Special to American Forces Press Service
May 21, 2008 - To cope with the stress of deployments, soldiers try to find different ways to entertain themselves and their comrades. Some play video games, watch movies or use their computers and the Internet. But things like that are usually done while "inside the wire" at a forward operating base or combat outpost. But Army Spc. Jackie Moore, a Fox, Ore. native, doesn't confine his love of entertaining to the base, or even to his spare time. It's as easy as just singing to his fellow soldiers through the internal communications system of his vehicle.
As he sings, Moore dances in the turret as the vehicle rolls through the streets of northern Baghdad. Moore, who has been in the Army for more than two years and serves as a Multinational Division Baghdad vehicle gunner with the 4th Infantry Division's Company B, 64th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, is well known among his peers, noncommissioned officers and commander for his artistic abilities.
Moore said singing and dancing help him keep morale up for himself and his fellow soldiers through their 15-month deployment. It also helps to keep his fellow soldiers awake and alert while on long, overnight combat logistics patrols.
"Why not try to make the best out of it? It keeps everyone awake, alert. I try to keep everyone's spirit up," he said. "It keeps me awake for the most part too,keeps me moving. And I don't really get a lot of time for [physical training], so I get it by dancing a little bit."
Moore's repertoire includes songs like "I Will Survive," others from Donna Summer, and country music. However, he also has music of his own, making up lyrics to relate to current situations.
Music and dancing have been part of his life since his childhood, Moore said. His children, Kyle and Heather, seem to have inherited their musical abilities, he added, and his wife, Christina, also has joined in the dancing and singing routine.
"They love all kinds of music. I let them decide," Moore said.
Moore said he has a simple message for his fellow deployed soldiers.
"Spend your time here bettering yourself," he said. "We are here for a purpose. Have fun. Take care of yourself. Keep positive. You are not out here for four or five years, you are here for 15 months."
His outlook on his mission is a positive one as he deals with the challenges of the deployment in his own unique way, his platoon sergeant said.
"Specialist Moore is a character," said Sgt. 1st Class Joe Bernal, a Fresno, Calif. native. "Everybody has their own way of dealing with things, especially being out on the roads for sometimes from 12 to 18 hours.
"Some people seem to enjoy it, especially when we have passengers in the back," he continued. "It keeps them awake and also keeps them entertained."
(Army Spc. Joseph Rivera Rebolledo serves in the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.)