Yvonne Yoerger once imagined herself playing in the U.S. Air Force Band.
Last month, she got pretty close.
Yoerger, a USPS Corporate Communications manager and trombone player, took the stage with the surviving original members of the Women’s Air Force (WAF) Band at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC.
“When you hear that you have a chance to play at the Kennedy Center, there is a lot of celebrating the opportunity to do that,” Yoerger said. “But when you’re on stage, it’s like any other concert where you just want to do your best, especially for those women.”
Formed in 1951, when women were limited in the jobs they could fill in the Air Force, the WAF Band is the only all-woman former military band that still performs publicly. The group invites local service members and civilians to perform with them during reunion concerts.
Yoerger, the daughter of a Navy veteran, started her musical career in fifth grade when she joined her school’s band. Today, she plays in two local bands in the Washington area that perform in parks, churches and other community venues.
In addition to their Kennedy Center concert, Yoerger and the WAF Band played for veterans at the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington.
“That performance was very powerful and, for me, a little bit more emotional because you are entertaining veterans who have served our country,” she said.
Several of Yoerger’s colleagues at USPS headquarters in Washington attended her performance and cheered her on.
“It was an all-around enjoyable experience magnified by the fact that I personally knew someone on stage,” said Strategic Planning Specialist Tom Simpson. “Yvonne did an amazing job up there.”