MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
GI Jams founders, Denny Randell and Biddy Schippers, toured Marine Corps Base Quantico on June 13, 2013, on their way to a special presentation of honor at the Pentagon on June 14.
GI Jams is a music network dedicated to American service members - Marines, airmen, soldiers, sailors and Coast Guarsdmen- at home and all over the world. Service members, active or not, can sign up on the site and create their own profile pages featuring their bios, pictures, blogs and music.
While on MCB Quantico, they toured the National Museum of the Marine Corps, ate at Tun Tavern, were given a brief on the Marine for Life program and toured Officer Candidates School.
“I had no idea it was as glorious as this,” said Schippers of the museum. “Absolutely incredible. Sometimes when you try to absorb history it’s overwhelming, but the combination (of videos, artifacts and displays at the museum makes it easy to absorb).”
After lunch at the museum the group made their way to the Marine for Life headquarters building on Quantico.
“It has to feel good for them to know you guys are there,” said Randell during the presentation by Walter Lavrinovich Jr., Marine for Life director.
Randell and Schippers started GI Jams to give back to the troops, they said.
“These are people of action,” said Lt. Col. Jerard Brewer, district officer in charge, Marine for Life Program and a GI Jams artist. “They’ve done a lot by producing music, music videos and organizing the concert in Las Vegas.”
GI Jams organized a Veterans Day Weekend Show in Las Vegas on Nov. 12, 2010, starring veteran and active duty service member musical artists.
“There is so much hidden talent in the ranks out there,” added Brewer.
Their mission, according to www.gijams.com, “is to give those in our military that are musically talented the opportunity to be heard and the chance to realize the financial gain from their music and talent, and maybe even go all the way.”
“There are so many things you can do to support the troops,” said Randell. “What we know is music. (The troops) have feelings and talents. You have to give them something good to focus on.”
“While we can never repay them,” according to the mission statement on GI Jams, “each of us can certainly do our part to help support them.
There were more than one thousand members on GI Jams as of June 18, 2013. All download profits from the site go to the artists.