What do a 1972 Vet and a 2002 Rookie have in common?Not wool uniforms! Certainly not cell phones on the road. Tall pikes? Nope!The camaraderie and pride is definitely still there - there's a strong love for the activity amongst alumni and current members. When winter camp starts, a group of strangers begin to form the corps; as the season progresses, those strangers grow together to become a corps family. Everyone who has ever marched DCI can relate to this phenomenal transformation. We asked DCI vets from 1972 and 2002 DCI first year members to share their thoughts. Although Drum Corps International has gone through many changes through the years, members from yesterday and today have much in common - more than anyone could imagine.From the First..."I remember many things from that year! Especially wearing brand-new uniforms taken from our measurements for the first time at DCI. After the performance we were backstage marking time (for eternity) in a circle getting ready for the routine after-the-performance 'gripe session.' We were finally put at parade rest and I looked over to Mike Masters, a Contra player who had been in the Squires (B Corps) from the first day he was eligible. This guy had paid his dues in drum corps for a lot of years. As he set the Contra down, a stream of blood flowed from the bell onto the pavement and formed a small pool. His face and the front of his brand new uniform were absolutely caked with blood. When asked what happened, he said he knew he split his lip in the middle of the performance but just kept on playing. 'I've waited my whole life for this moment, you don't think I'm gonna stop playing 'cuz of a little blood, do you?'"Bob Feller, 1972 Anaheim Kingsmen"My first 'Nationals'. . .beautiful weather, beautiful stadium, one great performance after another. I always enjoyed marching drum corps, but that night I fell in love with it."Donald C. Kosmal, 1972 Skokie (Norwood Park) Imperials"I marched for De La Salle from Toronto, Canada, and remember seeing Boston Crusaders and how amazing they were with 24 members; they sounded bigger than Madison Scouts. When the cymbal player came out to play a soprano solo people were blown away."Harri Maki, 1972 De La Salle"The 1972 championship marked the sixth consecutive national championship that I participated in. That year we had the opportunity to win it all, but didn't. It was a life experience in the thrill of victory and agony of defeat. Nonetheless the aura and excitement of Whitewater 1972 remains to this day in regard to our second place finish. The Anaheim Kingsmen were first, we were second, and Santa Clara was third".Thomas Leith, 1972 Blue Stars"It was my second year in Drum Corps, and Whitewater was the biggest event I was ever in. Looking back Drum Corps and DCI was the best thing I was ever involved in."Mike Knight, 1972 Cavaliers"What I remember the most, we were on the hill, the sidewalk area behind the stadium where the corps entered from the parking lot. We were waiting to go down on the field when the Anaheim Kingsmen busses pulled into the parting lot. The bus were swaying side to side as the corps was just getting it on kids yelling, screaming to put themselves into a mental zone. As I remember they were late in arriving to the stadium and were to go on before us. When as they passed us to go to the field you could see in their faces all were in a zone. I have never seen a color guard as crisp as they were. The short warmup they had was awesome and the way they entered the field. What a show they put on that night to win. Wow, that has been with me for almost 30 years and I never will forget." Barry Walters, 1972 Argonne Rebels...to the Future"I have always dreamed of being in the Santa Clara Vanguard. Having watched them for several years, I have always admired the strong sense of respect, dedication, class and tradition that each corps member embodies. I am honored to be marching with SCV this year. I really cannot put into words how truly grateful I feel to be a part of the organization for the first time. And I can't even imagine how awesome it will be when I'm standing in front of cheering fans at our first show -- wearing the green and red uniform that I've longed to wear for so long."Alison Waterkotte, First-Year Member, Santa Clara Vanguard"I can't wait to go on tour and perform our show. I'm looking forward to learning as much as I can from the staff and being around everyone in the organization. It's been a great experience so far." Cory Miller, First-Year Member, Boston Crusaders"I feel really honored to even be a part of the Santa Clara Vanguard, much less in the Corps' 35th year. I can't think of any other place I'd rather be than at practice, and when I'm not there, all I can do is count the days until the next camp. SCV will always be a part of who I am and where I'm from." Jeremy Milinazzo, First-Year Member, Santa Clara Vanguard"This summer I want to create new friendships and make the friendships that I have now stronger. I would like to challenge myself to do my personal best on the practice field and the show field. To control my tour spread (just kidding). To do my part because we are all a team and with one person not doing their best then the corps is not as strong. Most importantly I am looking forward in seeing the Corps bond and become a family."Erin Wolff, First-Year Member, Colts"I can't wait for this summer to begin. I know that every day is going to be rough and there will be times that I will question why I wanted to do this so badly, but I know that the hard work will pay off in the end. It's like a dream come true for me. I have already met so many wonderful people, people that I can already tell will be friends that I will keep in touch with for the rest of my life. Our show this year has me very excited! It looks to be a great season and I intend to take advantage of every second of it." Brigitte Vola, First-Year Member, Boston Crusaders"I am really looking forward to growing with the corps. I can't wait to feel the sense of togetherness that I know we will feel on the field at finals when all of the hard work finally pays of. It WILL be awesome." Ryan O'Leary, First-Year Member, Boston Crusaders"Since watching the DCI show at BOA two years ago, I knew that drum corps was something in which I had to get involved. I can hardly wait to play and march with people who are as dedicated to the activity as I am. Most of all, I look forward to entertaining the many spectators who come only to watch the Corps."Bill Albrecht, First-Year Member, Colts"I still can't believe I'm actually a part of something so cool. The people have to be the best aspect of it all -- they seem to make it so special. I can't wait to be able to perform with an organization that is so great -- I've already learned so much, it's crazy. I can't even imagine how much better I'll be by the end of the summer! And I certainly can't wait to play in front of thousands of screaming people! It's going to be so much FUN!"Andrea Venet, First-Year Member, Santa Clara Vanguard