San Francisco Dance Concert to Honor War Veterans

San Francisco dance concert uses Sonoma County man's service as inspiration

By Jessica Aguirre
|  Thursday, Jan 16, 2014  |  Updated 8:28 PM PDT
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A Sonoma County man is surprised to learn that his military service in the inspiration for a benefit dance concert in San Francisco this weekend. Jessica Aguirre reports.

A Sonoma County man is surprised to learn that his military service in the inspiration for a benefit dance concert in San Francisco this weekend. Jessica Aguirre reports.

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A Sonoma County man is surprised to learn that his military service is the inspiration for a benefit dance concert in San Francisco this weekend.

Robert “Bud” Vance spent 32 years in the Navy, doing tours around the world. The 89-year-old Sebastopol man says one of his proudest achievements is the work he and his fellow servicemen did rebuilding a hospital in Vietnam.

Now, his story of sacrifice and service is the back drop for a benefit dance concert at the Marines' Memorial Theater in San Francisco this Saturday entitled “Dance for a Difference.“

Dancers from Tiffany’s Dance Academy, The Bay Area Dance Company and ConDanza were busy this week rehearsing and putting the finishing touches on pieces meant to honor Vance and veterans just like him.

Vance says he is proud to be a part of this weekend’s event and proud of his years in the military.

“I have enjoyed what I’ve done," he says. "I didn’t always volunteer. Sometimes you don’t get a choice, they just send you where they send you, but wherever I went I tried to do the best that I can.“

The retired Navy man says he is humbled by the attention and glad his story will serve to help others, especially some of the younger dancers in the show, who know little of the emotional and physical difficulties faced by returning vets and their families. The benefit also has a movie connection.

All proceeds from “Dance for a Difference “ will go to the Lone Survivor Foundation, founded by Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, whose chilling memoir turned movie “Lone Survivor “ is currently in theaters. Tickets to the benefit are available through www.cityboxoffice.com.

Vance says he will be in the audience Saturday night to see his story life played out on stage.

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