FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- A Camp Humphreys Soldier has been selected to the cast of the 2014 U.S. Army Soldier Show.

Spc. Abighail Mary, assigned to Company B, 304th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, but hails from Miami, Fla., says she have been singing since she was 11- or 12- years-old.

"My mom taught me that singing can give you a voice to be heard," said Mary. "She has a vinyl record she did with her twin sister -- all songs she wrote and recorded. I think that's where I got my ear (for music)."

Mary earned a bachelor's degree in public information from Florida International University, which served her well, but it was singing that lit her fire.

"I joined a singing group and we auditioned for The X Factor," Mary said. "We made it to the top 8 in 2009, doing our version of Queen's 'Bohemian Rhapsody' before we were cut. That gave me great experience and the courage to audition for Army Entertainment."

The Soldier Show is a variety show "by the Soldier, for the Soldier," where amateurs learn early that the show is bigger than they thought.

"I'm in love with the Soldier Show," she said. "It's a lot of work, but I'll be able to serve my country in uniform and at the same time, sing and dance for others so that for just a moment they can forget about their job and think about their family back home."

Looking around the studio at Fort Sam Houston Theatre, the diversity in background, skill set and temperament shows that music can build bridges where no others exist.

"In the recent past, I'd become discouraged about music, thinking singing may not be in my future," Mary said. "When my brother was in the National Guard, it was he that inspired me to join up. Now, here I am in the biggest show of my life. I think that proves when singing is for you, it'll find you wherever you go."

Mary is convinced that whatever she does next has got to include music in one fashion or another.

"It doesn't matter," she adds, "even if it is not a recording contract, I can work in the studio, background vocals, or music videos. The Soldier Show has really given my art a purpose."