Vermont Civil Air Patrol Officer Decorated for Hurricane Ida Disaster Relief Work

Civil Air Patrol National Headquarters has awarded 1st Lt Vincent Gonillo, of Vermont Wing, Civil Air Patrol (CAP), the Disaster Relief Ribbon with “V” device for his work following the devastation that resulted from September’s Hurricane Ida.

1st Lt Vincent Gonillo

Lt Gonillo, who serves as Commanding Officer of Burlington Senior Squadron, was one of 150 CAP senior members nationwide to receive the award.

Hurricane Ida was considered one of the most destructive hurricanes to make landfall in the United States in several decades. Damage and fatalities extended from the Gulf Coast to the Northeastern United States, with Louisiana being especially hard hit. A total of 115 deaths have been attributed to Ida, including 95 in the United States. Property damage has been estimated to total $95 billion.

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) relied upon CAP volunteers like Lt Gonillo, and others, to review thousands of photos taken across Louisiana to identify areas needing immediate support after Hurricane Ida. The volunteers ‘analyses allowed FEMA to put early emphasis on those areas for disaster services.

Awardees are authorized to wear the Disaster Relief Ribbon, with a silver “V” device, signifying participation in relief efforts for Presidential-declared disasters.

Lt Gonillo’s award was presented by Col. Ronald Olienyk, CAP National Deputy Director of Operations. In order to receive the award, CAP members had to complete at least 100 individual photo assessments. Lt Gonillo had completed 300 of these reviews.

“The Vermont Wing greatly appreciates the leadership and spirit of service demonstrated by Lt Gonillo following Hurricane Ida,” said Col. Richard Beach, commander of Vermont Wing. “His work demonstrated the best of how Vermont Wing and Civil Air Patrol nationwide serves our communities under extreme circumstances—even from a distance.”