392nd performs for Vietnam Veterans celebration

By Spc. Brianna Williams
392nd Army Band

News story photo
Photo credit: Spc. Brianna Williams
Sgt. Thomas Katsiyiannis (guitar) and Staff Sgt. Benjamin Garnett (vocals) perform with the 392nd Rock band for the Vietnam Veterans Celebration in Chesterfield, Va. on October 4th, 2017.
“Changing the world one community at a time” - Kiwanis

On October 4th, 2017, the community of Chesterfield Va. saw the Kiwanis mission statement in action when the Chesterfield County Fairgrounds hosted the Vietnam Veterans Celebration. This event, organized by the Chester Kiwanis Club, extended an invitation to all Vietnam Veterans in the Chester area, including Petersburg, Hopewell, Colonial Heights, and Chesterfield, VA. The celebration treated the veterans and their families to an evening of food, fellowship, and entertainment provided by the 392nd Army

Two ensembles from the 392nd Army Band were invited to take part in the celebration: the Battlefield Brass Quintet and the 392nd Rock Band. After introductions by Kiwanis Club Secretary and Master of Ceremonies Ed Thompson, the 392nd Rock Band took the stage to provide dinner entertainment for the veterans. The ensemble played a variety of selections while the audience ambled throughout the fairgrounds, enjoying dinner and the company of fellow Vietnam Veterans. Crowd favorites included “Can’t You See” by the Marshall Tucker Band, “Friend of the Devil” by the Grateful Dead, and Tom Petty’s “Running Down a Dream.”

As the 392nd Rock Band concluded their set, the crowd’s attention shifted to the Battlefield Brass Quintet. The quintet’s post-dinner performance offered lowkey renditions of patriotic songs and selections popular during the Vietnam War era, such as “This Is My Country” and “Satin Doll” while the veterans continued to mingle throughout the fairgrounds. At the conclusion of the celebration, 392nd Army Band bugler Sgt. Aaron Lindsey sounded taps for the reverent audience of veterans and their families.

As an active civic organization in the local area, the Chester Kiwanis Club previously hosted similar celebrations showing their appreciation for World War II and Korean War veterans, but the Vietnam Veterans Celebration amassed the largest turnout, with nearly five hundred attendees and two hundred Vietnam Veterans in attendance. After interviewing one of the vets and hearing that Soldier’s story of hardship during Vietnam and gratitude to the performing musicians, the 392nd’s Spc. Colin Murray stated “This is why I joined the Army, and I didn’t even realize it until tonight”.

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