By Mr. Andrew R McIntyre (Jackson)June 6, 2012
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Eric Horner, a 2012 Volunteer Hall of Fame inductee, started volunteering in 2006 with the 193rd Infantry Brigade, leading Basic Combat Training Soldiers in song at multiple graduation ceremonies, worship services and other concerts. He has performed more than 200 concerts and 30 tours in one year for Basic Combat Training Soldiers, according to Maj. Earl Bowers assigned to 193rd Infantry Brigade.
"We've worked with all five of the 193rd battalions at one time or another, and it's been great to see the music connect with many of the commanders and full time cadre as well as the warriors in training," Horner said.
Horner finds his music to be a powerful contribution to the Soldiers, motivating them to finish training and serve their country.
"Coming over to Fort Jackson to encourage our newest warriors is the most rewarding thing I've ever gotten to do," he said. "To see them leave our concerts motivated and on fire to serve their country is the most awesome feeling in the world to me."
He said he looks for confirmation to ensure he is on the right track with his talent and musicianship. Having been inducted in to the Volunteer Hall of fame is just the confirmation he needed, Horner said.
"We're so grateful for every opportunity we have (with) the Soldiers," he said.
Horner said he looks to continue to grow with his gift. He says he and his band are always striving to improve their concert experience for the Soldiers in order to have the greatest impact possible upon their lives.
"We strive to drive home the Army Values and Warrior Ethos in our music and we spend a lot of time in the recording studio when we're at home working on new songs to bring the right messages across," he said.
"As of now, we have six out of nine BCT battalions working with us on a regular basis. I'd love to see that number grow this year," he said.
"Coming over to Fort Jackson to conduct music is a powerful communicator, and I hope we can use it to encourage, motivate and inspire the warriors who come through Fort Jackson for a long time to come," Horner said.