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Soldier Show mixes new, 
traditional entertainment...

By Kara Motosicky, The Real McCoy Contributor

      Even when Mother Nature rears her head, the show must go on. 

      The cast of the 2008 Army Soldier Show danced and sang their way through an energetic 90-minute show at the Rumpel Fitness Center June 15 despite having been delayed in arrival and setup by the recent flooding in the Midwest.

      The 2008 show, the 25th anniversary of the modern Soldier Show, focused on the motto of "Entertainment for the Soldier, By the Soldier." 

      Against a backdrop of desert camouflage  and sandbags, the 14-member cast moved smoothly between current hit songs and past favorites while performing intricate choreography.

      Attendance at the show was estimated to be 550. The show featured a wide variety of music genres, including country, R&B, hip-hop, gospel, rock, soul, and patriotic music.

      An homage to Michael Jack-son's "Thriller" was a crowd pleaser, as was AC/DC's "Back in Black" accompanied by "Thunderstruck" on the game Guitar Hero. Songs made popular by such artists as Carrie Underwood, Rhianna, Rascal Flatts and Akon, also were featured.

      The modern era of the Soldier Show was honored with the World War II tune "This is the Army, Mr. Jones." 

      The song, written by Soldier Show Founder Irving Berlin, was accompanied by a collection of image and video clips from the last 25 years. A medley of songs covering much of both the original and modern incarnations of the Soldier Show, followed.

      Staff Sgt. Cassandra Taylor-Roby of the 2nd Brigade (Training Development), 70th Division (Functional Training) represented the Fort McCoy community during the show, performing "Go the Distance" with the cast.

      Taylor-Roby thought the show went well. "You can see these Soldiers put a lot of effort into the show" she said. She earned her spot in a competition held earlier in June.

      Maj. Peter Yedinak of the 84th Training Command (Leader Readiness) enjoyed the show from the comfort of a recliner in the front row.

      "It was awesome," he said. Yedinak earned his seat as the winner of the "AT&T Best seats in the House" essay contest.

      Scott Scholl, a retired Soldier and a current DA civilian at the 84th Training Command (Leader Readiness), thought the show was great.

      "It was fantastic," he said. "These Soldiers gave their finest performances." Scholl said it was only the second Soldier Show performance he's seen. "The last time I was at a show was 20 years ago, and (today's show) amazed me. It's great entertainment for Soldiers, by Soldiers. " 

       First-time sponsor Freedom Team Salute distributed postage-paid commendation cards before the show to Soldiers who wished to honor the support and sacrifice of family, friends and employers. For more information about Freedom Team Salute, visit their Web site at http://www.FreedomTeamSalute.com.

      The cast and crew, who auditioned for their places in the show, will continue to tour through November performing at more than 60 locations in 24 states and five countries. 

      At the conclusion of the show, they will return to their jobs in more than a dozen military occupational specialties.

      Other sponsors and partners for the 2008 Army Soldier Show are the Army National Guard and AT&T. Local support was provided by Case Remanufacturing Center, Monroe County Publishers, COW97, Pizza Hut-Tomah. and Burnstad's.

      No federal endorsement is implied.

Photo: Staff Sgt. Cassandra Taylor-Roby (front, left), a Fort McCoy Soldier, sings with the U.S. Army Soldier Show cast during a June 15 performance at the Fort McCoy Rumpel Fitness Center. (Photo by Billy Cargile)

Staff Sgt. Cassandra Taylor-Roby (front, left), a Fort McCoy Soldier, sings with the U.S. Army Soldier Show cast during a June 15 performance at the Fort McCoy Rumpel Fitness Center. (Photo by Billy Cargile)

PHOTO: Spc. Joann Usyk  of the U.S. Army Soldier Show cast  performs. (Photo by Billy Cargile)

Spc. Joann Usyk  of the U.S. Army Soldier Show cast  performs. (Photo by Billy Cargile)

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PHOTO: Members of the U.S. Army Soldier Show cast do a cheerleading routine during their Fort McCoy performance. (Photo by Billy Cargile)

Members of the U.S. Army Soldier Show cast do a cheerleading routine during their Fort McCoy performance. (Photo by Billy Cargile)

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PHOTO: Pfc. Leroy Bradley III of the U.S. Army Soldier Show cast  performs. (Photo by Billy Cargile)

Pfc. Leroy Bradley III of the U.S. Army Soldier Show cast  performs. (Photo by Billy Cargile)

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