Soldier show features two of Fort Bliss’ own
Sgt. Brian C. Erickson,
24th Press Camp Headquarters:
The Army Soldier Show has been onstage for nearly three decades. In the show’s 29th year, Fort Bliss is represented by two Soldiers on opposite sides of their careers. One is looking at retirement in a couple years, and the other has just entered his uniform.
Sgt. 1st Class Melvin Williams, a truck driver with 125th Brigade Support Battalion who has been with the Army for more than 17 years, had just returned from his eighth deployment in time to try out for the show in February. Williams loves every minute of being onstage.
“I have been singing all my life, so I took a chance,” said Williams. “To be able to go out and perform for Soldiers and their families at this point in my career is great.”
Being in the show has its perks, but, despite the joy of performing, some things are always missed.
“I have been in the trenches with the Soldiers my whole career,” said Williams. “Being in the show, I miss the Soldiers.”
Even though he misses the Soldiers he worked with in his unit, Williams said that working with the Soldiers in the show is a great opportunity to lead Soldiers who are the best at what they do.
After all that has come to pass, Williams understood that he wouldn’t have made it here on his own.
“This wouldn’t be possible without the support of my command chain,” said Williams. “I owe them a great deal of thanks for allowing me to take part in this show.”
Spc. Justin Easter, a medic assigned to the 31st Combat Support Hospital, has been in the Army less than two years and is taking every opportunity that comes his way.
For Easter, this is not the first time he has tried to put his musical talents to the test in front of a crowd. Easter first wanted to put his musical skills to the test by performing in Operation Rising Star, an Army musical competition, only to have his wisdom teeth pulled close to the beginning of the competition. Not having enough time to heal, he had to back out.
Because of the support of those around him, Easter was able to get the chance to audition for the Army Soldier Show.
“Thanks to the support of my wife and unit, I am here today,” said Easter. “My unit pretty much had everything in motion before I even submitted my packet for the show.”
According to Easter, however, many of his friends have a misconception of how much work he puts into the show.
“I know people think that what we do is a lot of fun on the stage, but we work seven days a week, and most of those days it can be up to 15 hours a day,” said Easter.
Even though these two have only been with the show since the beginning of the year, they both have been learning along the way.
“We are Soldiers, and this show really speaks to the essence that as an American Soldier,” said Easter, “all things are possible.”
When the show ends later this year, both Williams and Easter will return to their respective units here at Fort Bliss.
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