So this is a fun story.
Fort Bragg soldier Sergeant First Class Brandon Roller, his wife Shelby and their seven (!) daughters were walking through the mall the day before Father’s Day when more than 35 singers and hundreds of shoppers serenaded them with “America the Beautiful.”
“I’m at a complete loss for words,” said SFC Roller. “Most soldiers do what we do because it’s our job ‒ we don’t expect recognition for it. But to be a part of something like this really puts into a different perspective what we do on a daily basis. I’m honored that my family was able to take part in this event and, in a small way, represent military families around the world.”
The event was co-ordinated by The Army’s Army. The flash mob was produced in an effort to pay tribute to and show appreciation for the troops of Fort Bragg and all soldiers throughout the country. Time Warner Cable plans to offer a video of the flash mob as an On Demand selection.
“While the flash mob focused on one particular soldier, it was intended to pay tribute to the military as whole,” said Janine West, Executive Director of the Army’s Army. “It was just one way for the Army’s Army to honor all of the soldiers and veterans that make sacrifices for us on a daily basis.”
Cumberland Oratorio Singers, a local classical choral music group, provided the singers for the flash mob. Maureen Yearby, a member of the Cumberland Oratorio Singers and Army’s Army member, is the mother of an 82nd Airborne soldier and has a son-in-law in Special Forces. She was more than happy to take part in the event.
“It’s just so important for us to make sure that our soldiers know we appreciate them. I see firsthand what they give up…and I needed to make sure they know that we appreciate everything they do,” said Yearby. Shoppers at the mall were treated to a once-in-a-lifetime experience as members of the flash mob emerged from nearby stores and began singing. Although taken by surprise, many shoppers joined the tribute by the end of the song. “[This was] something our family will never forget. It was an experience to remember. Thank you for saying, ‘thank you,’” added Shelby, SFC Roller’s wife.