Grafenwöhr’s MWR got GIs’ message and will book more shows this year
Stars and Stripes May 28, 2008
GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — More "top-notch" entertainment is on its way to soldiers in Bavaria, U.S. Army Garrison Grafenwöhr officials promise.
Last year, Grafenwöhr’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation chief opted to cut back on free entertainment because she thought newly arrived soldiers from the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment might not attend events. This year, while some planned "big name" entertainment events had to be canceled in the last 18 months, garrison commander Col. Brian Boyle said, "our persistence prevailed and more top-notch entertainment is on the way."
Some of the entertainment Boyle cited in a message to the troops last week included Top 40 cover band Crash Dance that played in Vilseck last week, the Army Soldier Show that played at Grafenwöhr on Monday and last week’s 2nd Cav birthday celebration.
Future events flagged by Boyle include an Olympic athlete visit, a children’s theatre, July Fourth fireworks, an off-post fishing contest, a baseball clinic, tackle football conditioning and the Grafenwöhr German American Volksfest.
"Often I am approached by members of the community complaining that there is nothing to do in our area. In fact there is a host of things to do," Boyle said, also citing a variety of activities including rappelling, scuba diving, high ropes courses, hunting and shooting, alpine hiking and mountain biking, as well as trips to tourist spots organized by the Outdoor Recreation Center.
Boyle said attendance at "big name" entertainment determines whether or not future acts come to Grafenwöhr. Based on the full house at Monday’s Soldier Show, the garrison should be getting plenty of those types of acts.
Spc. Junius Stone, 39, of Texarkana, Texas, attended the show with a large contingent of other soldiers attending the nearby 7th Army Noncommissioned Officer Academy.
"It was interesting to see a range of talent from a variety of technical fields. You have these kernels of talent boiling under the surface and they let them pop at the Soldier Show," said Stone, who rated a cover of Dirks Bentley’s "What Was I Thinking" as the best part of the show.
Grafenwöhr equal opportunities adviser Sgt. 1st Class Jacqueline Galloway, 37, of Leland, Miss., got up and sang at the Soldier Show after she was selected at an audition last week.
"I sing in church all the time so I wasn’t nervous," said Galloway, of her rendition of Michael Bolton’s "Go the Distance."
Pvt. Scott Heil, who serves with the 172nd Infantry Brigade at Grafenwöhr, missed the Soldier Show and said he had yet to sample any free entertainment since he arrived there several months ago. But Heil, 23, of Niles, Mich., said he’s happy with what the garrison offers in terms of entertainment.
"The bowling alley is good. I’ve been talking to Outdoor Recreation about getting hunting and fishing licenses," he said.
In terms of live entertainment, Heil said he like to see more country and rock bands play.
"There have been a couple of rap acts recently and they drew small crowds but the majority would really go for country," he said.