Hellos and goodbyes for the 202nd Band
Story and photos by Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Baker, 202nd Army Band Unit Public Affairs Historian Representative
NOTE: Each week kentuckyguard.com publishes stories by Kentucky National Guard unit public affairs historian representatives, also known as UPAHRs. This is an additional duty taken on by a Soldier or Airmen with the intent of telling their unit’s story. This is one such story ….
FRANKFORT, Ky. — We say “hello” to our newest member of the 202nd Army Band, Specialist Michael May. The 20 year old from Danville, Ky., occupies a trumpet Military Occupational Specialty position in the band. He is a recent graduate of Basic Training in October 2011 and Advanced Individual Training in December. Currently, May is enrolled at Eastern Kentucky University where he is majoring in Music Education.
When asked what inspired May to join the military he replied, “While attending Boyle County High School I saw a news story where a funeral tribute of TAPS to a fallen Soldier was presented using an ‘electronic’ bugle. Since qualified military buglers are in short supply or often busy I felt like this was something I could do in the service to my country.” May added, “The 202nd has provided me with an avenue to fulfill the desire to serve as well as fulfill personal meaning.”
Chief Warrant Officer Gregory Stepp, Commander of the 202nd said, “We welcome Specialist May in to the 202nd band following the successful completion of combat training and Advanced Individual Training. As with any unit we face attrition with current long time members retiring and look forward to Specialist May bringing his Soldier skills and musical abilities to our unit.”
We must say “goodbye” to a four-year member of the 202nd Army Band. In January 2012, Spc. Andrew Easley successfully auditioned and has accepted the position of a Euphonium player in the active Army. His new duty station has yet to be determined.
Easley is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University and received his Bachelor of Music degree in December of 2009.
“This is an exciting opportunity to further my service to the Army in the musical field, however, it is also a bitter sweet decision,” said Easley. “The 202nd is an outstanding unit and leaving the unit was a hard decision. The training and experience being associated with the 202nd was second to none and I look forward to taking that with me as I advance my military career”.
“Specialist Easley is a reflection of the high musical skills that we enjoy in the 202nd and he is to be congratulated in passing the audition and interview for participation in the active Army band program. His membership will definitely be missed,” said Stepp.