One of the hardest things to do in life is to say good-bye to someone we care about. Cadets from the St. Petersburg Cadet Squadron, who are members of the Group 3 Honor Guard team, made that good-bye a little easier on Saturday, 17 February 2018, as they took part in the funeral of former senior member, Rev. Robert Aligood. Pastor Bob, as he was affectional known, passed suddenly on Monday 12 February.
Pastor Bob was a member of the United States Coast Guard for four years. After finishing his tour of duty with the Coast Guard he went to college and trained to become a minister. He served in several different areas of the country before he settled in St. Petersburg to become a youth minister and later to serve as a minister for two churches.
He became a member of Civil Air Patrol with his wife, Janet, as a way to become involved with youth outside of his own church. He was very enthusiastic and his joy of teaching extended to every area of his time in CAP. He enjoyed the camaraderie of the cadets and seniors at the meetings and bivouacs. He started to try getting documentation together to become a CAP chaplain. Unfortunately, the small church that he was preaching at could not afford to support a full-time minister and he had to take a second job. The hours were not compatibility with the hours for regular attendance at CAP meetings, so he took his leave of us.
His wife, Janet, when members of the squadron went to see her, specifically requested that if it was possible, she would like cadets to help with the service. Four cadets of the unitís Honor Guard were more than willing to assist with the service.
The Coast Guard sent a two-man team and was happy to have the cadets assist in the flag folding ceremony. The cadets stood on both ends of the coffin and as Taps was played rendered a salute to a man that was well liked by anyone who meant him. The Coast Guard presented the flag to his widow and TSgt Stephen Ray presented a second flag to his daughter, Bonnie Capra.
As the family was leaving the church, TSgt Ray and the cadets in attendance went forward to escort the female members of the family as they followed the coffin out of the church. Mrs. Aligood said, "I am so thankful for the attendance of the members of CAP, who came out to be a part of the service today. Bob loved working with the kids and it would have been something he would have wanted."