As part of “That Altus Bands” halftime and competition show this year, the band is honoring WWII veterans for their service to the United States of America. The band will recognize a service member at each home football game, during their halftime performance, at Hightower Memorial Stadium.
The bands show, entitled “Honor and Courage” sets the scene for the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, in Hawaii just as the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. The show starts out with two military brothers dancing and having a carefree morning, and continues with the start of the war by the attack of the Japanese fleet and depicts the struggles the two brothers have while in combat. It deals with the loss of one of the brothers and the honors bestowed on him posthumously. In future shows the band will bring to life the Arlington National Cemetery to pay tribute to all of our fallen heroes that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.
The honored guest this Friday night will be Bob Beers. Beers was born May 24, 1921 and hails from New Jersey. In July of 1942, he joined the Army Air Corps. Later that year, while stationed in Clovis, N.M., he met and married the love of his life, Georgia. Working as a chaplain’s assistant and later a supply troop, Beers served in many locations including Africa, Casa Blanca, and Algiers. He was honorably discharged Dec. 26, 1945. A few years later, Beers became an Oklahoma Highway Patrolman. He served in five different cities before coming to Altus in 1971. After 33 years as a patrolman, Beers retired as a Lieutenant in 1986. Beers has four children, many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even one great-great-grandchild.
Presenting the honors to Beers will be Technical Sergeant Matthew Treadwell. Sergeant Treadwell is the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge, Combat Arms, 97th Security Forces Squadron at Altus Air Force Base. While deployed to Afghanistan in July 2014, Sergeant Treadwell was awakened by explosions and gunfire. After confirming the situation was an attack, Sergeant Treadwell and fellow Airmen returned fire until a quick reaction force could arrive to eliminate the enemy. Due to the suppressive fire provided by Sergeant Treadwell and his brothers-in-arms, the attacks were not efficient. There was minor damage to facilities and friendly forces received no significant injuries and no casualties. For his heroic actions, Sergeant Treadwell was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor during a ceremony in November 2014. He is the son of Greg and Shelia Treadwell and hails from Snyder.
“That Altus Band” has accepted an invitation to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor and represent Oklahoma in the Waikiki Holiday Parade. Each year the Waikiki Holiday Parade is held on the Friday after Thanksgiving in Honolulu, Hawaii, honoring Pearl Harbor Survivors and American military. To date, hundreds of mainland and Hawaiian bands have marched the parade since its inaugural year in 1998. Bands who participate in the parade also provide a wreath laying ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial and a commemorative performance at the USS Battleship Missouri in Pearl Harbor. The student’s experiences at Pearl Harbor and meeting survivors will be something they will remember for a lifetime. They said that they are honored to help create this memory.
For more information about the Altus High School Band and their trip, or to donate, please call the high school band room at 580-481-2664 or visit www.altusbands.com