Offutt’s Raptor Band reaches out to local students

  • Published
  • By Zachary Hada
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

The U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band’s Raptor ensemble took to the stage on April 13 at Aurora Public Schools to perform a concert for middle and high schoolers in Aurora, Neb.


Raptor,  a rock band that consists of two vocalists, keyboard, guitar, drums and bass.


Each of the musicians is a full-time, active-duty member of the Air Force with a mission to promote positive relationships between the U.S. Air Force and communities across the state through music.


Before the concert, students shared their opinions and expectations on the event.


Carter Thompson, high school student attending Aurora Public Schools, said he was expecting the event to be either a motivational speaker or something informational about the military.


“I’m expecting the band to play some military songs like parade or marching music, I’m not sure what to expect,” Thompson said. “I look forward to seeing what’s going to happen.”


During the concert the Raptor performed songs such as Happy, Good Girl, Ain’t It Fun, Uptown Funk, Shake it off and Don’t Stop Believing. 


U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. Rebecca Packard, vocalist with the Heartland of America Band, gave some advice to the students.


“I would like to tell you that everything in life from here on out is going to be smooth sailing, that nothing will be in your way but that wouldn’t be the truth,” Packard said. “But if you work hard for your goal and keep in mind that you need to respect yourself and others, then you’re going to succeed no matter what.”


After the concert Thompson said he was impressed with the show and that he would like to listen to the band play again in the future.


“This was an enjoyable and fun surprise,” Thompson said. “I think everyone had a really good time.”


Brandon Timm, Aurora Public Schools teacher, thought the event was a fun and positive influence on the student body.


“Anytime you have a positive message for kids to value themselves is fantastic,” Timm said. “I think it’s a great message for students to hear.”


Rod Havens, Aurora Public Schools teacher, said the event was a great opportunity for their students to see military members not only as professionals who do their job every day, but as people who can also have fun.


“This was a great way for kids to see that side of the military and if any school is interested, they should definitely have these people reach out to make a positive impact in their student’s lives,” Havens said.


For more information about the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band or to request the band click here.