Lt. Dan Band rocks out with Airmen
By Airman 1st Class Ian Dudley, 30 Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 10, 2015
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band started their 2015 United Services Organizations music tour with a rousing concert at the VAFB gymnasium, Feb. 8, 2015.
Although Sinise is better known for his acting role as Lt. Dan Taylor in the movie "Forest Gump", than for his music, it didn't stop the notable audience turnout or exuberant cheers when he took the stage.
The band, co-founded by Gary Sinise in 2003, has performed for many charities, non-profit organizations and on more than 100 military bases around the world. This is the first time however, that Sinise has performed at VAFB.
"Gary Sinise, as well as the entire Lt. Dan Band, helped boost morale by giving our Vandenberg community a chance to do something outside of their normal day-to-day activities," said Janice Hollen, 30th Force Support Squadron, deputy director. "Concerts, in general, are a source of enjoyment because they provide a setting to 'let loose' and be care-free for a short period of time. Though our overall mission is essential, it is also extremely important to provide opportunities for our Airmen to enjoy themselves and improve overall quality of life."
Airmen were more than ready to show their support and excitement for Sinise's visit by volunteering hours of their free time to make the event possible.
"We had over 75 volunteers for the three-day period it took for set-up to execution," said Kara Montano, 30th FSS marketing manager. "The volunteers included 25 Security Forces members, for the event itself, and over 50 Airmen for the setup, execution and break-down of the event."
Despite the sometimes complicated process of creating events for the base, the USO and 30th FSS were triumphant.
"Coordination and event planning are always a challenge," said Hollen. "But we were lucky to be working with USO representatives who showed their professionalism and organization through the entire process. In hind sight, the event planning and execution went very smoothly and coordination seemed to flow seamlessly."
It may seem like a lot of time spent for a single night's enjoyment, but for 30th FSS, boosting troop morale is always the objective.
"The concert was a great opportunity for our local troops," said Montano. "Gary Sinise has been a longtime supporter of Airmen and proved that last night by putting on an amazing show through the USO, completely free for our local Airmen, their families and friends."