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Showing posts from October 31, 2009

Who Fights This War--Trading a Guitar for a Gun

The following story got published in our division newsletter and on their web site and by the end of the day yesterday was on the web site of the Department of Defense and was highlighted on the Secretary of Defense news page.
Nick was one of the guys who went through the Live Fire Shoot House when I did.

Seven years ago, then 18-year-old Nicholas Raia of Altoona, Pa., brought his trumpet to an audition for the Pennsylvania Army National Guard band. He aced the audition and until last summer was member of several performance groups within the band. Over those seven years he performed more and more with the band and ensembles playing the guitar for recruiting events and celebrations. For more formal military ceremonies he now plays the baritone—a small tuba.
After seven years in the band, Raia, now a sergeant, decided to take a year away from performing and volunteer for a combat tour. Since mobilization in January, Raia has served as a door gunner on a CH-47 Chinook helicopter with C…