This week, the Colts Drum and Bugle Corps lost one of their own, 18 year old trumpet player Dakotah.

This week, every member of the drum corps community feels the loss as if Dakotah were a member of their own drum and bugle tribe band family.  When you march with someone, you can’t let them go.  You share too many memories.

Red Team, there will always be a hole in your show, in your corps, in the place in your lives where he used to be part of it.  You’ll always feel something missing, and that’s ok.

But while you’ll always feel his absence, you have so many resources to fill the abyss Dakotah has left you.  It just comes with remembering, and feeling.

Embrace that shiver you get before you start a show when you look out of the blurry corner of your eye down the line of all the other people who courageously decided they wanted to come together with you—

to create a performance so powerful and unique—

that it echoes far past the stadiums it was performed in and catches thousands in its waves.

Don’t forget that wherever you go, 149 other people will stand behind you and believe in you because of all the stupid, the frustrating, exhausting, meaningful, beautiful things you did together.  Don’t forget how adamantly you would stand behind any one of them as well.

Keep your heads high and your hearts open and your friendships strong. And make sure your days are bombarded with at least 4 or 5 outbursts of uncontrollable, absurd, gratifying laughter that renders you momentarily both unable to breathe and unable to feel anything but the things that make you smile—

because then you will have no regrets –

and you’ll never feel empty.

Keep your family loving, accepting, unstoppable, invincible.  Hold on to morning.

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