Weather Airmen help raise $1,500 for Fisher House

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Olivia Leaver
  • 21st Operational Weather Squadron
Tucked away here at a small, quiet U.S. Air Force Base in Kaiserslautern, Germany, are four weather Airmen and an aircraft maintenance technician that all love to work hard and serve their country.

But besides their dedication to the Air Force and America, this group also shares another love - music. And this past year they've used this shared affection by rocking hard and raising money for a good cause. 

The band, known as the Griswold's, is comprised of: Staff Sgt. Russell Beye, guitar and vocals; Staff Sergeant Mike Daniels, guitar and vocals; Airman 1st Class Paul Weathersby, guitar; and Tech. Sgt. Steve McConnell, bass. Joining this group of forecasters from the 21st Operational Weather Squadron is Staff Sgt. Ben Comer, drums, who is with the 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. 

By playing at various base events and area bars, the band has become a local favorite. However, in addition to having fun and entertaining their fans, the Griswold's decided they wanted to find a way to use their talent to help a local cause. So they put together a benefit concert at a local pub, the Irish House, and raised $1,500 for Landstuhl Medical Center's Fisher House. 

The Fisher House is a nonprofit organization supporting America's military in time of need, providing "a home away from home" for families to be close to loved ones at the most stressful time - during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury. Landstuhl Medical Center houses the only Fisher House on foreign soil. And they serve not only U.S. forces, but also NATO allies as well. 

"The show definitely opened some eyes toward the Fisher House and their cause," said Sergeant Daniels. 

"It provided funds to (those) who are really helping out the people," Airman Weathersby said. "The Fisher House doesn't receive funds anywhere else because they don't collect any government funding from tax dollars, so giving to them is really important."
So what made the Griswold's want to give back? 

"All the musicians I admire play for charity," Sergeant McConnell said. "Most of our audience is military, so it was just natural to want to give something back." 

When the Griswold's aren't producing forecasts, they are practicing and working to perfect their show. 

"Just like I would give up sleep if I needed to stay at the squadron for 16 hours, I would give up sleep to get band practice in," Sergeant Beye said. 

The band also finds it challenging to juggle practice and concert times. 

"The hardest part of the process is coordinating everything since we all work different shifts and the hub is 24/7," Sergeant McConnell said. 

The Griswold's put in around 40 hours of practice for the benefit show alone and they don't plan on slowing down. The band wants to continue giving back. 

"Maybe the USO, the Fisher House again, or maybe some others," Sergeant Daniels said. "I want to do something for people who have serious problems that the military can't necessarily do more for [funding wise]." 

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. The band knows that they will only be able to play together for as long as they are stationed together. 

"I would like to see this go on as long as we can, but the sad fact is that we are all military and will eventually go our different ways," Sergeant Comer said. 

But until then the Griswold's will continue to rock and give back to the military community.
"Give us a cause and we will rock for it," Sergeant McConnell said.