By Spc. Dustin Roberts, 2nd HBCT PAO, 1st Inf. Div., MND-BFebruary 24, 2009
BAGHDAD - As Multi-National Division-Baghdad Soldiers celebrate Black History Month, "Dagger" brigade troops planned and participated in a "Night at the Apollo," on Camp Liberty Feb. 20.
Based on the Apollo Theater in the Harlem, N.Y., the event showcased Soldiers from many cultures; displaying their talents in poetry, song and various music genres.
"I decided on Apollo because the (theater) started as a firm part of black history," said Sgt. Christopher Robinson, of Fort Riley, Kan., Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. "The Apollo grew to accommodate many cultures; I wanted it to be a multi-cultural type event for people to have fun and come out and enjoy themselves."
The show began with food and up-beat music and Soldiers quickly got into the relaxed atmosphere.
"I think it's important to coordinate events like these because they lift morale," said Robinson. "They take Soldier's minds off of combat a little bit and let them know that they still can have fun."
Soldiers from across Camp Liberty and the Victory Base Complex took part in the event.
"I saw the flyer for the talent show in the dining facility and I knew I wanted to participate," said Spc. Katrina Goss, a native of Killeen, Texas, with the Division Special Troops Battalion, 1st Cav. Div. who placed 2nd in the show. "It feels great because I had people from my unit in attendance; they've been supporting me from day one."
Support also came from the BSTB, 2nd HBCT, 1st Inf. Div. senior leadership who participated in the event and awarded the top three performers with plaques.
"The highlight of the night was when Col. (David) Imhof and Command Sgt. Maj. (Anna) Gregory went up on stage to present the awards; that was the peak of the moment," said Robinson. "It took about four weeks of planning to get everything right and I'm glad they were able to enjoy the talent show."
Robinson said he hopes to host another talent show in the future so Soldiers can show-off their performance abilities to their fellow warriors.
"It went really well; the whole event was spectacular," he said. "I'm real thankful to everyone, including those Soldiers in the 1st Cav., who came out to support the event."