Meeting Caleb Green
Many of you know Caleb Green as one of the primary singers of the national anthem at Washington Capitals’ home games. We have the pleasure of sitting in a section that Master Sargent (Retired) Green, frequently visits, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to let you see the man behind the microphone. We found Caleb to be one of the nicest guys—he will stop and talk with anyone who comes up to him at Verizon Center. When we met with Caleb, the first thing we noticed we all had in common was our glasses. “Right before I retired, my eyes were burning and I thought it was allergies so I get in there and they say Mr. Green you have holes in your retina…So when I first started wearing glasses I nearly killed myself a couple hundred times just walking up the steps,” he said.
Caleb is more than the baritone that we see on the red carpet—sometimes with friend Bob McDonald. He is the husband of the beautiful Page Green and father to seven children. Although he is retired, his family, his commitment to his faith and community, and his love of music keep him plenty busy.
Music and Military Life
As a military guy singing the National Anthem, we asked about his music background. You may be surprised by what he had to say: “Actually, I went to school at Hampton University to study music education. Me and education….(shakes his head). You gotta use psychology….you have parents fighting teachers…. it’s even worse now.” In typical fashion his parents insisted he have a practical back-up plan in case music didn’t pan out. Caleb studied voice but says he was “a horrible voice student” because he was younger. His voice had the range but not the vocal ability to do what they were asking. He was the worship leader at his church (Calvary Baptist in Woodbridge, VA) for three and a half years. He played the drums, until his 12-year old son started playing and he was “solid” enough that he took Caleb’s spot on the worship team.
Caleb originally went into the military as a communications officer and he spent 14 years in the that field. He loved the job but not all that went with it. “You put all of us together and we still didn’t weigh as much as the equipment we had to carry on our backs… it was hard.” While he was in Alaska he got the opportunity to audition for, and make, the US Army Band. And spent the past 16 ½ years performing with them.
Singing for the Caps
As someone with a background in the military, we were curious to know how Caleb feels about the “Red” and “O” yelled out by fans during our anthem at Verizon center. He told us, “It doesn’t bother me at all and let me tell you why. When we come to a place like the Verizon Center; and every team has its thing, for example Dallas has its star. The emphasis that we place on it—I feel like as a person who served our country, I fought for the right to have the freedom to do that. Now if it gets to be disrespectful, then I would have a problem with it.”
The Fun Part
As you can imagine, Caleb has had some incredible opportunities during his time in the Army Band. “I’ve done so many performances. Most people don’t know about the other things I have done. I have performed overseas and in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Germany and many other places.” He was also a soloist for President Obama’s first inauguration. One of the biggest events he participated in was TNT’s “A Christmas in DC,” held in Washington during the holidays.
Caleb had the opportunity to escort Laura Bush during her last Christmas in DC in 2008 and said Mrs. Bush took the time to talk to his kids while they were standing backstage. Then something surprised him; Mrs. Bush started telling his kids about everything their father had done. She was so sweet as she told his kids about their own father and his accomplishments.
He thanks God for all the amazing opportunities in his life. He has also performed for various groups and events including The NAACP Image Awards and The Naval Air and Sea Show in Ft. Lauderdale. Even after all the events and traveling around the world, his favorite place to go is home, and standing center ice at Verizon Center. He loves the comradery of these other events but he always does things with the goal of coming home at the end of the night.
After 31+ years in the military, Caleb decided to retire from the US Army. He still spends much of his time as a professional musician but he also works with an incredible organization known by their acronym CAMMO (Center for American Military Music Opportunities). CAMMO works with soldiers dealing with PTSD, TBI, Substance Abuse, and much more through music therapy. They use music as a healing tool. He takes this wonderful gift he has been given and uses it to bless others.
As we know, Coach Barry Trotz has many quotes and positive sayings throughout the locker room and we asked him if he has a motto he repeats to himself. He said, “Too blessed to stress, I’m not the kind of person that worries about things a lot. That’s a gift.”
You, Caleb Green are a gift to all us at Verizon Center and we appreciate you taking the time to talk to us.
Written by: Brittney Marcum and Starlet Smith
Photos generously shared by Caleb Green