Band spreads holiday cheer around post

By Andre Butler
Moncrief Army Community Hospital

News story photo
Photo credit: Andre Butler
From left, Spc. Sarah Moses, Spc. Jeong Kim, Sgt. George Bryan, Spc. Joshua Hunt and Sgt. Alvin Henley perform holiday music at Moncrief Army Community Hospital Dec. 12. Members of the 282nd Army Band visited units and organizations around post to play seasonal favorites
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The 282nd U.S. Army Band paid a visit to Moncrief Army Community Hospital Friday to play music and carols for the holiday season.

Five members of the band played songs ranging from "Jingle Bells" to "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" for a crowd of onlookers who visited the facility from midmorning to early afternoon.

"I remember when we used to play music for units during this time of year," said Daniel Andreu, a retired sergeant first class formerly with the 282nd U.S. Army Band. "It gives us a great feeling seeing and hearing the band perform in this sort of way ... It is keeping folks like me in the true spirit of the season."

As the morning went by, the Soldier musicians continued their quest of touching people with their music as they moved from the first floor lobby and the MACH Urgent Care Clinic to the cafeteria.

"It is really nice to have these Soldiers come, visit and play for us here at Moncrief," said Col. Mark L. Higdon, MACH commander. "This adds another layer to what we are trying to accomplish here daily for individuals who need our services. As with every day, the holiday season is all about caring for others, and sharing specials moments with friends and family. And the Army band playing here today makes it feel extra special around our organization."

Under the leadership Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jonathan Ward, 282nd U.S. Army band commander and director, the unit sends different musical sections throughout post each year to play holiday music as a way of giving back to a community that gives all year long.

"There are three groups of us going around playing music on Fort Jackson today," said Sgt. George Bryan, bugler and trumpet player for the band. "We are just trying to give something back to the community. It's fun seeing people share in music with us. It's amazing how much fellowship people at Fort Jackson have and display this time of year."

Bryan added that the band is a unit that not many people know.

"Some really don't know there are true Soldier musicians in the Army," Bryan said. "But yes, this is our job. As with all Soldiers in the military our primary job is defending our country, but when are not doing that, we are doing all the things musicians do to perfect our craft -- practicing, playing at graduations and special events within our community."

"The Army is made up of a variety of Soldiers with special skills," said MACH Command Sgt. Maj. Vincent Bond. "What we see here today is another one of our fine units with outstanding Soldiers who defend our way of life as well as perform great music for our enjoyment. These are fine Soldier-artists keeping our country safe and making our holiday season more enjoyable with music."

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