KHANDAHAR AIR FIELD, AFGHANISTAN
KHANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Afghanistan -- The internationally known rock band Flyleaf filled the night air with heavy music and throaty vocals on a makeshift stage at 8 p.m., July 5, at Forward Operating Base Ramrod.
The Texas-based band played a six song set and for almost two hours, some 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment Soldiers forgot the hardships they've been faced with.
"We spend so much time worrying about what we don't have and struggling to forget how dangerous our line of work is," said Sgt. Megg Streva, 1-12 INF mechanic. "Then a band like Flyleaf comes all the way out here to give us a part of normalcy back and thank us for what we're doing...it reminds us why we're here and who were fighting for."
As appreciative as the Soldiers and civilians at FOB Ramrod were, thankfulness flowed both ways at this venue.
"We've come out here because were so proud of our military, said Lacey Mosely, Flyleaf's lead vocalist. "We want to bring that back to the United States; to stand up and say that we've seen what's going on out there and it's amazing what's happening and it's amazing what our troops are doing.
The rockers arrived at FOB Ramrod earlier that day and spent their down-time signing autographs, talking with Soldiers and even firing 155mm illumination rounds out of an M777 Light Towed Howitzer field artillery piece.
"They handled the weapons like true professionals," said 1st Sgt. Thomas Dougherty, 1-12 INF Headquarters Headquarters Command first sergeant. "They fired six perfect rounds."
Faced with a few serious problems right before their middle-eastern tour, the band pulled off some tricky operations of their own.
"Right before we left to do this tour, one of our band's guitarist's cousins was given a few days to live so he was not able to make the trip," Lacey said. "Our bassist had other obligations so the night before we left, Josh Sturm, my husband, learned the bass and guitar parts to all the songs we played."
The band adapted, overcame and, in their view, put on an explosive concert.
"We rocked that stage like an M777!" said Josh Sturm, Lacey's husband and guitarist for the band "Kairos".
Since Flyleaf formed in 2000, they've toured around the world with bands such as Stained, Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, 3 Doors Down, Stone Sour, Forever Never, Skillet, Sick Puppies, Kill Hannah and Dropping Daylight.
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This work, Flyleaf rocks Ramrod base, by SSgt Erica Picariello, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.