I can honestly say after today I know I was in the Army because every other year when I return for our Reunion, we work as hard as when we all served together. Eight hours of practice wore out our lips but us trumpeters were not done for the evening. We honored our fallen with harmonized taps before our dinner. Trumpet players have always been like pranksters so without our First Sergeant knowing (Dixie), we did an on the spot fanfare and mess call. You should have seen Dixie’s face. She was cracking up laughing. Later she told me we really got her. We had Generals and big wigs but it didn’t stop the trumpet players. Wait till concert night.
We had a great dinner and then Dixie gave out our awards. We had a special guest, Dr. Joanna Hersey, who honored each one of us with a Certificate from the International Women’s Brass Conference with A Circle of Excellence Award for serving in the military women’s band. We all felt honored. She is a very accomplished tuba player and played in the Coast Guard band.
Then Dixie called me up to present the first quilt. It was hanging behind the podium and I told the Band it would be given to Mona Meltz, our director for over 20 years. They all started clapping and yelling, they were so happy. Then I called Tine, one of my sisters, up front. Now, you really have to know Tina for this award. She is always wise cracking but under all that is pain she has hidden for years. She broke into tears but wrapped in that quilt she was so proud. I went to give her case to her and she said, “put is on my head and I’ll be all covered,” so I did. Cameras were flashing, and tears and laughter were everywhere. Of all the thousands of quilts I’ve given, Tina’s was a first with the case.
After I had sat down, Dixie called me back up and she started telling all my sisters how much I helped the band and then they awarded me a Cymbal of Appreciation. It is truly a cymbal and it is beautiful. Everyone was clapping and taking pictures – it was such an honor. I truly was humbled by how much they cared. God bless my sisters.
Our auction made over $1,000 and the quilt went for $450. The soldier who bought it is still serving and she was well deserving of the quilt. I wish I could have given it to her – 33 years she has served.
As I close, I feel pretty blessed to have been honored and bring home something I will treasure the rest of my life – being honored by my sisters.
We have Friday off until 1600 hours (4:00 pm) when we have to be at Chapel for pictures before our concert.