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vets1As a member of the West Point Band, my job can pull me in a lot of different directions depending on what we’re doing. One day I might be playing the fight song for an Army football game, the next I’m sitting down for a concert in Avery Fisher Hall. And then there are press releases I write for our performances, trombone sectionals I occasionally run for a local high school, or a two-mile run I might do before work.

Amid the many aspects of this job, it’s important to take a step back and remember what a privilege it is to wear the uniform. It’s important to honor those who made it possible for me to serve. There’s no better opportunity for me to do this than the West Point Band’s annual Veteran’s Day concert.

I always look forward to this performance. And it’s not just the impressive multimedia, or that I enjoy the historical elements of it. (Though those things certainly help.) I love this concert because it’s an honor recognizing those who have served. My contribution to this noble cause is through the music I make with my trombone. Whether it’s our stirring, upbeat renditions of marches or a bugler performing Taps, it’s always an emotional concert. I try and remember the veterans every performance, particularly when we play the Armed Forces Medley. But their importance resonates a little more on this concert.

No concert will ever be enough to say thank you to our veterans, but we’ll give it our best shot. I promise it will be a great production with world-class music and terrific entertainment. Please join us and help us celebrate the service of our veterans!

Free tickets for are required for the performance. They can be downloaded at http://www.westpointband.com.

Words by Staff Sgt. Phil Stehly, Image by Staff Sgt. Mikki Skinner