In recognition of Winter Guard International World Championships being held in San Diego this week, we'll be focusing some editorial firepower on anecdotes and stories related to guards. Think back to those formative, funny, inspiring or memorable guard stories and send them in! They can be as long or as short as you would like. Attach a picture of yourself or the situation you're writing about if you can. And by all means, pass this on to your guard friends! We'll edit these stories for clarity, grammar and appropriateness. If you have a guard-related anecdote or story, send it to Reminded of the great friendships

Capital Regiment's guard in 2002
This photo was taken after Capital Regiment's Division II & III finals show in 2002. Unfortunately the entire guard couldn't fit into the photo, but we were an amazing group. Before this photo was taken we were huddled together in a circle, crying, and our wonderful staff was telling us how proud of us they were. We had gone through a lot that year, but in the end we pulled it together, and were able to march two more times as a Division 1 corps. The lady in the center is Pita, our guard captain. I was fortunate to march with her (and Ann, the lady to her left) from 1999-2002. She has been an amazing friend and fantastic guard captain. Unfortunately 2002 was the last year I marched drum corps and I've missed it every day since. But every time I look at my photos, I am reminded of the great friendships I have because of this organization. -- Nikki Kogan, Capital Regiment guard 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Pioneer's pumpkins Last summer our instructor Robert would call us his pumpkins or sometimes his punk-ins. Later on at Fremd High School we got our first glimpse of our uniforms for the season and -- well, they were bright, highlighter orange. I guess from then on we really were his pumpkins.

-- Erica Szkody, Pioneer color guard 2003, 2004 Fun with Fever Last season was my first year participating in drum corps. It was definitely unlike any experience I've ever had, especially since I marched in (the new) Fever. We sure got off to a rocky start, and it was a long, hot and extremely tough road, but it sure was worth the hard work. By the end of the season, not only did we get clean, but we actually had TONS of fun (which at times I thought would be impossible)! I never believed I would miss the long days in the blaring sun or the sweat burning in my eyes, but by the end of the last performance -- the second my flag hit the ground -- I cried. We all did. Knowing that I (and my lifelong friends) were apart of something that will one day become celebrated by thousands is something to be immensely proud of.

-- Cari Swegles, Fever color guard (saber)