Academy quartet serenades veterans

  • Published
  • By Airman First Class Lexi Crawford
  • Kirtland Public Affairs

The Air Force Academy’s Clarinet Quartet visited the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center on Oct. 21.

The Quartet visited the medical center to play a few songs for the veterans as well as participate in fellowship.

“It’s very important for us to come out into our communities, especially to see our veterans that have served honorably throughout their lives,” said the Air Force Academy Band superintendent Senior Master Sgt. Joshua Gates.  “It’s important for us to engage with them, perform some music, and talk with them.”

Although the day was for the veterans, those in the quartet say that they felt lucky to have this opportunity.

“Not only do we get to share stories with them from our time in service, but we also get to hear stories from when they served,” said Gates.  “We always enjoy any chance we get to do things like this.”

The quartet’s hard work doesn’t go unnoticed, many veterans are greatly appreciative of their time and thoroughly enjoy the performance.

”Some of us are lifers in more than one way,” said Delbert Clark, a veteran and hospital patron.  “You can get quite depressed around here, you have some really low moments, but today wasn’t one of those days.  These kinds of things bring us some high moments.”

Gates says that while the performance does improve morale for the veterans, the main purpose of doing events like this is to remind them that they aren’t alone.

“We want to make sure that the veterans here know that the Air Force still cares about them, no matter how long it’s been since they served,” said Gates.  “We genuinely want to know how they’re doing.”

The members of the quartet agree that this is just one example of what it means to be a good wingman.  Whether a person is still serving, or served decades ago, the wingman concept is valuable to all.