Army spouse showcases talent on national stage
September 5, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (September 5, 2013) -- It is not uncommon for military spouses to set aside their dreams and aspirations when they marry a Soldier, but sometimes their dreams can come to life with a little perseverance and the support of their Families.
One Fort Rucker spouse is fulfilling her wishes on a national stage beside other women who share similar dreams and desires.
Yari Dominguez joined 49 other spouses as part of the American Military Spouses Choir, which is receiving national recognition as it competes on the current season of "America's Got Talent" in New York City.
"From the time I was a little girl, I have always loved singing," she said in an email interview. "My dad and I used to sing together, so I have been singing for the majority of my life."
Dominguez, who is married to WO1 Israel Dominguez, B Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, Class 13-021 for nine years, said that the best part about being on "America's Got Talent" is sharing the opportunity with "such an incredible sisterhood."
"This is Radio City Music Hall! Who gets to do this?" she said. "We realize America is seeing us for the first time on a national stage, but in the short year we have been a group we have become a Family. It just feels right to be sharing this experience with the women I have grown to love, respect and admire."
The group was founded in May 2012 and Dominguez has been a part of the choir from the beginning when she answered a casting call. But Dominguez said she never imagined that it would lead to something like this.
"We love the music and we really hope America will too," she said. "But we also hope they know we are singing from a place of incredible pride for our military and support of their Families."
Dominguez has two children, and this experience, she said, is a bit harder on her because she is used to being the one who takes care of everything at home.
"Military life teaches us all to be flexible, to adapt to new situations and make things work when you don't think they will. So, really, this experience is not much different," she said. "Of course it is different for us all to live a life full of wardrobe fittings, hair and makeup, and to perform on the biggest stage in America right now.
"When we go home, we are living our 'normal' lives as mothers, spouses, volunteers, employees and friends. Living in two different worlds has been very unique," she added.
She said she is overwhelmed with emotion at times but that all of the spouses realize what an incredible opportunity they have been given and they don't take that lightly.
"If we win, the money is really not even on our radar. We want America to hear our talent and our message. We are doing that. We have all gained so much from the experience already," she said.
Israel said -- whether his wife is singing in the shower, while cooking or on television -- he is ecstatic to hear her voice and he is so happy her dedication and hard work have opened new horizons for her.
"This is a tremendous achievement; which is well deserved. I feel honored to be married to Yari," he said. "They sacrifice a lot during our tour of duty. She has given me her unconditional support during my military career; therefore, it is my pleasure to support her in her dreams and goals."
According to The American Military Spouses Choir website, the choir has given a voice to American military spouses through music.
"Their voices are a spouse's lullaby, to make sense and remind our service members that, no matter what they may face, they are not alone," said Victor Hurtado, Center for American Military Music Opportunities artistic director. "They are words that not only empower them, but are reflective of a life partner's words that soothe them in the rare moments of rest on the field of battle."
The women last performed on Sept. 3, and at press time the results hadn't been revealed. But no matter what the results are, Dominguez said she is thankful for the opportunity.
"We are having a great time in New York, but we are also working really hard," she said. "We are representing military spouses all over the world, so it is important to us that we take advantage of the amazing music team during rehearsals.
"We do have some free time and New York has so much to offer. It has been incredible to experience some of the sights and sounds of the big apple with this group of great women, and of course some shopping," she continued.
She added that it is also interesting to be witness to all the moving parts it takes to make "America's Got Talent" happen.
To learn more about the choir, visit www.cammomusic.org/index.php/about/cammo-artists/american-military-spouses-choir.