By Spc. Darryl Lee MontgomeryFebruary 13, 2009
CAMP VICTORY, Iraq - Many deployed Soldiers have hidden talents their comrades don't know about, and all they need is an opportunity to let that talent shine.
The Multi-National Division - Center Equal Opportunity Office hosted the first Victory Base Complex Night at the Apollo Saturday in celebration of Black History month in Hope Chapel.
The idea came to Staff Sgt. Marci Nemtzow, 10th Mountain Division Band EO leader, by reflecting on talent shows at her past duty assignments. The Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers program would put on talent shows and they eventually became known as "Apollos".
"I took note that the talent shows were successful and well attended, and the audience always had a good time." Nemtzow, a Boynton Beach, Fla., native, said. "My concept for VBC Night at the Apollo was for people to attend and have a good time. I wanted it to be like a night out on the town for them."
Looking back on the event, she said, it went really well. She was pleased with the turn-out.
"The event was outstanding, and if you weren't there you missed a powerful night" said Sgt. 1st Class Tammie Terrell, MND-C EO advisor. "It also promoted good morale and esprit de corps."
"About 100 people came out," Nemtzow said. "I was very happy. I think everyone who performed did very well. I applaud those who got up there and performed. In a setting like that, you are setting yourself up to get booed off stage, but they did it anyway."
"Overall, the effect we were trying to achieve was to incorporate a different environment for the Black History month observance," Terrell, a Burlington, N.C., native, said. "I feel like we achieved our goal."
Nemtzow said she is really glad the EO office put it together and saw it through, and would definitely put the effort in to doing it again.
The Night at the Apollo was the first of a few events, said Terrell. There will be three movie nights and the actual observance of Black History month will be on the 19th.
"When we are doing observances," Terrell added, "we aren't just doing them for that ethnic group. It's for knowledge, and not just common knowledge, it's for educational knowledge."