After a recent interview, Lillian Axe guitarist/songwriter Steve Blaze asked if I would share this piece with my readers and I totally obliged. Steve’s always been a great guy and huge supporter of our troops and it’s my pleasure to share this with you all. Please read on for the story behind this guitar and the benefit that it is working for.
Once you’ve read it and if you’re interested in trying out for this guitar and helping some really deserving folk, go here to purchase your tickets: https://www.charitysplits.com/events/buy_tickets_now.php?eventID=292
On 27 April 2011, 9 members of the NATO Air Training Command – Afghanistan (NATC-A) were killed in action while serving as advisors and mentors to the people of Afghanistan. Their mission was to train the members of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) to become an independent and operationally capable AAF, that would provide for the security of Afghanistan in the future. They have been dubbed “The NATC-A NINE.”
Maj. Henry Cecil, an Air Force representative to the Federal Aviation Administration in Fort Worth, Texas, and Steve Blaze, the lead guitarist and song writer of the band Lillian Axe, teamed up with guitar maker John Guilford to have this tribute guitar made. During their current tour, Lillian Axe will be playing this guitar during the song “Take the Bullet.” After Lillian Axe tours with the guitar, Cecil and the band plan to raffle it off with the proceeds going to the Air Advisor Memorial Fund and to benefit the families of the fallen.
The back of the guitar has the names of the Airmen who were killed: Lt. Col. Frank D. Bryant Jr., Maj. Philip D. Ambard, Maj. Jeffrey O. Ausborn, Maj. David L. Brodeur, Maj. Raymond G. Estelle, Maj. Charles A. Ransom, Capt. Nathan J. Nylander, retired Lt. Col. James Mclaughlin and Master Sgt. Tara R. Brown.
“It’s as much a work of art as it is a musical instrument, and I can’t think of a finer way to honor those (Airmen),” said Guilford, who performed all the labor on the guitar for free. “It’s a beautiful opportunity.”
“Don’t worry about the guitar, let’s go out and donate the money (to help) these families and 32 kids who lost a parent who were taking care of other people,” Blaze said. “You could win an amazing guitar, but more importantly, you’re helping out in a big way.”