• CAMP WALKER, South Korea" Army Pfc. Cassandra Arroyo, a Chemical Specialist from Chicago, Ill., assigned to the 75th Medical Company Area Support, performs "First Love" by Adele during the Area IV Operation Rising Star hosted at Camp Walker's,
Evergreen Community Club Oct. 19, 2012. (U.S. photo by Army Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux 501st SBDE Public Affairs)

    Arroyo

    CAMP WALKER, South Korea" Army Pfc. Cassandra Arroyo, a Chemical Specialist from Chicago, Ill., assigned to the 75th Medical Company Area Support, performs "First Love" by Adele during the Area IV Operation Rising Star hosted at Camp...

  • CAMP WALKER, South Korea" Army Staff Sgt. Justin McCormick, a light wheel mechanic, a native of Chicago Ill., assigned to the 501st Special Troops Battalion, 501st Sustainment Brigade sings during the Area IV Operation Rising Star hosted at Camp Walker's, Evergreen Community Club Oct. 19, 2012.  (U.S. photo by Army Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux 501st SBDE Public Affairs)

    Solo

    CAMP WALKER, South Korea" Army Staff Sgt. Justin McCormick, a light wheel mechanic, a native of Chicago Ill., assigned to the 501st Special Troops Battalion, 501st Sustainment Brigade sings during the Area IV Operation Rising Star hosted at Camp...

  • CAMP WALKER, South Korea" Mike Monti, Chief of Business Operations of the Area IV Directorate Family Military Welfare Recreation, introduces singer, Army Staff Sgt. Justin McCormick, a light wheel mechanic assigned to the 501st Special Troops Battalion, 501st Sustainment Brigade during the Area IV Operation Rising Star hosted at Camp Walker's, Evergreen Community Club Oct. 19, 2012.  (U.S. photo by Army Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux 501st SBDE Public Affairs)

    Presenting Justin McCormick

    CAMP WALKER, South Korea" Mike Monti, Chief of Business Operations of the Area IV Directorate Family Military Welfare Recreation, introduces singer, Army Staff Sgt. Justin McCormick, a light wheel mechanic assigned to the 501st Special Troops...

  • CAMP WALKER, South Korea" The 501st Special Troops Battalion, 501st  Sustainment Brigade celebrates after receiving the Rising Star Spirit Award during the Area IV Operation Rising Star hosted at Camp Walker's, Evergreen Community Club Oct. 19, 2012.  (U.S. photo by Army Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux 501st SBDE Public Affairs)

    Spirit Award

    CAMP WALKER, South Korea" The 501st Special Troops Battalion, 501st Sustainment Brigade celebrates after receiving the Rising Star Spirit Award during the Area IV Operation Rising Star hosted at Camp Walker's, Evergreen Community Club Oct. 19, 2012...

  • CAMP WALKER, South Korea" Army Staff Sgt. Justin McCormick (rt), a light wheel mechanic, a native of Chicago Ill., assigned to the 501st Special Troops Battalion, 501st Sustainment Brigade awaits critic before a panel of Judges during the Area IV Operation Rising Star hosted at Camp Walker's, Evergreen Community Club Oct. 19, 2012. (U.S. photo by Army Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux 501st SBDE Public Affairs)

    The Judges

    CAMP WALKER, South Korea" Army Staff Sgt. Justin McCormick (rt), a light wheel mechanic, a native of Chicago Ill., assigned to the 501st Special Troops Battalion, 501st Sustainment Brigade awaits critic before a panel of Judges during the Area IV...

"Music Soothes the Soul"
Operation Rising Star promotes Soldiers' musical talent
Story and Photos by Staff Sgt. Robert DeDeaux


CAMP WALKER, South Korea--Off-duty military personnel, and family members took advantage of the stillness of the evening to enjoy the musical talent of some fellow Soldiers during the Area IV Operation Rising Star competition at the Evergreen Club on Camp Walker, Oct. 20.

A great night for celebrating unit cohesion, Operation Rising Star promoted area artistic talent that allowed a community of well-wishers to cheer on and applaud the voice of their choice throughout the evening.

"It's a great venue to promote talent within the military," said Mike Monti, Chief of Business Operations of the Area IV Directorate Family Military Welfare Recreation and the Master of Ceremonies for the event. "Tonight's winner will have a chance to move the worldwide competition in San Antonio, Texas."

The winner of the worldwide competition will win a trip for two, all expense paid professional studio CD production and $1,000 cash.

Although the Competition provides Soldiers and family members with an opportunity to achieve their dreams as a recording artists as stated on the official website most of the participants found it to be a chance to relax and express themselves through music.

"Music soothes the Soul," said Monti, a military retiree of 28 years "It can be a mechanism to get away from the stress of work and being separated from home."

The Evergreen was standing room only for the event as supporters leaned back and listened to live performances of Country, R&B, and Pop music.

"Once I get started I get lost in the song," explained Army Pfc. Cassandra Arroyo, a Chemical Specialist assigned to the 75th Medical Company Area Support. "It's really a stress reliever for me."

"Being in the army you're always focused on the physical: PT, Training, Sports," listed the 20 year-old contestant from Chicago, Ill. "This was a chance to express and let other Soldiers experience a more artistic hobby."

During the competition, Arroyo who has been singing since childhood played an acoustic guitar as she performed Adele's "First Love." A song she describes as "powerful chords with a saddening melody." She wanted the Soldiers to feel the same way she felt. How the music can shape and define emotions, sadden by being away from home for the first time but proud of the family of Soldiers she now has.

"I enjoyed hearing her sing," said Army Staff Sgt. Justin McCormick, a light wheel mechanic assigned to the 501st Special Troops Battalion, 501st Sustainment Brigade. "As a lover of music I supported all of the competitors."

The audience and three Judges voted McCormick the first place winner of the competition after an engaging performance of a popular country song "tomorrow" by Chris Young.

He was excited that so many of the 501st Soldiers and Leadership came out to support.
The event was definitely and benefit to Soldier morale. The more soldiers from a unit that came out to support a specific Singer the higher the chance that Unit's Soldier would win, said McCormick a native of Chicago, Ill.

"It was a great indication of our unit's cohesion and how it carries over from field training events to family and Soldier events" expressed Col. Mark J. Weinerth 501st SBDE Brigade Commander after congratulating McCormick and other participating Soldiers.

McCormick will now go on to try out for the worldwide competition beginning early winter.

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Page last updated Thu November 1st, 2012 at 03:15