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NC Wing Cadet Helps Others Despite Being Affected By Hurricane Florence

Cadet loads supplies in car
C/TSgt Corbin Endre loads disaster relief supplies for a family on September 23, 2018 at a Point of Distribution site in Wilmington, North Carolina. Photo Credit: Major Kathy Nicholas, CAP (click image to view full size)
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C/TSgt Corbin Endre serves in POD after storm damage and lengthy evacuation

9/24/2018––Despite damages to his family home from Hurricane Florence and a lengthy evacuation, Cadet Tech Sgt. Corbin Endre is serving at the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Point of Distribution (POD) in Wilmington, NC, helping the public receive much needed disaster relief supplies.   

As Hurricane Florence bore down on Wilmington, Cadet 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 Cadet Endre’s mother, 2d Lt Heather Endre. 

All four members of the Endre family (parents and two sons) are members of CAP’s Brunswick County Composite Squadron.  
As the Endre family packed up and evacuated inland, they packed for a week, not knowing that their evacuation would turn into eleven days. 

For the evacuation, Cadet Endre packed his treasured karate belts, his Xbox and his CAP ABU uniform.  Cadet Corbin commented, "At the last squadron meeting before we evacuated, our Deputy Commander for Seniors, 2d 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 watching the storm 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, washed completely away, or had trees and power lines across them making the way home impassable.  Eleven days after leaving, they returned home to the devastation left by Hurricane Florence. 

The Endre's house sustained storm damage such as screens being blown out and crushed fencing and they had many trees down on their property.  On Saturday morning, while mom (2d Lt Heather Endre) and Corbin’s brother (Cadet Sr. Master Sgt. Justin Endre) went to help clear debris from Justin's school, father (2d Lt Mark Endre) and Corbin got to work with pole saws and chain saws clearing the fallen trees near their home.  That morning Cadet Endre saw the POD mission that CAP had opened in Wilmington.  He immediately contacted his local CAP coordinator to get his name on the mission list and showed up at the mission base in Wilmington the next morning at 0530 ready to serve.  He has been there at the POD helping every day since.

Cadet Endre said, "Since we didn't have that much damage at our house, I felt an obligation to help those who needed it.  Volunteer service is a CAP cadet core value, and one of the primary missions of CAP is Emergency Services."

Cadet Endre’s squadron commander, Major Kathy Nicholas, noted that damage from wind and water was extensive in many Brunswick County neighborhoods and that most of the members from his squadron evacuated prior to the hurricane’s landfall.  And 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, getting back home took many days due to flooding and impassable roads.  After the storm passed, squadron members found trees down, leaks in their houses due to wind-driven rain, roofing tiles blown off causing major water damage, flooding, loss of power for multiple days and a cadet’s family being isolated due to emergency responders being unable to get into his neighborhood.  

Although many local CAP members were looking after their own families and homes, the Brunswick County Composite Squadron was able to send three senior members and two cadets (including Cadet Endre) to help with the POD mission.  CAP members from the Cape Fear Composite Squadron who were directly impacted from the storm also served at the POD site.  

In thanking all who came to help, Major Nicholas stated, “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.  We are honored to be able to serve alongside these great members of our CAP family.  Thank you!”

And in commenting about Cadet Endre’s POD service, Major Nicholas 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 NC 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.