I took my family and an airman from the office to a concert taping of the Air Force band at the Strathmore with some notable celebrity performers that will be aired on Veterans Day later this year. My favorite artist was a new sensation of the ukulele Jake Shimabukuro (yes, I said ukulele - you gotta hear it to believe it). He is incredible. He brought the house down with humor as well during the taping teasing himself with some Don Ho type musical performance on the instrument while they were working with the sound system. Clint Black was also there. He sang "The Shoes You Are Wearing". Then Patti Labelle sang "I Have a New Attitude". She was a riot when she tried to convince the sound manager that a second take wasn't necessary. She also sang a slower song about being there for others. Very moving.
I think what meant the most to me where two aspects of the program. The night was long as there were performances and retakes to get the segments right for TV publication. Between the sets while they reset the stage and so forth, the performers gave some personal words of appreciation to what our men and women in uniform do and while we were honored to have them do this for us, they expressed how honored they were to be included. The second element were tributes read by Cliff Robertson to one veteran of each service. We have a Navaho code talker there, a man who spent 8.5 years as a POW in Vietnam from the Navy, a young airman who lost a limb in the desert who has not let his injury stop him, a lady who served as a nurse in World War II with the Army, and an older lady who served in port security in Operation Desert Storm in the Coast Guard. She was sitting right across from me, and after the concert production I was honored to have the opportunity to speak with her and thank her for her service.