By Sgt. Gaelen Lowers, 8th Theater Sustainment CommandAugust 3, 2012
ALIAMANU MILITARY RESERVATION, Hawaii -- "I have always had dreams of performing and producing. It's like a dream come true."
These words were spoken through the permanent smile of Spc. Franz Fabricante, 500th Military Intelligence Brigade, Schofield Barracks, and a performer and producer for the Army Soldier Show, a musical ensemble of Soldiers that tours military installations annually.
The Army Soldier Show is produced for Soldiers, by Soldiers, which also happens to be the show's motto. This year's show, "Army Strong," explores what makes the Army strong.
"It's not just a physical strength, but you will see that too!" said Sgt. Drake Delucca, Army Entertainment, Installation Management Command, and the multimedia director for the show. "It is also an emotional, spiritual and personal strength that comes from each and every Soldier and family member in our United States Army."
In order to highlight those strengths, Delucca continued, the Army Soldier Show holds talent competitions Army-wide and chooses the best and most talented Soldiers to participate.
"There is no such thing as a professional entertainment job in the Army," Delucca added. "These Soldiers are truck drivers, chemical specialists, military intelligence experts, or come from many other jobs -- all brought together for one purpose: to entertain and lift morale. We find the most talented Soldiers in the Army and take them across the world."
Fabricante's story is no different. He was recruited directly out of his Army linguist school in Monterey, Calif. He participated and won what he thought was a local talent show, but was, in actuality, the Festival of Arts competition, a feeder program for the Army Soldier Show.
"A week later, they called and told me I had won the talent show," Fabricante recalled. "I told them thanks but that I knew that already. They said that I didn't understand, and that I had won the Army-wide talent show."
The tape from his performance was judged against the winners of similar competitions that had taken place on installations from Iraq and Afghanistan to Hawaii and Japan.
After he finished linguist training and arrived at his initial duty station, the Soldier Show came knocking, and the rest, as they say, is history.
"He is an integral part of the show and featured throughout it," Delucca said about Fabricante and his performance. "He even produces his own tracks."
Delucca is proud of Fabricante and all of the Soldiers that have dedicated their lives to entertaining those who need a break the most.
"Soldiers have a rigorous schedule and a rigorous life," Delucca said. "To be able to take them and their families out of that situation and that life that they all share, just for a moment; to let them experience a life that is completely carefree, completely controlled, and beautiful is a wonderful thing.
"We laugh together, we cry together, we build relationships right there in the show. They wait in lines at the end of the show, just to shake the Soldiers' hands and tell them how much the show meant to them. Some come up with tears in their eyes, and others come up and laugh with us and share a moment.
"Those moments -- it makes it all worth it."