By Air Force Airman 1st Class Joe McFaddenJuly 31, 2010
FORT A.P. HILL, Va. - In the midst of countless improvised tents and over the banter of thousands of people, the irresistible rhythm and grooves of "Blood, Sweat and Tears" reverberated throughout the campgrounds. The toe-tapping sounds and the screaming guitar shreds enticed the crowds to the stage where a pop ensemble effortlessly played the tunes.
To the scouts, it was a change from the speeches and advisories given to them by their leaders and guests.
To the band, it was not just another gig, but how they serve their country.
The Rhode Island Army National Guard's "Governor's Own" 88th Army Band entertained spectators with their unique blend of jazz and swing at the central region stage during the 2010 National Scout Jamboree commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America here at Fort A.P. Hill, Va., July 26. The band from New England, also known as "Rock and Load" comprised one of the many military bands that will perform throughout the Jamboree at the invitation of the Joint Task Force National Scout Jamboree.
"The main thing that we want to do is just get up there and rock the house down for the kids," said Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Todd Garrepy, band commander and former Boy Scout. "This is incredible for the band to get a chance to play on stage for a large audience. It's been very well appreciated, although the music might have been a little older for the scouts. But the parents and the troop masters had a good old time."
Army National Guard Specialist Francesca Simone, 88th Army Band oboist and singer, took the stage having enlisted less than 10 days prior to the event.
"I'm very privileged and honored to be have the opportunity to come down here to Virginia my first weekend in the Guard and support the scouts from all over the United States," Specialist Simone said. "The Scouts come from all over the country and, coming from the small state of Rhode Island, it's very humbling to be a part of this."