Offutt Airman to participate in Rose Bowl Parade Published Dec. 23, 2021 By D. P. Heard, 55th Wing Public Affairs OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- When the Air Force Band of the Golden West sent out a call asking for volunteers to play alongside them at the Rose Parade, a senior airman with the Heartland of America Band answered the call. Senior Airman Stephen Spink, HOAB trumpeter, has been in the Air Force for more than two years and jumped at the chance to participate in this historic event. “It seemed like a fantastic opportunity, so I volunteered as soon as I could,” said Spink. “While I’m there, I’ll be a part of the marching band, and we will play a show in the Rose Bowl Stadium as well as march in the Rose Parade.” In celebration of the Air Force’s 75th anniversary, the AF Total Force Band will be comprised of 75 members and in the 75th position in the parade lineup. The AF Total Force Band is stationed at Travis Air Force Base, California, and is the host which brings Airmen together from across the Air Force bands to play at this historic event. Spink will leave after Christmas to rehearse for two days, then perform a field show at the Rose Bowl Stadium, followed by an additional day of rehearsal before marching in the parade. “It’s a thrill and an honor to participate in an event like this,” said Spink. “I’m honored to have been selected.” Spink was a musician before he joined the Air Force and has been playing the trumpet for about 14 years. While still in music school, he auditioned for the Air Force band. Soon after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in music, he joined the Air Force. Because of the band’s unique requirements, the holiday season is one of the few times in the year they can take leave. Chief Master Sgt. Jeremy D. Remley, HOAB Senior Enlisted Leader, was impressed by Spink’s willingness to forego his leave in order to participate in the celebration of the Air Force’s history. “I am extremely proud of Senior Airman Spink for stepping up and supporting this very important mission, especially during these challenging times,” said Remley. “Because of the unique mission of the band, members are offered block leave; two weeks during the winter holidays and two weeks during the summer. Spink is willingly sacrificing one of his two available weeks this winter to support this important mission.” The Rose Parade is a tradition that dates to 1890. The abundance of flowers in California, even during the winter months, inspired the Valley Hunt Club members to add a parade before the football game. Participants in the parade would decorate carriages with hundreds of colorful roses. “Both of my grandfathers served in the military; my paternal grandfather was in the Army, and my maternal grandfather was a career pilot in the Air Force,” said Spink. “I am honored to represent them, the Air Force and my country in Pasadena for this parade.” For more information on the Tournament of Roses festivities visit https://tournamentofroses.com/.