America's Airman: TSgt Richard M. Parrell
By Staff Report, 11th Wing Public Affairs
/ Published November 30, 2018
JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --
(America’s Airman is a weekly article highlighting a member of the JBA community)
Why do you serve?
I grew up in a suburb of Washington D.C. because my father, a retired sergeant major, was stationed at Fort Myer as a saxophonist with the United States Army Band for 34 years. He also considers Fairfax, Virginia, to be his hometown because his father, a retired Air Force colonel, was stationed at the Pentagon. My service is a direct reflection of my family’s dedication to our country’s military.
How does your job impact the wing’s mission?
My job fits directly in line with the Wing’s mission of projecting diplomacy from America’s Airfield. I believe there is no more powerful diplomatic tool than music. Music crosses all language barriers and bridges the gap when words fail. I have seen the way music performed by the band, at critical moments, can change the way civilians and key leaders view our Air Force and our military, for the better.
What's the coolest thing you've done in the military?
I have done a lot of cool things being a member of the band, but I have to say that performing in uniform alongside Jamie Foxx for President Barack Obama’s first dance at his second inaugural ball was the coolest thing. Especially because Jamie Foxx gave me a wink and a nod, like “Wow, you did good!”