A performance by the United States Air Force Academy Band was grounded last week because of sequestration.
The band was all set to play at the Griffin Auditorium in front of a venue that holds 1,100 seats. But, the commanding officer told the event coordinator the concert had to be canceled.
"We were cautioned a few weeks ago this sequester business might come up," Art Hammond, the event coordinator for the Griffin Area Concert Association, said. "We didn't have a sense that this would come into play and are disappointed."
Hammond said the free concert was open to the public but a number of veterans were planning to attend.
One of them was Daniel Ham, a veteran of the Vietnam War.
"I was excited, my wife and I both enjoy the big band music and military brass playing, I was looking forward to it. We had marked it on the calendar and had planned on going," Ham said.
Ham is the Quartermaster for VFW Post 5448. During his deployment in Vietnam, he said he was a sergeant who would fly on rescue missions for the wounded.
Ham thinks politicians in Washington, DC, need to start thinking about regular people when they make decisions.
"I feel like President Obama is playing it for more political gain than anything else, he is trying to cancel things and do things that hurts the most people," Ham said. "He is trying to make it a point, to flex his muscles, I guess to make it look worse than it really is. A 2.5 percent, cross the board cut, is not much."
Ham said he felt that the band still could have played the concert they agreed to play months ago despite the cuts.
"I did not feel it was necessary, they are paying the salary of the people anyway, it costs them transportation, sure, and lodging when they come to play, but the cost is minimal," Ham said. "I would think since it was already planned, I did not feel it was something they had to do, but just to effect as many people with the sequester, as they could."
The band was set to play their performance on March 21. Hammond said the U.S. Air Force Academy Band was an extra booking they were lucky to get and are currently not scrambling to replace their cancellation.
Hammond said if someone else came forward and agree to play that night for the community, he would entertain that idea.
As for the band, Hammond said the commanding officer gave him their word one day they'll play at the Griffin Auditorium.
"He said they are hopefully going to tour again, and put us high on the list," Hammond said.
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