As of Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Area musicians are invited to join the “Blueberry Jam” session on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month in the basement of the Civic Auditorium.
The gathering sponsored by Got Your Six, a band that formed two years ago to support veteran causes, convenes at 6:30 p.m. and continues until “whenever” people are ready to stop playing.
Local musicians are invited to join them, and community members to come listen.
“It’s going to be a fun time,” said Dale Rollins, a Navy veteran who serves as “coach” for Got Your Six. He is also secretary/treasurer of Outside the Wire, the nonprofit group that formed to handle fundraising activities for the band.
“Got Your Six” is the military term for “Got Your Back” and “Outside the Wire” is the reference made by troops for leaving the safety of the base.
Rollins said the name of the jam session derives from his service aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Oriskany, nicknamed the “Mighty O,” during the Vietnam war era.
“It would be high stress one day and abject boredom the next,” he said of his duties as an aviation electrician’s mate in charge of the flight deck.
“I was homesick, so I started writing music and I wrote a song called ‘Blueberry Jam,” said Rollins, a guitarist. “It was just a dumb song but a few of us started playing it, and the next thing we knew, we were the ship’s band.”
He said new members of Got Your Six might be found in the jam sessions, but they will be low-pressure and intended only to provide people with an outlet for their talent.
“This is a community outreach, and we want everyone who comes, audience, musicians and veterans, to just enjoy time together,” he said.
Chris Mumford, an Army veteran, is the founder of Got Your Six and the group’s drummer. He said the mission of Outside the Wire (he is president) is similar to that of the Gary Sinise Foundation that uses creative, entertaining, educating and inspiring programs to support troops, veterans, first responders, military families and those in need.
Toward that end, the band has performed for a variety of events, both inside and outside the community.
In June, Got Your Six played at the Columbia Gorge Military Museum during the “Hail to the Jeep” vintage car show. They also performed at the Maupin Madness Poker Run that benefitted Outdoor Adventures with Military Heroes and NW Battle Buddies.
Both Rollins and Mumford also belong to The Dalles Outpost of Point Man International Ministries and are helping with its efforts to provide care packages for a special forces team in the Middle East and feeding homeless vets.
Their schedule has grown busy enough in the past year, said Mumford, that the band is taking some time off this summer and will then regroup to set the schedule for future performances.
Rollins said Outside the Wire is seeking to get a Veteran Services Organization canteen reminiscent of the World War II era approved as a fundraiser.
Meanwhile, the nonprofit is raffling off a 1986 Suzuki Samurai for $20 a ticket. Two hundred and fifty tickets will be sold from the military museum at 203 East Second Street. The museum can be reached at 541-769-1150.
People wanting more information can call Rollins at 541-993-2571 or Mumford at 541-980-1911.
Donations can be sent to Outside the Wire, P.O. Box 1171, The Dalles, OR 97058.