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Staff Sgt. John Gordinier, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq -
The hard-rock music group Filter entertained service members Feb. 14 at the Sustainer Theater as part of the “Pledging Our Allegiance” Tour.
“It’s absolutely amazing to come here and hang out with the troops and give them a little bit of energy from our music,” said Richard Patrick, Filter lead singer. “We have a greater appreciation for what goes on here in the [area of responsibility], and we certainly are not going to take that for granted.”
Before the show, the group toured JBB by going out on the flightline and visiting with maintenance Airmen and pilots. Soon after, they went to Balad’s Air Force Theater Hospital to visit wounded warriors who were unable to attend the concert.
“We got to experience what occurs over here first hand when we witnessed a mortar attack,” Patrick said. “It was bizarrely exciting, but then you think about the fact that someone may get hurt.
“During my tour of the hospital, I was impressed hearing about the 98 percent save-rate the facility and personnel has,” he continued. “It is great to see that the military is getting the great care and attention they deserve.”
The band said they have great respect for the military. In fact, one of the former band members is in the Army.
“One of our bass players, Frank Cavanagh, is an Army sergeant who is deployed over here [in Southwest Asia],” Patrick said. “He performed with us from 1995 to 2002. Frank wanted to do his part, so he joined the Army Reserve two or three years after 9/11. We were actually over here in 2008 and performed at Frank’s base. Frank got up on stage and rocked with us as Sergeant Cavanagh.”
During the show here at JBB, the band played some of their biggest hits such as, “Trip like I do," "Hey man nice shot” and “Take a picture.”
One lucky Soldier even got his own personal music video of the song, “Take a picture.” Richard Patrick saw the warrior filming the show with his camcorder at the front of the stage. Patrick grabbed the camera and recorded himself on stage singing the song, as well as footage of Mika Fineo beating on the drums, Mitchell Marlow whaling away on the guitar, and John Spiker strumming the bass guitar. After that, Patrick filmed the pumped-up crowd including the Soldier who owned the camcorder. After Patrick gave the camcorder back, the Soldier high-fived a few of his friends. It was obvious from the smile on his face the band made his day.
After the show, Filter stayed to sign autographs and posed for pictures.
“They rocked,” said Staff Sgt. Corey Elya, 332nd Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. “I think it is really great of them to come all this way to perform for us. I really enjoyed the show.”
“This was the last performance for this tour, and we’re going to miss the mortar attacks,” Patrick added jokingly.