Uncovering our Veterans Stories
The BRT team set out to compose today’s post a few weeks ago, with the idea that our resident veterans could contribute to a list of “ways to honor veterans on your performance tour”. They composed an excellent list, but as we were putting together their bios for the post, we realized that their personal stories are inspiring in their own right.
So, on the day we honor the service and sacrifice of members of our nation’s armed forces, BRT is proud to share the stories of our own Nathan Voges and Dan Peichl:
Raised in an Army family, Nathan Voges earned his music degree and taught 5-12 instrumental music before enlisting with the U.S. Army in 1989. After completing his basic and advanced training, Nathan was stationed with the 6th U.S. Army Band at the Presidio of San Francisco, where he stayed until his term of service ended in 1993. A horn player, Nathan’s unit performed throughout the west coast, played for Colin Powell and Mikhail Gorbachev, and even performed for a packed house at Candlestick Park, before the Giants took on the 49ers in the 1991 NFL conference championships.
During his time in San Francisco, Nathan and his fellow service members in uniform were not always met with positive reactions. Nathan recalls one incident in which his band leader, a Vietnam veteran, was pelted with a ketchup-filled balloon to the chest, moments before the band was to step off in a Fourth of July parade. “His wry and weary smile conveyed a sense of, ‘Here we go again, it’s another great day in the Army,’” Nathan remembers, “and he brought us to attention to start the parade. The response of support we got from the crowd as we stepped off was overwhelming, and transformed what could have been just another “day at the office” into an event that resonates with me to this day.”
A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Dan Peichl completed 20 years in the Air Force’s band program before retiring as a Master Sergeant in 2006. Throughout his career, he performed with five bands, stationed on both coasts, the Midwest and in West Germany. As a member of the USAF Heritage of America Band, Dan spent two brief tours in the Middle East during the second gulf war, where he visited U.S. military bases in Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, the United Arab Emirates and Djibouti. Dan also contributed behind-the-scenes for the bands in which he served, handling the logistical details for over 90 performance tours through the United States, Europe and the Middle East.
In his over 20 years of service, Dan played for President Reagan, Vice President Quayle, Secretary of State Colin Powell, President Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic, Ambassador Shirley Temple Black, CIA Director George Tenet and at the funeral of President Richard Nixon. “It’s easy to forgot much of what happened during those 20 quick years,” Dan shared, “but reflecting on it, I’m very proud of what I was able to experience.”
In honor of Dan and Nathan, BRT is pleased to make a donation to the American Veterans Center, which preserves and promotes the legacy of America’s veterans by collecting and sharing their stories with the next generation. Learn more at americanveteranscenter.org.
Check the blog again next Tuesday, when Dan and Nathan will share their ideas for honoring veterans on your next student performance tour.
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