Earn Your Stripes
Independent band Same As Sunday
On the ninth anniversary of the September 11 attacks, we pause to remember our fallen friends and relatives, and to honor those who were there to serve that day. We also pause to thank the men and women of the Armed Services, who personify what it means to ‘serve and protect.’ And we lean hard into the truth that, in faith, our goodbyes are but temporary.
The following is a blog written by Staff Sergeant Christopher Bauchle, a young man who joined the Air Force in response to 9/11, with his family's strong tradition of service
Chris also happens to play in a band called Same As Sunday, and their song, "Earn Your Stripes," is available for download this week only.
To Serve and Protect...and Pursue My Dream
By Staff Sergeant Christopher Bauchle, 405 ECES/firefighter/USAF
I enlisted in the U.S. Air Force my senior year of high school. When I left for basic training the week after graduation, I don’t think it was a surprise to anyone. It sounds cheesy, but God placed the calling on my heart to serve my friends, my family, and my country by taking my turn to defend our nation’s freedom. My dad had fought in Vietnam, my dad’s dad fought in World War II, and my mom’s dad fought in the Korean Conflict. Words like “duty” and “honor” have always meant a lot to me, and I am incredibly proud to be part of a heritage of men who have felt the same way.
I joined the Air Force Reserve so that I could still have the opportunity to pursue a career with my band, Same As Sunday. We started playing music in 2004. Before I left for basic training and tech school in 2006, we wrote and released a five-song EP titled “Farewell For Awhile.” We handed it out to our friends and family, promising great things to come. At first, I was a little skeptical about being able to balance the military lifestyle with my dreams in the world of music. The stories of servicemen/musicians like Elvis, and oddly enough, MC Hammer were inspiring to me.
When I returned in 2007, Kyle and Andy dropped out of college and we began touring. In 2008, our weekend “mini-tours” grew into full-fledged coast-to-coast tours. Making sure that I was back at the base once a month for drill, we spent most of 2009 through spring of 2010 in our van, living off Ramen Noodles and loving every second of it. In that time, we released two additional records, played hundreds of shows, and made thousands of friends across the country; completely independently.
Early this summer, my unit-the 434th Civil Engineering Squadron, was tasked with filling five slots in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. We are currently deployed to an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. When I received my official orders for the mobilization, the band quickly put the finishing touches on the CD we’d been working on and set out to New York to record. We returned on a Saturday, shot a music video on Sunday, and I shipped out first thing that Monday. We decided to use the song “Earn Your Stripes” as the title track. Not only did we feel that it was a fitting name for the record, but also that it’s how we’ve accomplished things as a band. The song is about having complete trust in God and giving every ounce of yourself to something you’ve been called to do. Our hope is that our songs and our story will inspire people to live in this way every day.
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