TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - 64-year-old Connie Brannock spent much of her life in uniform, climbing the ranks of the Army.
She enlisted at 35, older than the average soldier.
"When I went through basic training they called me the running wrinkle," she said. Brannock later deployed to Iraq after September 11, 2001. "That was the most daunting, daunting thing I've ever done was serve as a first sergeant. 51-year-old first sergeant. We'd have parents come up and say I know you'll bring my son back home or I know you'll bring my husband home."
The retired Command Sergeant Major in the United States Army now substitute teaches in Tucson and gives life advice to future generations.
“They’re all at that age wanting to grow up really fast. But you know what, I want you to consider these factors that come with aging.”
To ease that pressure of life and aging, she channels the 'funk' itself.
"I always feel better after I sing," Brannock said. She sings at Monterey Court under the neon lights of historic Miracle Mile, and also at Cafe a la Carte just blocks from downtown Tucson.
Brannock ditched a record deal early on to pursue the Army.
Now, she said, she plays for all the right reasons.
“When I see pictures of myself performing, I look 10 or 15 years younger.”
Connie’s Little House of Funk plays all over Tucson. She collaborates with several different musicians each time.
"When I put a band together, if I'm the weakest link - we're going to have a great night," Brannock said.
Connie Brannock's Little House of Funk won the Best R&B category in Tucson Weekly's Best of Tucson competition last year.
You can find a list of her future shows on her website: https://www.conniebrannockband.com/