'Max Impact' Air Force Band Hits Taji
By: Spc. Karly Cooper
15th SB, Public Affairs
CAMP TAJI, Iraq — Music filled the Camp Taji base cinema as ‘Max Impact,’ rocked for Soldiers here March 8.
Billed as the premier rock ensemble of the United States Air Force, from Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., they’re currently on a six week tour of the Middle East.
“… We can’t say it enough, thank you for what you do, thank you so much,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Ryan Carson, the vocalist of the band.
Pulling from a wide variety of music, Max Impact played everything; from the Black Eyed Peas to Metallica to Janis Joplin. Soldiers from the crowd got into the act when picked from the crowd as back up vocalists.
“I didn’t expect to get pulled up onto the stage. It was a lot of fun though,” said 2nd Lt. Willard ‘Chip’ Wells from South Haven, Miss., platoon leader with the 1687th Combat Heavy Equipment Transfer Company, 867th Corps Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade.
Sgt. 1st Class Bonnie Frazier, 867th CSB, 15th SB, won the band’s “Defending Freedom” disc at the performance.
“It was a lot of fun and it’s cool that I won a CD,” said Frazier.
The band carries two messages with them when they travel. They want Soldiers to know that they are supported 110 percent and, when the band goes home, they take back stories to share in the States.
They do many small shows for Soldiers that are unable to attend main performances. One of the most touching shows came when they visited a young Soldier they nicknamed “Johnny Rocket”. Hospitalized after surviving a mortar hit, the band said the impact of being able to perform for him was phenomenal. Air Force Master Sgt. Dave Graves summed up what being a part of Max Impact means to him and his band mates.
“I can’t imagine a better job than to be a messenger. This is why I joined the Air Force.”
Members of the crowd get in on the act during a March 8. performance by Max Impact. The rock ensemble from the Air Force entertained Soldiers, Airmen and civilians on Camp Taji. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Karly Cooper, 15th SB Public Affairs)