Celebrating Our Heroes

Air Force band plays tribute to World War II veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) – For America’s World War II veterans, the soundtrack of their youth was the “Great American Songbook” and the big bands of the 40s.

Over the course of 60 years, active-duty Air Force members have helped to keep those memories and music alive through performances of the swing tribute band Airmen of Note.

“The heart of our mission is honoring our veterans. Their Airmen of Note are a centerpiece of that because those veterans love that swing music,” said Band Conductor Colonel Larry Lang.

The Airmen of Note formed in 1950 to continue the legacy of Major Glen Miller, whose big band was a musical hit machine during the 30s and 40s.

Miller joined the service in World War II and took his big band to the troops, eventually losing his life when his plane crashed into the English Channel in 1944.

“Everybody loved his music,” Lang said. “You know ‘In the Mood,’ ‘Tuxedo Junction,’ ‘Chattanooga Choo, Choo.’”

Now, the Airmen of Note use those hits to entertain crowds around the world. They are one of six musical groups in the U.S. Air Force that perform nearly 1500 events each year, including concerts at the White House and funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Air Force veteran Bob Jones served in World War II and the Korean War. He went to Washington D.C. as part of an honor flight from Texas, and after a day of sightseeing he and other veterans attended a special performance by the Airmen of Note.

“It just brought me back to the days when I was dating my wife, right out of high school,” Jones said. “The music is out of this world, and that band is out of this world. You can’t beat that combination.”

Read more about the U.S. Air Force Airmen of Note: https://www.music.af.mil/Bands/The-United-States-Air-Force-Band/Ensembles/Airmen-of-Note

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‘Taste of Hope’ benefits Indiana’s only recovery high school

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Hundreds came out to support a local high school while enjoying food Sunday afternoon.

“Taste of Hope” is an event that supports Hope Academy, a public charter high school that helps students recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. It’s the only recovery high school in Indiana.

More than a dozen restaurants were on hand passing out samples.

Organizers said the event is one the school heavily relies on.

“We have a funding gap because we provide so much wrap-around services for our students in recovery and support,” said Rachelle Gardner with Hope Academy. “This helps decrease that gap for us.”

Guests also had the opportunity to tour the school and hear from students and administrators.

School officials hope the event brought more awareness to the issue of addiction.

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