Rachel Caylor said she remember listening to KISS songs as a young girl, and her father's first concert that he attended was when that longtime rock band played in New York City.
“He sent me his vinyl records, hoping to get them signed,” said the 36-year-old Army specialist from Leavenworth, Kansas, who was selected to be the KISS “Roadie For the Day” for the band's concert today at Independence's Silverstein Eye Centers Arena.
For its “Freedom to Rock” tour this year, KISS partnered with Hiring Our Heroes – a national program that helps service members, veterans and their families find meaningful employment outside of the military – to hire a Roadie For the Day for each concert stop.
Caylor – who was in the Army 2001-03 and has worked as a contractor supporting the Army since then, including two deployments to Iraq – was selected through a process with Hiring Our Heroes.
“A friend works for Hiring for Heroes, and she had been a former co-worker,” Caylor said of how her name unknowingly got cast for consideration. “I found out about four or five weeks ago.”
Caylor said she'll be at the arena at 11 a.m. for her tasks.
“I am going to help put the stage together, and then I'll be present during the soundcheck, helping get the equipment,” she said. “I was told that part of the time (during the concert) I will be backstage, but the remaining time I have tickets in the audience.”
Caylor said her husband, whom she met while in the Army, is out of town for work, and their sons are far short of the 21-year-old backstage age requirement, so she is taking a friend with her. In a phone conversation, Caylor's giddiness was quite evident.
“I'm very, very excited,” she said.
KISS also is donating a limited number of tickets to veterans in each community. Band co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley also met with veterans from the Kansas City VA Medical Center Tuesday afternoon at their Rock & Brews restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas.