“Dragon” soldiers compete in Sharana Idol
Spc. Nicholas Rucker, assigned to Company B, 701st Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, plays the acoustic guitar and rocks the mic while singing “Iris,” by the Goo Goo Dolls, and ultimately winning the competition, Sept. 9.
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Story by: SSG Gene A. Arnold
PAKTIKA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – It's a test of personal courage to showcase talent and be judged in front of hundreds of people, not to mention a large crowd of armed coalition forces serving in Afghanistan.
Sept. 9, soldiers, sailors and even contractors took to the stage in hopes of winning a $150 gift certificate to Wal-Mart. The competition showcased talents including singing and comedy.
Comedian and radio personality Denise "Dear Neecie" DePolis, who serves as a contractor with ManTech, placed flyers at Soldier hang outs to get participation in the first Sharana Idol talent contest.
"I mean everybody loves Wal-Mart. If you don't, you're living in the wrong country," said DePolis during her comedic introduction to the prizes available throughout the evening.
To get the crowd more involved, DePolis asked for volunteers to add comedic relief with her hypothetical questions and answers segment. Many of the questions and responses had the crowd reeling with laughter.
By 8 p.m., the Sharana East Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center was packed and the festivities began. Routines in the competition ranged from guitar wielding singers to costumed anime characters.
Spc. Nicholas Rucker, assigned to Company B, 701st Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, won the competition by singing "Iris," by the Goo Goo Dolls.
"I've been practicing for weeks for this event and it was pretty cool," said Rucker.
"I think it's a great way for the soldiers to just step away from the stress they endure to just have fun," he said.
He also recommended that more people sign up for the next idol, which is scheduled for Sept. 24.
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