Paul Klontz has played with the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets at seven presidential inaugurations, in front of two popes, and at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Now, the sergeant major and 27-year veteran has decided to call it a career.
His father and stepmother, Kenneth and Joyce Klontz of Wellington, traveled Oct. 23 to Washington, D.C., for a retirement ceremony.
The apple didn’t fall to far from the tree since Kenneth is a U.S. Navy veteran and retired Akron firefighter.
“We’re just so proud of Paul,” he said. “He’s always loved music and had a desire to serve. He was there for Pope Francis’ visit to the White House in 2015 and has also played at countless military burials at Arlington National Cemetery.”
Founded in 1959, the Herald Trumpets were patterned after similar groups in Britain and now serve as the official ensemble for the President of the United States. In the group’s first official appearance, they played in Chicago for Queen Elizabeth II during the opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway.
At 34 years old in 1990, Paul was a senior member among recruits at basic training.
“He was in there with a bunch of 18 and 19-year-olds and did just fine,” said Kenneth. “He knew what he wanted to do and nothing was going to stop him.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.