Rick Cacini had a night to remember as he said goodbye to an organization he had served with faithfully for over two decades.
Cacini retired from the Oklahoma Civil Patrol which is an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force and was among those honored during a dinner at the Stony Creek Hotel Conference Center in Broken Arrow.
“It was a nice evening,” he said. “I am sure I will miss the camaraderie.”
Cacini began flying in 1967 and has been a member with the Civil Air Patrol since 1997. A Lt. Col. in the U.S. Army, Cacini’s service overlapped. As a member of the Civil Air Patrol, Cacini served the state in a number of ways, flying a Cessna 172 and 182.
“There was transport, aerospace programs for the state,” he said. “We are an emergency organization.”
Cacini said he has held many positions including that of squad commander and wing commander. He enjoyed working with the cadets and seniors, teaching kids to read maps and fly.
Given the demands on his schedule that include serving Yukon, Cacini decided it was time to walk away.
“I decided to retire,” he said. “I have been on it 24 years and I am 74 years old. I am on 10 boards and 14 organizations.”
To help celebrate his retirement, Cacini invited Broken Arrow Mayor Debra Wimpee and her husband to the dinner. Prior to that, he was placed in charge of the golf tournament and captured first place.
“It was the first dinner in two years and we had the 2020 and 2021 awards,” Cacini said. “I was the only guy to retire.”
Among the reasons for celebrations were the lives saved. There was also two finds where the emergency transponder from a plane that had crashed was used to locate the plane.
Col. Dave Roberts, the outgoing Oklahoma Wing Commander, handed Cacini his retirement document and highlighted the actions of the patrol.
It has accumulated more than 49,921 volunteer days, completing 1,745 air sorties and 4,648 ground sorties while delivering 4,425 units of blood, assisting with 8,862,056 meals and 1,202,806 pounds of food. There were also 2,624,452 masks and 177,407 test kits.