Garrison commander recognizes band's efforts
April 15, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- They play out of love for Soldiers, Families and music, and April 12, Garrison Commander Col. Yvette Kelley showed appreciation for Crossfire members' dedication.
Kelley presented Staff Sgts. Gavin Anderson and Jason Paull and Sgts. Lonnie Thompson, Jonathan Greer and Robert Chapa with garrison certificates of appreciation for performing their rock music sets during SpringFest March 20. CW3 Ryan Weaver and Staff Sgt. Chris Nguyen also received honors but were not in attendance at the ceremony at 98th Army Band headquarters.
"This is one small way to thank you and show you how much the community appreciates you," Kelley said, noting the whole 98th Army Band always performs well at post functions.
Crossfire, one of the 98th Army Band's few subgroups, "provides flexibility so they can tailor the music accompaniment" to any event and "showcases the specific talents of the Soldiers in those combos," she said.
Paull, a bass guitarist and singer, said the SpringFest show was twice as long as their normal performances, meaning he got to have "twice the fun."
"We pulled out some songs we don't play normally, including some 80s music," he said.
Other than the show length and rehashing some older songs, band members and leaders said the show was a normal performance.
"It (was) just another example of what they do best," said WO1 George Bauer, 98th Army Band commander. "They met the standard."
Thompson echoed the sentiment.
"It's all part of what we do," he said. "I have the easiest job in the Army because I get to do what I love to do."
Crossfire members said they enjoyed the recognition they received.
"It's special. It lets us know from the top down we're appreciated," Thompson said.
"It's always good to know people enjoy what we do because that's why we play," Paull said.
Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Dwaine Walters noted during the ceremony that Army band members provide a valuable service, especially overseas.
"There's no greater asset in theater than these bands," he said, adding when bands performed in Afghanistan, he saw Soldiers' morale "skyrocket."