COLONEL ARNALD GABRIEL RESCUES THE 29TH DIVISION BAND IN 1945 THEN CONDUCTS BAND IN 2015!

COLONEL ARNALD GABRIEL RESCUES THE 29TH DIVISION BAND IN 1945 THEN CONDUCTS BAND IN 2015

Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel, U.S.A.F. retired, former soldier with the 29th Infantry Division during the D-Day Invasion WWII, was awarded the title of Conductor Emeritus of the 29th Division Band Virginia Army National Guard. This title was bestowed upon Colonel Gabriel by Major General Timothy Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. 

The Colonel was invited to be the guest conductor of the 29th Division Band for the D-Day 71 Ceremony at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia. He did not know that he was going to receive the title and was quite emotional and at a loss for words when it was presented to him during the 60 minute concert that he conducted.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Don Carlson, Commander of the 29th Division Band, had the idea to bestow the title on Colonel Gabriel when he read a history of the 29th Infantry Division Band during WWII and made a connection with a story that Colonel Gabriel had told him about the taking of the city of Munchen-Gladbach during the war. The band had been sent to entertain troops in Munchen-Gladbach. The decision to send the band was a bit premature and they ended up being pinned down by the Nazis. It became necessary to send the 29th Infantry Division in to rescue the band and take Munchen-Gladbach. Staff Sergeant Gabriel, a machine gunner with the 29th Infantry Division, was a part of that mission. Colonel Gabriel also told Chief Carlson that he had asked if he could join the band during the war but was told that he did had not earned enough points and that the band members had enough points to go home soon. If he were allowed to join the band at that time he would have been reassigned to another unit when the band went home. This story was the inspiration for Chief Carlson to right that wrong. On 6 June 2015 Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel became the first Conductor Emeritus of the 29th Division Band in front of an audience of several hundred people at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia.
 By CW2 Don Carlson, Commander, 29th Division Band VaARNG 

 
Picture from L to R- Major General Timothy Williams, the Adjutant General of VaARNG, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Don Carlson, Commander, 29th Division Band, Colonel Arnald D. Gabriel U.S.A.F. ret. Conductor Emeritus, 29th Division Band, and First Sergeant David Helms, 29th Division Band.