View Full Version : Marine rocks to ‘Nashville Idol’ victory

03-25-09, 06:52 AM
Marine rocks to ‘Nashville Idol’ victory

3/24/2009 By Sgt. Elsa Portillo , Marine Forces Africa

ABOARD USS NASHVILLE (LPD 13) —Service members from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Army, along with various Africa Partnership Station (APS) Nashville international maritime professionals, filled the USS Nashville (LPD 13) mess decks March 13 for ‘Nashville Idol,’ a Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR)-sponsored talent show.

The event gave the crew a chance to come together for some fun while showcasing their talents. A majority of participants sang or played an instrument, while others danced or performed comedy skits.
The first-place winner was Cpl. Sean Castaneda, advisor, Marine Advisor Team (MAT), with second and third place going to Machinist’s Mate Fireman Stephen C. Ball and Culinary Specialist Seaman Andre Smith, respectively.

These contestants may have been the top contenders, but they were just as nervous as everyone else to go up and perform in front of their comrades.

“It was really nerve wracking,” said Castaneda, a Cheyenne, Wy., native. “I only had an hour to prepare and I had never played guitar and sang at the same time in front of a crowd.”

Many others overcame their fear as well and surprised the crowd with a variety of talents. According to Ball, the crowd was very encouraging and enthusiastic.

“I think the turnout and participation was good,” said Ball, a Rockville, Ind., native. “It was awesome. People were really getting into it, laughing, having a good time cheering and holding up signs. It made it a lot of fun to be in and to be around.”

Those in attendance thought Nashville Idol was a success.

“It was a great time,” said SSgt. Lenny Lindsay II, advisor, MAT, APS Nashville, and Nashville Idol judge. “I thought it was a good morale booster, and I think other ships should do it as well.”

Nashville is currently deployed in support of APS, an international initiative under the auspices of Naval Forces Africa which aims to work cooperatively with U. S., European and African partners to enhance maritime safety and security on the African continent. APS provides a unique venue to align maritime engagements by utilizing an international team of expert trainers in a variety of military capacities and civilian fields such as fisheries management, port security and meteorology.

APS Nashville is preparing for its March 17 arrival in Lagos, Nigeria, for what will be the third African port of its five-month deployment.

To learn more about Africa Partnership Station and its mission, visit the APS website at www.c6f.navy.mil/aps_web/index.htm.