PRC-77 Southwest Asia Tour

13th COSCOM Public Affairs Office

The modern rock group PRC-77 on their Southwest Asia Tour put on a concert for service members at here, April 1.

The band, formally known as "M-Pulse", hails from Central Florida and is sponsored by Armed Forces Entertainment.

The name PRC-77 or Prick 77 came from a military radio that came into use around 1972. The band's lead singer, Matt Carver, said he was all too familiar with the Army/ Navy Portable Radio Communications model number 77.

"I carried that radio for a few years while I was in the Army," he said.

Carver spent a total of ten years on active duty with a break in service after his first enlistment and says that if it weren't for the band's success he'd consider rejoining.

Bassist Brian "Low-B" Mackie was also in the military. He served five years with the 269th Army Band at Camp Zama, Japan.

Of the four members Bryan "B-Dog" Dickson, drums, was the only one to experience the military involuntarily on the civilian side.

"My father is retired Navy and I've had uncles and other family members in the Air Force and Army, so the military has always been in my life in one way or another."

Because of the band's strong military ties, the members recognized the sacrifice service members were making and wanted to do something.

"We were sitting at Mc Donald's one morning before a radio interview and we got the idea maybe we could play for the soldiers," said Carver. "Having been deployed I knew how the monotony could get to you and what a tremendous relief it was when a band came to play."

"The military is basically policing the world right now keeping every one safe," said Dickson. "If anyone deserves a break right now it's [service members]."

The band left Florida on March 15. Since the start of their tour in Kurdistan the band has played in Qatar, Kuwait, Pakistan, and at various installations in Iraq.

For the members of PRC-77, the impact of their tour struck deeper than expected.

"I knew this tour was going to be gratifying, but it's getting to be so that words can even describe it," said Ventura. "I see people coming in before the show with looks of war on their faces. When they hear the music playing, they start to jump around and start to smile. It's a good feeling to know that we are bringing [service members] a since of home."

"In Kirkuk, a youngster in his early twenties came up to me after the show and said it was the first live concert he had ever been to in his life. It was really something," Ventura added.

"[Service members] say thank you for coming here and in their joy is our joy," said Mackie. "If [service members] didn't do what they did, then we wouldn't have the ability to play here, at home, or anywhere.

"Everybody out here has been great," He added. "We've been treated like celebrities, but in reality we are here for [service members]. It's kind of a give and take relationship in the since that they are allowing us the opportunity to do what we came out here for."

"I've been out here for two weeks and I got an e-mail from my kids today," said Mark Graeff, lead/ rhythm guitarist. "It was just a simple little e-mail but it made me miss them and miss being home. I am totally blown away by every American that is out here because if one e-mail can break me down after two weeks, I can only imagine what they are going through."

"Because of their sacrifice my kids can go to school," Graeff added. "I wish [service members] could know that I love them for it."

"Every single American owes [service members] gratitude, because through out time they have keep us in the position we are in the world," said Carver.

PRC-77 will remain on tour until April 14, then return to Central Florida.

 

prc-77
PRC-77, a rock band from Central Florida, plays to full house of service members and civilians at LSA Anaconda's Sustainer Indoor Theater.

prc-77
PRC-77, a rock band from Central Florida, plays to full house of service members and civilians at LSA Anaconda's Sustainer Indoor Theater.