SAN ANTONIO (Jan. 26, 2017) -- At just three years old, Ian Alward wasn't old enough to know what it meant for his father to join the U.S. Army Reserve.
Years later, as a member of the 2017 U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, Alward recognizes the influence of the U.S. Army values passed down from his father, and the impact they've had on his success as a musician.
"At first I didn't know exactly what it meant for him to be in the [U.S. Army] and all the honor and selfless service he's learned and brought to our family," said Alward, a senior at Daviess County High School in Owensboro, Ky. "But over time I quickly picked it up and today I see myself as someone who has a lot of honor and likes to serve everyone around me."
Alward's selfless service and dedication is demonstrated through his leadership in both music and in the classroom, where he serves as the percussion section leader of his high school marching band, Vice President of the Junior Classic League and participates as a member of the National Honor Society.
Ian's father, Chad Alward, was a member of the 100th Army Reserve Band based at Fort Knox, Ky., and received the 2010 Col. Finley Hamilton Outstanding Military Musician Award -- an honor given to the 10 best military musicians from all branches of the armed forces.
In addition to seizing the opportunity to honor his father's service, Ian approached the U.S. Army All-American Bowl ready to embrace the "Become Greater Than…" mantra. "I'm proud to be an Army All-American because it just pushes me to go to the next place and work harder and play my best."
Alward joined the Nation's best high school marching band players to perform in the Army Bowl on Jan. 7, 2017 at San Antonio's Alamodome. To learn more about the All-American Bowl and the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band, visit goarmy.com/armybowl.