More than 3,600 Soldiers and Family Members made their way to Magrath Physical Fitness Facility on Friday and Saturday to be entertained as the Sesame Street / USO Experience for Military Families presented a special show geared toward military children.
The show featured Sesame Street favorites Elmo, Grover, Cookie Monster and Rosita in what tour coordinator Nicole McClendon described as a “singing, dancing thank-you card” for military Families.
The show also features a very special character named Katie. “She happens to be a military child herself, and she’s just found out that she’s about to move with her Family to a new base, which is something that all of our military friends go through,” McClendon said.
“She’s a little nervous, but by hanging out with Elmo, Grover and Cookie Monster, she learns some songs and some dances and some tips on how to stay in touch with her old friends and how to make new friends at her new base.”
The message that the event staff want to send to military Family Members is that change can be a good thing, and that there are lots of other children who have experienced the emotions that they face in the wake of an upcoming permanent-change-of-station move.
“Our military friends – our littlest heroes – are seeing somebody that’s just like them going through what they go through up on stage,” she said.
Attendees were encouraged to sing and dance along with Elmo and his friends, and they even got a chance to shake hands and hug some of the characters. Each child also received an Elmo toy and USO bandana.
This year, the staff of the Sesame Street / USO Experience tour will perform more than 200 shows, visiting 69 bases in 32 states.