The City of Warner Robins said goodbye Tuesday to the Air Force Reserve Band, which has been stationed there for the last half century. The Pentagon is permanently deactivating the band due to budget cuts.
The Reserve Band has been a staple of the Independence Day fireworks in Warner Robins for years. The band will play again this July 3rd but it will be their last performance as a group.
At a ceremony honoring the band in front of Warner Robins City Hall, Air Force Reserve Command Major General Craig Gourley said he’s still mourning the loss.
"It’s very sad, I will tell you. It means so much to have our vocalists sing the national anthem," Gourley said. "It’s uh, not really set in yet, I’ll tell you that much."
The Reserve Band will be joined at this year's Independence Day concert by southern rock band Stillwater of Warner Robins.
At the ceremony, Stillwater singer and drummer Sebie Lacey bemoaned the budget cuts that have lead to the scaling back of military bands throughout the service.
"What’s so sad, is that people don’t understand that music makes the world go ‘round," Lacey said. "We got people who just don’t get it."
Reserve Band members aren’t losing their jobs; they’ll all be reassigned to the Air Force’s remaining bands by September 30.