North Carolina Wing is supporting emergency services missions for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the North Carolina Department of Emergency Management and other federal, state and local governments as North Carolina works to recover from Hurricane Florence.
CAP, acting as the Air Force Auxiliary, is supporting Air Forces Northern during Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations following the landfall of Hurricane Florence on the East Coast. AFNORTH's primary role is to support U.S. Northern Command's efforts to provide assistance to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Hurricane Florence relief efforts.