FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska - (October 5, 2012) Some people wait a lifetime for a moment like this and Army Family member Calvin Snead, former Soldier, Army reservist, alumni of the 2010 Army Soldier Show and husband of Staff Sgt. KaMesha Snead, Dental-Activity Alaska, has an opportunity to take his talent to the next level.

In front of a packed house at the Nugget Lanes Saturday, Snead was named Fort Wainwright 2012 Operation Rising Star and is now in the running for the grand prize. "My Father was a Baptist Pastor and I grew up singing in the church since I was seven or eight years-old," Snead said. He can remember singing all his life and performing for different productions, including show choir in high school. His soulful renditions and stage presence won over the judges and spectators.

The program hosted by the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation is open to all branches of the U.S. military, including Family members 18 and older. The competition is similar to popular television shows like "American Idol" and is televised on the Pentagon Channel.

Megan Brown, DFMWR, marketing coordinator, events and promotions said, "Operation Rising Star 2012 was an over-the-top success. The crowd and contestants had a great time and we were so pleased to have Allen Shaw again this year as our witty, spirited announcer. His ability to keep the crowd engaged was entertaining and beneficial, and we are fortunate that he is part of this great event."

The Nugget Lanes Bowling Center was transformed into a professional stage setting with state-of-the-art sound and lighting. "The performance venue was created by Jonathon Huff of Alaska Universal Productions, who recently won a national award for the complimentary above-and-beyond services they provide the community," said Rhonda Havens, Nugget Lanes operation clerk. "We are lucky to have AUP. They are a class act."

The overall grand-prize winner receives $1000 spending money, an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Los Angeles to record a three-song demo compact disc. In addition the winner gets three days and nights of studio time which includes top-rated musicians, recording technicians, a vocal coach and a CD producer. "All we have to do now is wait," said Snead, "and see if we make it into the top 12 Army-wide."

There was also a Spirit Award given to the Family Readiness Group of 1st Battalion, 52nd Aviation Regiment, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade for supporting their Rising Star competitor with the loudest cheers. They received a check for $100.

Staff Sgt. Snead, who is also an entertainer with a passion for Broadway said, "I am extremely proud of my husband and the fact that he had an opportunity to share his talent with others. I always get to hear him sing at home, but now that he is one step closer to realizing his dream, we couldn't be happier."

The Snead Family is all about sharing their gift and inspiring others to do the same. "We just love to perform for other Soldiers and Family members," she said.