The 2013 U.S. Army Soldier Show performed on Fort Belvoir for a packed house at Wallace Theater Friday and Saturday.
This year's production, "Ready and Resilient," focused on bouncing back from adversity, making the most of time with Family and looking forward to the future. The all-Soldier cast performed songs like "Let's Go," by Calvin Harris, "Dream On," by Aerosmith, and selections from the Broadway show "Les Miserables."
The show, presented by U.S. Army Installation Management Command, Army Entertainment Division, also featured a special tribute to Families with deployed servicemembers, or those who have lost servicemembers during combat.
"The goal, I think, is to say 'thank you' to military members and their Families," said Sgt. Quentin Dorn, a Soldier Show performer. "There are a lot of sections of the show that are designed strictly to touch specific groups of people, for example the Gold Star and Blue Star section of the show. Those are designed to say 'thank you' and to say 'we understand and we're with you' to the people who have … Families with Soldiers downrange fighting (and) also those who lost Soldiers in combat."
Dorn was excited to perform at Fort Belvoir, including for a special VIP crowd at Saturday night's performance. The VIPs included Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Ray Odierno, Vice Chief of Staff, Gen. John Campbell, Installation Management Command Commanding General, Lt. Gen. Michael Ferriter and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III.
"It's kind of a homecoming. Belvoir was the home of the Soldier Show for 15, 20 years. It feels good to be part of the legacy," Dorn said.
Cast members have a variety of talents, from singing and dancing to rapping and playing instruments.
Sgt. Alex Rebling, performer and dancer in the Soldier Show, said he enjoys using his talents to serve others.
"One of my life's passions is serving others, and this is the best way I could serve others through music," he said. "This is the best way I can help people feel better, if they're having a hard time."
Rebling said the show features music from around the U.S. to give Soldiers a piece of home, even when they're serving their country far away.
"I know a lot of Soldiers are stationed here and they could be from Utah or something and they may end up all the way on the opposite side of the country. Songs that they hear on the radio that they may have heard from back home might be songs that we play, and that just gives them a little refresher of what home was like," he said. "I think it affects them by giving them a morale boost."
Several attendees left the show feeling touched and uplifted.
"I'm really grateful for what they displayed here and it reminds us of all the sacrifices that are happening across the world for us -- for our freedom," said Zowie Lankford, a civilian. "I really appreciate it, and I'm glad that it's recognized."
Alicia Catney, an Army veteran, also expressed pride for her fellow Soldiers who took the stage.
"It really showed the talent that the Army has to offer," she said. "They did an excellent job and it shows that the Army is ready and resilient at all times."