Clowning around: Soldier spends off-duty time entertaining community
July 29, 2009
- Jamerson joined the Army at age 18 and has been a Soldier for 17 years.
- He volunteers his time as "Klutz the Clown" for children's birthday parties and other events in the Heidelberg area.
HEIDELBERG, Germany -- Calling Staff Sgt. Myron Jamerson a clown is a good way to give him a compliment.
Jamerson, the noncommissioned officer in charge for the V Corps' Executive Services Division, spends his free time volunteering as "Klutz the Clown" for children's birthday parties and other events.
His humble clown beginnings began about a year ago when his church in Heidelberg, needed a clown for its annual picnic. The pastor asked if he'd help out and be a clown. He agreed, and when he realized how much fun it was, he decided to pursue it further.
He found a clown kit in the Heidelberg Thrift Shop soon after for $10, including hair, shoes and an outfit.
"It's funny how I got started," he said. "It's something that I never thought that I would do - ever."
He spends time reading books on becoming a clown and trying to learn more about it, and hopes to one day attend a clown school just to learn as much as he can. One book instructed potential clowns to figure out who they are as a clown - for Jamerson, that doesn't include the magic tricks and the balloon animals, it just means being silly and spending time with the kids.
"I don't do the magic and things like that - I go and I play with the kids," he said. "We play games from tag, to ring around the rosy, to duck-duck-goose, to red rover, to freeze tag, to running, you name it.
"Even the big playground on PHV, I climb all up in the things with my clown outfit on and the big shoes, chasing the kids. It is so, so much fun. It's like I'm a big kid in a clown's costume."
Jamerson has been in the Army for 17 years, joining right out of high school at age 18. He's dedicated his Army career to a late aunt who inspired him to join.
"I had an aunt that was in the Army, and back in the day when you got pregnant, they put her out because she was a single parent," he said. "And she had always told me, 'join the Army. You will love it; that would be something good for you to do.' She ended up passing away. She had always wanted to retire, so I said I'd do 20 years for her."
When he's at work, he's a Soldier, but he said as soon as he gets the clown outfit and makeup on, he becomes a whole different person - Klutz the Clown.
He said he is available for children's birthday parties, church events and Army Community Service events when he can.
"I do it number one because I love kids, and it gives me something to do with my time instead of being out there getting in trouble," he said. "I don't charge, but I ask that people just give me a donation to help with the makeup, the gas, my time, and normally I go out and I purchase balloons and give the kids balloons on sticks, and if we play games, I give them prizes for winning."
Sonja M. Martin, a Heidelberg military community member, recently invited Jamerson to a pirate-themed party she was throwing for her children.
"He kept the children entertained and involved in his games," she said. "He made sure each child (of 11 total) was singled out at some point and given his attention throughout the day, and that made each one feel special."
Martin said the way Jamerson related to her kids was amazing, and she would recommend him to other families for their upcoming parties and events.
"He becomes one with them and does crazy kid stuff right along with them," she said. "Klutz is a lot of fun for all ages. He made my kids' party a great success. They still talk about him all the time."
Jamerson said his favorite part of being a clown, besides the birthday cake, is simply making people happy.
"So many people have been blessings in my life that I like to be a blessing in other people's lives," he said. "Just to see the smiles and the joy and the laughter ... it's just the joy that I get out of it. Bringing joy and watching the smiles."
(Editor's note: Kristen Marquez works in the USAG Baden-Wuerttemberg Public Affairs Office).