They’ve been spending much of the past 16 months in the wild bored yonder. They’ve been mostly limited to the halls of Ventura. They’ve been anchored away from family and friends. And, they’ve been longing to say “Hi! Hi! Hey” and go upon their merry way.

11 of the 22 members of the ceremonial band with instruments
Members of the 562nd Air National Guard Band of the West

Now, however, with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions finally easing, the residents of the Veterans Home of California-Ventura are semper paratus (always ready) for some live entertainment, with the bonus of the Space Force tune thrown in for good measure.

That will happen Friday when they get a visit from the 562nd Air Force Band, which will entertain about 100 people outside in a show open to the Home’s residents, invited guests, and staff beginning at 1 p.m. No other visitors will be allowed as the Home remains under COVID-19 pandemic protocols, but the general public can tune in to a live streaming on CalVet’s Facebook page.

Julian Bond, the Home’s administrator, is thrilled to have the Air Force Band (Air National Guard Band of the West Coast based at Channel Islands Beach) on campus.

“They’ve never been to this Veterans Home,” Bond said.

Brass Quintet of the 562nd Air National Guard
Brass Quintet – 562nd Air National Guard Band of the West

It came about because the band, which has been mostly unable to practice and play together throughout the pandemic, recently resumed operations and is raring to go again, said Technical Sergeant Sarah Kumazawa, who sings and plays the oboe and tuba.

Her husband, Mike Kumazawa — works in the Ventura County Executive Office — reached out to County Veterans Service Officer James McHugh. Hugh, in turn, put them in touch with Bond.

Performances will include the Band’s brass quintet and woodwind quintet, finishing with the 22-piece ceremonial band.

Woodwind Quintet of the 562nd Air National Guard Band of the West
Woodwind Quintet – 562nd Air National Guard Band of the West

“Each of the quintets will play for about 15 minutes,” Kumazawa said. They will play a medley of songs including patriotic tunes, and will conclude with the traditional melody for each armed services — Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. They also will play the “Invincible Eagle March,” which serves as interim anthem for the new Space Force until a new one being composed is completed and approved.

All this will happen with a backdrop of flags — Old Glory, the California State Flag, the POW-MIA flag, each armed forces service flag, and the Home’s CalVet banner. The band members will don their ceremonial tunics.

Bond said the Home’s residents will maintain safety protocols, including social distancing.

One comment

  1. Such a fun article Yulana!


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