Here we are trudging through the snow on the way to the mess hall. This is the stage for our main show. Kimberly, Heather and Kimberley enjoy some quiet time in the cappuccino shop. Shortly thereafter, an English Serviceman taught us the fine art of chess.
Here we are at Camp Bedrock. Kimberly bundles up like the soldiers! At our next show, we receive a standing ovation. Here's our Supremes medley. Here is the audience at our next show. Our friend from Macedonia in Summer 1996, John Adams, is in the front row. Collapsing in exhaust, the girls snap this funny picture of Kimberly sleeping with the Christmas lights under her arm!
The next day we are on a bus traveling the roads to Sarajevo. We've now met up with another friend from Summer, MWR Rep. Kathleen. We arrive at Ice Station Zetra which is actually the ice arena from the 1984 Winter Olympics. Here is a portion of the blown up ceiling in Zetra Ice Station. That evening we were excited to do a show for an international audience.
We were up early the next day to tour Sarajevo. We also drove to the top of one of the mountains where the Italian troops were. They even treated us to the hijinks of the snowball catching dog. We were then shuttled out to the airport to spend some time with troops that wouldn't be able to make it to the show. We sang a couple of songs and said our goodbyes.
It was now New Year's Eve and we happily celebrated with troops from many countries. We finished out the evening with our new friends having a sing-a-long. They also took us on a tour of Ice Station Zetra to see the Olympic bowling alley and the archery range where they kept the bodies during the war.
As we leave the next morning, our new friends present us with certificates and show off their new t-shirts!
Back at home, we pose for a family photo with Mayor Earvin and our buddy Perez. We get another chance to see U.S.A. Express perform. We also attend another D.O.D. show that is on tour. It is the Eddie May Murder Mystery Group. We have a blast with their interactive theater show and by the end of the night, Kimberly ends up in trouble. We are also presented with certificates of honor. Here's Magic Al receiving his.
Early the next morning, we are told we have to wait at the flight line to see if we can fly back to Hungary. We didn't even get a chance to eat breakfast. Soon we were waiting for hours in a supply warehouse tent. Kimberley and Kimberly decide to make use of the free time and nap. Around 6pm, we are finally cleared to leave for Hungary and we strap ourselves in alongside the soldiers. Upon arrival in Kaposvar, we are met by MWR Rep., Barry. He tells us as soon as we check in, we have a show in the LSA Tent. He said the troops have been waiting for us and we will not disappoint them. Tired, hungry and fearless, we perform to a packed house. It all came to a final exciting moment when we looked out over the crowd during "God Bless the U.S.A." and the troops were singing along, lighting lighters and smiling. We also were excited because we had spotted our old friend from Macedonia, Summer 1996, Bryan and our new friend Paul's (from U.S.A. Express), twin brother Casey! We were presented with commendations from Barry and the Commanding Officer. After signing autographs and taking photos, we spent time with the troops. The next day we are driven to Budapest for a day of relaxation.
Our trip home took a funny turn when we got rerouted to Philadelphia. After waiting on the runway for a few hours we were off to New York where we ended up stuck. Our families had been waiting patiently for our return to Hartford but soon got the call that we'd be taking the shuttle bus home to Waterbury. While they made the 1 hour trip back to Waterbury, we were busy making the 3 hour trip from New York. We got home after 2am and were happy to see our family and friends. Summer 1996 LM, Tammy, welcomed us home as well. Although the tour was a little rough, we were happy and proud to have brought a little cheer to our troops overseas during this difficult time.
Upon our return home, the New Britain Herald ran a follow-up article on January 2, 1997.