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Music is a key part of military service

For accounting assistant John Westmacott, music always has been and continues to be his first love - so much so, it dominated his military career with the U.S. Army from 1983 through 1997.

“I performed with the Military Academy Band as a rudimental drummer in the Field Music Group “The Hellcats,” John said.

The Hellcats mission is to provide musical support, including the sounding of Reveille and Retreat at the Garrison flagpole. The group performs at various military reviews, parades, and ceremonial events. They also provide music for cadets in the mess hall, and perform a special arrangement of West Point gridiron songs during the annual Army vs Navy football game.

One event in particular in Germany stands out.

“My favorite memory is marching through the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin in the deactivation parade of the Allied Strike Force in 1994,” John said. “1994 was the five-year anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall.  The parade included musical units from France, England and the U.S.”

John was stationed at West Point, New York. His time in the U.S. Army provided him with lessons that have remained throughout his lifetime.

“Physical fitness, self-discipline, attention to detail,” John said of those key lessons. “I’ve continued to stay physically fit. I enjoy running and walking outdoors. I still enjoy performing in local community bands.”

Attention to detail has served him well in his role as an accounting assistant at Aberdeen Village.

“I’m responsible for Accounts Receivable & Accounts Payable. I bill Medicaid, Hospice, and Long-Term Care Insurance,” John said. “I also coordinate Medicare documentation with our corporate office for billing. I enjoy interacting daily with our amazingly talented management team. We work well together. I also appreciate the great help and guidance of our corporate support staff. It’s fun to come to work each day.”

When John’s not working, he enjoys his family and pets - as well as any opportunity he can find to exercise his passion for music. He performs with the Olathe Civic Band in the summer, and with the fife and drum corps at the Smoky Hill River Festival in Salina each June.

“As COVID has begun to wane, I’ve been subbing in with a local swing band lately,” he said.

John’s wife is a retired Kindergarten teacher, and the couple has three grown children, and four grandchildren, three of whom live just 20 minutes away. His household is also home to two rescue cats, and until recently an elderly rescue dog, who just passed away.

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