Not long after the Crimson Tide football team returned to campus, and even larger group arrived back at the University of Alabama.
While the team flies, it takes nine buses and an 18-wheeler for the more than 400 Million Dollar Band members. They got back in town early this afternoon, while the team arrived around 10 a.m.
But aside from practicing and performing this year, the band has also united in support of 21-year-old Stephanie Cartagena, who battled brain cancer for more than a year before passing away Monday.
Million Dollar Band Director Ken Ozzello said they’ve lost more than a member of the color guard, they’ve lost a family member.
“I tell the students in the band that when we’re recruiting students and parents, yes, it’s important that we march well and play well, but the network of friends and family that you develop in an organization like this is probably the most important reason to be in it,” he said. “And the Million Dollar Band family was able to give Stephanie and her family a good deal of support through such trying times.”