FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- Hundreds of Fort Drum Soldiers, Families and community members gathered May 21 to be entertained during the 2014 U.S. Army Soldier Show at Magrath Sports Complex.
The Soldier Show is a live Broadway-style variety performance hosted by Army Entertainment, a division of the Army Installation Management Command, and features the Army's best singers and performers.
"This year's production theme is 'Stand Strong,' and it's a tribute to the strength, character and resiliency of our Soldiers," said Sgt. 1st Class Frederick McDuffy, noncommissioned officer in charge. "With our 70-minute, high-energy production, we portray the Army's message of (Sexual Harassment / Assault Response and Prevention), suicide prevention (and) physical readiness training, and we also pay tribute to our Gold Star Families.
"This is my first year with the tour and first visit to the great 'Climb to Glory' division," he continued. "I'm hoping for a great energetic crowd. I love it when the crowd gives back that energy to the performers, because it makes it better for them."
Performers were not only selected for their ability to perform a great solo act, but also their ability to play musical instruments, perform in ensemble dance numbers and inspire and entertain the audience from the stage, McDuffy added.
This year's show celebrates the 31st anniversary of the modern-day Soldier Show, which began in 1984. The motto, mission and philosophy of the show -- "Entertainment for the Soldier, by the Soldier" -- was established during World War I. Today's crew of the U.S. Army Soldier Show carries on the proud tradition.
Performers evoked a wide variety of emotions for audience members in attendance. The dances, songs honoring Soldiers throughout the decades and inspiring messages made people laugh, applaud and cry.
Two Soldiers representing Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division (LI) were selected as part of the cast and crew for this year's Soldier Show.
Staff Sgt. Harrison D. Scurry, an infantryman with C Company, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, proudly represents Fort Drum and 10th Mountain Division (LI) as a cast member.
"I applied last year and auditioned at Fort Sam Houston, (Texas), in February," he said. "I went through a full screening, fitness test and a live audition. I impressed the audition panel with my originality and high-energy dance moves, and I got a spot on the show this year."
Scurry also answers to his alter-ego name, B-Boy Pumped Dragon, being the only break dancer in the crew.
"I defy gravity; I stand strong," he said. "I live by my battalion motto: 'Deeds, not Words.'"
Spc. Christopher Roman, an aviation operations specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, said this is the second time he was selected to be a member of the Soldier Show crew.
"This is my second year on tour and I love it!" Roman said. "In 2011, I was on a detail that was setting up the blue tarp (in) this same gym when a Sgt. 1st Class De Lucas asked the Soldiers on the detail if any of them had any talent, and they all pointed toward me because I was always rapping in the barracks."
Roman said he practiced in his car for six hours before auditioning for De Lucas.
"After submitting a package for the Soldier Show and getting my chain of command to approve it, the rest is history," he said.
Roman explained that he wanted to be the first bilingual rapper whose English rap was as good as his Spanish rap.
"If I can pull that off, my music has the potential to be heard throughout the whole Western Hemisphere!" he said.
After the show, Col. Frederick "Mark" O'Donnell, 1st Brigade Combat Team commander, thanked the performers for an outstanding show, and thanked everyone who came out to support the Soldier Show.
"The performance was truly incredible," he said. "I really appreciate you taking the time to make Fort Drum one of your stops along the way."
The night concluded with the performers marching to the back of the gym to the rhythm of the Army Song, and people stopping by to shake their hands and thank them for an outstanding performance.