Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Dan DeCook
  • 11th Wing Public Affairs
Sept. 11, 2001 will forever be remembered as a tragic day for this country, and the more than 2,900 people who lost their lives that day. This was evident as the United States Air Force Drill Team boarded their bus in California for a day of performances in Sacramento.

What is normally a bus filled with laughter, music and conversation turned somber for the Drill Team bus riders. Everyone on the bus was aware of the date and what it means to Americans. While no one spoke of the tragic events it was obviously in everyone's thoughts.

With the temperature topping out at more than 100 degrees, the Drill Team headed out for performances at two Sacramento area high schools before a performance at the State Capitol.

"When we woke up this morning we knew it was going to be a long and hot day, but no one on this team complains because we are honored and humbled to do what we do," said Staff Sgt. Kelly Webster, Drill Team member. "We get to travel all over the place and do something we love to do, and we are honored to do it."

The first stop was Valley High School, where the Drill Team got an unexpected surprise from retired Master Sgt. Rudolph J. Garcia, Junior Reserve Office Training Corps aerospace science instructor, who was a member of the Air Force Honor Guard in the 1970s. The team knew that they were going to meet a former Honor Guard member, but they didn't know the former Airman was also a Drill Team member during his tenure with the Honor Guard.

"The drill you guys do today is nothing like we used to do, it's so much more complicated and dangerous," said Sergeant Garcia, as he addressed the team. "The precision and timing you guys showed out there was amazing and I truly thank you for taking the time to visit our school."

Next stop was C. K. McClatchy High School, where the Drill Team met up with the Air Force Band's Max Impact for a show that featured the team's stunning performance accompanied by Max Impact's amazing music.

As members of the Band began to play "Iron Man," the team marched out from the cool air-conditioning into the blazing sun for yet another jaw dropping performance. More than 300 students were in attendance as the Drill Team performed to Max Impact's music.

"I can't believe they throw and spin those guns so close to each other," said sophomore Carlos Pena. "You must have to be a little crazy to try that kind of stuff, but it's cool to watch."

The day that started with practice in a hotel parking lot at 7 a.m. wasn't over as the team once again boarded the bus enroute for another performance in California's summer heat at about 5 p.m.

This time, the Drill Team performed for a packed crowd at Sacramento's capitol building, where days earlier a proclamation was signed declaring the Sept. 7 through 13 as Air Force Week Sacramento.

The Drill Team has two more performances this weekend before heading to San Antonio for more performances at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

For more information on the Honor Guard and the Drill Team visit,