News: Kennesaw Soldier, Family Saluted at Army Holiday Concert
Story by Jessica Maxwell
U.S. Army Forces Command Public Affairs
FORT MCPHERSON, Ga. – A great annual family entertainment event, this year's Army Ground Forces Band Holiday Concert paid special tribute to America's men and women in uniform and their families on Sunday, Dec. 14, at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.
Tom Sullivan, the co-host of the NBC affiliate WXIA-TV's "Atlanta & Company," emceed the event, which included traditional seasonal music, a reading to musical accompaniment of "The Night Before Christmas," a visit from Santa Claus and the finale, an audience sing-along.
The audience of almost 1,500 filled four extra-large holiday cards with supportive greetings and best wishes to the troops. The cards will be sent to service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Pre-recorded video greetings from two deployed Soldiers were projected on a huge screen during the concert to enthusiastic applause.
One was from Capt. Mike Crevar, a mobilized National Guardsman from Kennesaw, Ga., who serves in Mehtar Lam, Afghanistan with the 560th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade out of Fort Gillem, Ga. His wife, Angela Crevar, attended the concert along with their children, Alex, Aaron, Turner and Ella and her father Joel Neal of Dacula, Ga.
The other greeting was by Pvt. Cherronda Youngblood of McDonough, Ga., who serves as a human resources specialist in Jalalabad, Afghanistan with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. Her family was also in attendance, including her mother, Ronnie Lang, a retired Army sergeant first class. Mrs. Lang was joined by her husband, Jerome Lang, and Pvt. Youngblood's brother, Thomas Liggins, and her son, Tyree Geter.
Freedom Team Salute, which honors spouses, families and employers of active duty and veteran Soldiers, recognized the two local families. Lt. Gen. Joseph F. Peterson, Army Forces Command deputy commanding general and Master Sgt. James Boughner of Freedom Team Salute presented Mrs. Crevar and Pvt. Youngblood's parents with certificates and thanked them and their families for their continued support.
Angela Crevar said the concert was wonderful and a great treat for the season. Daughter Ella excitedly added, "I saw my dad!"
Afterwards, Lang said the concert was "very moving", saying that she really enjoyed it and thought it was a wonderful holiday event. She added that she wished there were more concerts similar to this one during the year.
"We're going home right now to email my daughter and tell her all about the concert and that we saw her greeting," said Lang.
The band added to the patriotic mood by playing the service medley, during which current and former Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen stood up proudly amid appreciative applause when their military branch's song was played.