The Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation 2012 U.S Army Soldier Show, featuring this year's Army production Army Strong,sung, danced and beat-boxed their way to the Marne community, May 8. Soldiers across the nation, from food service specialists to criminal investigators, exposed their unique talents at Fort Stewart's Newman Fitness Center.
As Soldiers, Family Members and Civilians sat in the dark fitness center, the show commenced with colorful, flashing hues lighting the night and catchy music. The entertainers, all Soldiers, danced to rhythmic beats, performed flips, wore costumes and sung on stage.
"They are Soldiers like everybody else," said Sgt. Drake DeLucca, U.S. Army Soldiers Show's Visual Content Manager. "We bring them out of their units for a nine-month period, so they can go on the road and entertain Families, other troops, retirees and civilians. It is open to everyone and it is all for free."
For former Third Infantry Division Soldier, Spc. Tiffani Lindstrom, a U.S. Soldier Show entertainer and former vocalist of the 3rd ID Band, traveling to Fort Stewart was nothing new for her.
It feels like I'm home, she said. It's my dream and it's my passion, and it's something I love doing. I am sharing [my passion] with 19 other talented people, which makes it all the better. Each one of us has something to bring to the show, and we all come together in one big, great event.
While Spc. Lindstrom wows the crowd with her voice, the joy behind performing and entertaining did not come without a story. Early in 2007, I was seriously wounded in an accident back in Egypt where my NCO was killed, she said. So, hes been my angel, goal and motivation. I was at Walter Reed for almost a year, and they told me I could never walk again, that I couldnt even serve again. When I left Walter Reed, I [came] to Fort Stewart in the [Warrior Transition Unit].
I worked hard, trained and got myself back into shape. I went before the board and the board said that I can stay. Once I stayed on active duty, I was going to make something of it; thats why I did the Soldier Show. I know in my heart that [my NCO] would have wanted me to do it, so thats why I am here.
The Soldiers will perform more than 50 shows throughout the nation and the Pacific. They work approximately 14-hour days for six months. They are also responsible for the transportation, loading and unloading, set-up, recovery and maintenance of over 40,000 pounds of equipment required for production, according to the 2012 U.S. Soldier Show handbook.
Everything that is light-hearted of good spirit thats going to help uplift and carry us on to the next day, we need it, Sgt. DeLucca said. The Soldier Show is awesome.