Our Experience at the White House: AHS Students Attend “The Stars and Stripes Forever” Music in the Military Event
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From Mark Holloway:
On November 6, I got to experience something that many people don’t get the chance to experience. I was able to see First Lady Michelle Obama and walk the floors of the East Wing. I’ll never forget this experience.
Myself and 29 other students from my school attended the “Stars and Stripes Forever: A History of Music in the Military” student workshop at the White House, and it was the most amazing thing I’ve ever been to. Not only was the First Lady there, but country legend Willie Nelson and hip-hop rapper Common were there as well.
I was so excited to be in the presence of some really amazing people that made a difference or impact in the world. During the speech, Michelle Obama was mainly targeting the military kids and how it can be hard to adjust to a new school. She discussed the issues that so many military kids face–moving around from place to place, having a parent being deployed, and all of the things that come with growing up as a military kid in general.
Then, Willie Nelson, Common and Army Sgt. Christina Ball spoke on a panel, answering questions from the students in the audience. Willie Nelson performed a song about the military, and Common performed a spoken word piece.
From Erin Tillery:
On November 6, my life was changed within just an hour. Myself and a few of my peers were invited to the White House by Michelle Obama for “The Stars and Stripes Forever: A History of Music in the Military” event. At the beginning of the event, Mrs. Obama spoke about how music has a big impact on veterans and their families, and about the issues and hardships military kids face.
Some celebrities that came out were Common and Willie Nelson. They both have had huge impacts in the music industry, so they came and spoke their knowledge with us and how music has impacted their life for good. I honestly feel the same way about music; it can just change your whole mood just with a couple of lyrics.
I can relate to Mrs. Obama’s remarks about military kids as well. I am a child of an active duty soldier. My mother has being serving our country for 24 years. Luckily, she only has been deployed once, which was to Iraq from 2011-2012.
That year was one of the toughest years of my life, and without music I don’t think I could have gotten through it. Music has influenced so many people lives, and it only gets better with time. It was so neat to hear how music has impacted other people’s lives, especially people in the military.