|Lee and I at least agree on the importance of military music.|
This is important.
Currently before the US Senate - having passed a House vote - sits Amendment 48 to H.R. 5293, the 2017 Defense Appropriations Act, which seeks "to limit the Defense Department from using money to have musical military units perform in an official capacity for certain entertainment purposes [...] including dinners, dances, and social events." The impact on the missions performed by military musicians would be huge; this amendment would limit military ensembles' ability to perform in parades, exhibitions, touring programs like Spirit of America, and honors for veterans and active personnel. Also at stake could be pieces that many sports fans would take for granted, like the marching units that perform at Army, Navy, and Air Force football games.
At the risk of hyperbole, it's an affront to John Philip Sousa himself.
I'm not against taking a realistic budgetary look at the entirety of defense spending, including potentially scaling back musical missions. Paramount is, of course, the safety of the men and women who serve. But a near complete elimination of musical finding from the appropriations is not the way to go about it.
If you're interested in taking action, there are a few resources below.
Link to contact info for U.S. Senators:
Links to petitions: