We were sailors first, musicians second.
We forgot this at our peril and were reminded quickly and forcefully.
I can thing of nothing more rewarding than the opportunity to spend a few days each year with those men and women who, for a few years or decades, offered their talents for the betterment of their country, then moved on to enjoy the blessings and challenges of the liberty they helped sustain. It is also a matter of great pride to be in fraternity with those who still serve as sailors and musicians.
I enjoy the reunions of the NMA because of the tested, seasoned musicianship.
But that's secondary.