News>AFCENT Band performs at Warm and Dry distribution
Members of the U.S. Air Forces Central Band Afterburner and the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs office prepare winter coats for children with special needs in Kyrgyzstan, Feb. 6, 2012. After distributing coats, Afterburner played several songs for the children, parents and faculty. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. David Salanitri)
Master Sgt. Ted Stearns, NCO in charge of the U.S. Air Forces Central Band Afterburner prepares winter coats for children with special needs in Kyrgyzstan, Feb. 6, 2012. After distributing coats, Afterburner played several songs for the children, parents and faculty. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. David Salanitri)
by Senior Airman Lynsie Nichols
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
2/6/2012 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan -- The U.S. Air Forces Central Band Afterburner participated in an Operation Warm and Dry distribution during their visit to the Lebedinovka School outside of Bishkek, Feb. 6.
Afterburner is visiting Kyrgyzstan for a nine-day tour during which they have performed at six schools in the local Bishkek area and for service members at the Transit Center. The visit to Lebedinovka School was unique because not only did Afterburner perform for the school, they participated in distributing winter jackets to the children living there.
Roza Abdykerimova, director of Lebedinovka School was appreciative of the visit.
"Thank you for helping the families and the kids," she said. "These children go through education and rehabilitation and it's important to give them warmth and love them."
The school has been in business since 2004 and houses 74 children. The professors are skilled and go through annual training.
"The children are taught that they are useful for society and for the world," Abdykerimova, said. "These (jackets) give them heartfelt warmth and let them know that they are needed and loved."
Airman 1st Class Adam Porter has been a tuba player for Afterburner since 2010 and had a great experience during the band's performance.
"Watching the kids dance (was my favorite part)," Porter said. "It's always fun to play music for them because they are free with their emotions. When they are moving around, it makes us feel like they are getting a release somehow."
This Warm and Dry distribution is part of a three month-long humanitarian assistance program with only six distributions left in the Bishkek area. Although only 93 jackets were distributed at the Lebedinovka School, the Airmen still felt as though they had made a great impact.
"Every time is a great feeling because each group is different and the kids are so happy to receive their coats," said. Capt. Spencer Bowen, Theater Security Cooperation humanitarian assistance project officer, deployed from the Air Force ROTC Detachment 910 at the University of Washington.
He added that he also enjoyed the band's performance.
"The band did a fantastic job and I think that doing this kinds of events in addition to their performances really adds to the time they are giving back -- both through music and humanitarian aid."