On behalf of the soldiers of the United States Army Field Band, let me tell you how upset we are that we were unable to perform for the great folks in the Huntington Beach area April 10 ("Show does not go on," April 14). Like many, many Americans, we watched anxiously last week to see if there would be a government shutdown. In the event of a shutdown, no travel or unauthorized expenditures of any kind may occur.
As responsible stewards of American tax dollars, when we travel by air, we negotiate a steeply discounted price that is usually nonrefundable. Faced with the likelihood of a government shutdown, we approached the airlines and they agreed to rebook the band and chorus at no extra cost if we made the change very early April 8. During the wee hours that day, a budget settlement had not been achieved and we were forced with a hard choice. We could delay our departure for three days at no cost to the government or hope a budget would be passed.