Congratulations to the winners of Fort Irwin’s 2012 Operation Rising Star Finals!
Eight members of the National Training Center and Fort Irwin community competed in the annual Operation Rising Star final competition at Shockwave, here, Oct. 17. Kristen C. Lindly, retiree and new mom, won first place. Military spouse Lysa Shreve, who placed third at Fort Polk’s finals in 2011, won second place. Sergeant 1st Class Santantoniano Smith, of the post Retention Office, won third place.
The directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation would like to thank all the contestants that came out and participated in the finals and for all the support that came with them! The 58th Engineer Company showed their spirit and took home the Spirit Award, which gives them $300 for their Family Readiness Group fund.
Also, special thanks to our judges, without whom this event would not be possible: Fort Irwin United States Army Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Dale Perez; Heather Hubbert, SKIES voice instructor, and; Joseph Holland, SKIES guitar and drum instructor.
We sat down with our first place winner, Lindly, or K.C. Austin as she’s fondly known, and asked her a few questions about being this year’s first place winner and learned more about her than we expected.
With a history of glee clubs, choir, community theatre and directing musical theatre, Lindly is no stranger to performing. In 2006, she performed in the U.S. Army Soldier Show and was a costume designer that same year. This also isn’t her first time performing and winning the Operation Rising Star competition. She won in 2008 at Fort Riley, Kan.
“For me, it’s just for fun,” Lindly said. “I’m a director and playwright first. I’ve been in the Army since I was 17, so doing this was a way to find myself again.”
Lindly’s husband’s unit, 699th Maintenance Company, 1916th Support Battalion, came out to cheer her on. She plans to donate $200 of her winnings to the unit for their support.
A video of Lindly’s performance has been submitted to Army MWR for a chance to compete in the Army-wide finals. The top 12 garrison finalists will be announced on Nov. 13, and the finals will be aired on the Pentagon Channel in December, where you can vote for your favorite singer. Watch http://fortirwinfmwr.com for further details.