Travis Airman sings at the World Series
By Staff Sgt. Megan May, U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West
/ Published October 28, 2014
TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- It was a gorgeous fall evening Oct. 26, in San Francisco when a stadium full of 40,000 excited baseball fans paused to honor America during the seventh-inning stretch of Game 5 of the 2014 World Series.
Airman 1st Class Michelle Doolittle, an Air Force Band of the Golden West vocalist, looked up from her place on the field and savored the final moment as the crowd roared at AT&T Park. After only six months on active duty, her performance of "God Bless America" inspired San Francisco Giants and Kansas City Royals fans to join voices in celebrating the nation and paying tribute to its military members.
Doolittle's family history said it motivated her to join the Air Force. She is the first female in her family to serve.
"The tradition and legacy of service goes back for generations, most notably with Gen. James H. Doolittle of the famous Doolittle Raiders from World War II, who was second cousin to my great-grandfather," Doolittle said. "My father also served in the Presidential Honor Guard during the Ronald Reagan administration and planted the seed for me to want to play with the Air Force band."
After earning her master's degree at New England Conservatory of Music, Doolittle won an audition with the Band of the Golden West earlier this year. She graduated basic military training in May and reported for duty at Travis Air Force Base, California, where she performs as a vocalist for military events and community outreach concerts.
One of the primary missions of the Band of the Golden West is to represent the excellence of all Airmen to the general public. By singing at sporting events, Doolittle inspires patriotism, honors the nation's heritage and displays professionalism while wearing the uniform.
Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Doolittle grew up watching the Giants and always felt loyalty toward her Bay Area team.
"I've spent my whole life preparing for an opportunity like this," Doolittle said. "I am so proud to represent our great Air Force. Even if one person is inspired by my performance then I've accomplished my goal."
"Although I cannot speak for the entire organization, the San Francisco Giants family, players, employees, and fans, hold our service members to the highest regard," said Monica Franco, a promotions and special event intern for the San Francisco Giants.
"When they perform, it allows those in attendance to remember their time serving, those currently serving, veterans and all of the sacrifices made by those fighting for our freedom. I love meeting these courageous men and women. It is always such an honor to have them participate in our ceremonies."
While Doolittle said she loves the opportunity to sing at large events, she most appreciates singing the national anthem for retirement ceremonies.
"To retire from the U.S. Air Force, you have given a minimum of 20 years of service to our country," she said. "The fact that I am able to be a small part of the ceremony and say thank you for their commitment and service is such an honor."