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News > Air Force Band South Lifts Morale at Dominican Women's Prison
 
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Continuing Promise 2009
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic- Members of the U.S. Air Force Band South currently assigned to Military Sealift Command Hospital ship USNS Comfort performed at the Najayo Women?s Prison April 27. The Dominican Republic is Comfort?s second stop as part of CP09, a four month humanitarian and civic assistance mission through Latin America and the Caribbean. Comfort is scheduled to be in the Dominican Republic until May 2. (DoD photo by Sr. Airman Jessica Snow)
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Air Force Band South Lifts Morale at Dominican Women's Prison

Posted 4/30/2009   Updated 4/30/2009 Email story   Print story

    


by Airman 1st Class Danielle Grannan
USNS Comfort Public Affairs


4/30/2009 - SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- The U.S. Air Force Band South currently assigned to hospital ship USNS Comfort performed at the Najayo Women's Prison here April 27 as part of Continuing Promise 2009 (CP09).

The band played a variety of songs in both English and Spanish for the inmates as part of a two hour performance.  "It was a great opportunity to play for this audience," said Air Force Senior Airman David Evans, regional band trumpet journeyman. "It felt really good to bring some happiness to a community that might not have all of the opportunities that we have."

According to Patricia Lagombra, the prison director, the idea for this performance originally came from Mike Schimmel, consul general from the U.S. Embassy.  "This is really for the prisoners because when you're in jail here, people see you as the worst thing in the world," said Lagombra. "For the Air Force to come and play for them is something beautiful because you're letting them know that they are still people and that there are others who do care for them and that they're not the lowest thing, that they are still people. You're really giving them a unique opportunity."

The audience clapped along to the music and danced in their seats during the performance, seeming to genuinely enjoy the show.  "They were giving off a great energy," said Evans. "It was great to see them having such a good time and to know that I was part of bringing that to them."

After the band's performance, several of the inmates gave performances of their own for the members of the band. They gave a dramatic performance complete with a choir providing the soundtrack depicting a young girl's troubled home life that leads her to get into trouble. The inmates also gave a fashion show of the clothes they make in their sewing classes and a dance performance.

The Dominican Republic is Comfort's second stop as part of CP09, a four month humanitarian and civic assistance mission through Latin America and the Caribbean. Comfort is scheduled to be in the Dominican Republic until May 2.
 



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