Aaron Arnold

Aaron Arnold

Atlanta, Georgia

Don't ask my dad, an alumni band member, who is really the better athlete.

At 60 years old, my dad Patrick swims, does martial arts and marches with the "100." He was a member of the world-renown Florida A&M Marching Band from 1966-1968 where he played cymbals.

In 1994, my dad took me on a pre-high school graduation visit to Florida A &M University during homecoming. He decided to participate in the band's homecoming half-time show featuring the then 240 member band, most of whom were 27-30 years younger.

"Much to my surprise, the band had gotten a lot bigger and the show seemingly a lot longer (he laughed) and I was completely winded. Marching 360 steps a minute is harder when you're older!!"

His "being out of shape" would serve as a motivational tool for my dad to train (swimming and martial arts) for homecoming the following year. And train he did, returning in 1995 to not only complete the homecoming half-time show but he now does the pre-game show too. With the exception of 2004 and 2005 due to hand surgery, dad has marched at every Florida A&M homecoming pre-game and half-time show with kids and alumni, 30 sometimes 40 years younger. He has been the oldest alumni band member to actually march with the Marching "100," now hosting a membership of approximately 400.

In 2004, dad was diagnosed with diabetes and now uses his training every year for the homecoming half-time show as a way to fight his diabetes and stay in shape.

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