Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Army Band held concerts at two military veteran retirement homes in the District Nov. 9, 2021, ahead of the Veterans Day observance and to strengthen the bond with local service members for life.
Members of the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region and U.S. Army Military District of Washington dispatched the senior leader volunteers and The Army Band’s String Quartet to the Armed Forces Retirement Home and Knollwood Retirement Community to remind the retirement home veterans that currently serving troops appreciate the service they rendered to the country.
Col. Tony Braxton, MDW personnel officer, greeted residents at the Armed Forces Retirement Home, while Lt. Col. Perry Bolding, a logistics officer, offered the Knollwood audience words of gratitude on behalf of the command before handing the mic over to the musicians.
“What I love about Veterans Day is that it really binds all of us together as brother and sisters in arms both across the services and across generations because the ones that are servicing with me now really stand on your shoulders and the shoulders of those that came before us," said Bolding, as he greeted Knollwood residents.
Prior to the visits, neither retirement home had received visiting groups since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers ensured participants were fully immunized to protect residents, while reestablishing community ties through the sound of music.
“What’s happened is COVID has really just crunched us. A lot of these people still haven’t really gotten out,” said Marla McGuiness, AFRH Recreation Specialist. “Today I heard great reviews for both the speaker and the Brass Band. I saw lots of smiles and residents speaking with the guest speakers afterward.”
“Our residents love professional musicians. They’ve been talking about this for weeks,” said Kathy Byus, Program Coordinator and Staff Chapel Liaison at Knollwood Retirement Community. “I would request from the Military District of Washington any of the musicians and the bands as much as I could. This is their favorite. This is awesome.”
The guest speakers also enjoyed the visit.
“It’s really a privilege to be a part of the most powerful Army in the world, the most powerful Air Force in the world, the most powerful Navy in the world,” said Bolding. “It’s really encouraging to be connected to veterans from previous generations, and I was inspired to see them still serving each other."