By Kara Motosicky, The Real McCoy
Even when Mother Nature rears her head, the show must go
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
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. "
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.