About a year ago, we reached out to members of the Juilliard community who had military ties and got a wonderful response. Not surprisingly, the majority of the connections were musical. It turns out that the Army is the largest single employer of musicians in the U.S., and the Department of Defense (which oversees all the branches of the military) employs more than 6,000. We also found out that, back before Juilliard was called Juilliard, it had its own military band department. There have also been many Juilliard alums who served—and are serving—as soldiers. Perhaps the most well-known one at the moment is Adam Driver (Group 38), who was a Marine before he came to Juilliard and who recently took a break from doing publicity for the new Star Wars movie, in which he’s starring, to talk about his nonprofit, Arts in the Armed Forces. You’ll hear more about that next month. We also heard from many World War II veterans and published some of their responses in the spring to coincide with the 75th anniversary of that war’s end.
It’s a pleasure in this month in which the United States officially honors its veterans to share with you a very small sampling of these community members’ tales. If you have your own, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.