A scene at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport on Friday may never happen again.
Six members of the Band of the U.S. Air Force Reserve returned from a four-month deployment to a joyous welcome from family and bandmates. It was the bands last deployment before its inactivation on June 1.
The returning members toured Afghanistan and surrounding countries playing for troops as well as giving community outreach performances, including orphanages.
One of the returning troops was Tech Sgt. Steven Moore, who was welcomed home by his wife, Dyanna, and 5-year-old son, Matthew. Moore is retiring soon.
That was probably my last gig with the Air Force, and what a way to go out, Moore said. It was such a neat experience to go from playing for embassies and troops to playing for orphanages where there were kids who didnt have families, or had families who couldnt take care of them. It was definitely an emotional journey to be able to go and play and represent the U.S. Air Force but the United States as a whole.
Fellow bandmates welcomed the troops by playing the Air Force song, commonly called Wild Blue Yonder.
One of those taking part in the welcome was Chief Master Sgt. Mark Buditt, the bands manager. He said the band still has about 33 members, from its full force of 45. The inactivation was announced last year as a cost-cutting measure.
Buditt said the band, based at Robins Air Force Base, will continue to be seen playing in small numbers around the community up until the inactivation.
We are just very proud of the team, he said. Theyve done amazing work, and we are glad we were able to share them with the folks downrange.
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.