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Want fireworks? Head to the Fort tonight for the Army Soldier Show
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (July 4, 2009) — Want to see one of the few major fireworks shows still running in the area?

If so, Fort Leonard Wood officials want you this afternoon and evening for the U.S. Army Soldier Show and fireworks display on post.

Access restrictions have been relaxed and those from off post without a military ID card need only present a driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance to come to the events. In addition, the east gate on the installation will be open until 10:45 p.m. on July 4 for easy departure following the fireworks display.

“It is a wonderful combination of civilians and active duty servicemembers … we invite everyone to come down no matter what they do, whether they are serving, have served or have never served in uniform,” said Megan O’Donoghue, Director of Marketing for the post’s directorate of Morale, Welfare and Recreation.

Today’s main event is the Soldier Show, which begins at 7 p.m. following a 50-cannon salute to the states of the union and features a high-energy musical performance put on entirely by active-duty soldiers.

“This year’s theme is ‘Lights, camera, action.’ They said it will be like being behind the scenes in a television show, complete with commercials,” said O’Donoghue.

Cast members include two soldiers from Fort Leonard Wood: Staff Sgt. Nikita Fox of the 88th motor transportation unit and Spec. Julio Petersen of the 701st Military Police Battalion, who was the Operation Rising Star local winner at Fort Leonard Wood for his musical performances. He didn’t win the national competition but he was selected to participate in the soldier show.

“People should come, number one, because the US Army Soldier Show is an absolutely fantastic program,” O’Donoghue said. “There is no better way to celebrate Independence Day than right alongside the servicemenbers that serve us every day. They volunteer to serve us and keep us free … To look out and see that crowd when the troops come in, that’s what it is all about.”

Other events at Fort Leonard Wood began this afternoon at 3 p.m. and include the 78th Army Band from Fort Dix, N.J, playing jazz and rock; the Islanders, a two-person steel drum band, and various games and rides. Those events will end at 6 p.m. but vendors will continue selling food and drink through the end of the Soldier Show.

Maj. Gen. Gregg Martin, the post commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Coberly Elsberry will also hold an Army Family Covenant signing ceremony at 6:30 p.m., following up on the original signing ceremony in 2005.

“We did the first signing in 2005, but since we have the new chnage of command, we are having a new signing. The covenant is the same, but the names on the paper are new, and they want to sign again to show their commitment to the community,” O’Donoghue said.

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