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Restore funds for US Army Europe Entertainment; keep theater alive for military in Europe

This petition had 1,347 supporters


For over sixty (60) years, Army Entertainment in Europe has provided valuable services for US military personnel and government civilians, their families, and citizens of host nations.  Unfortunately, we have learned that funding for Army Entertainment has been eliminated.  As a result, the European theaters serving our hard-working American service members, civilians overseas and host nation citizens will be closed by October 1, 2016. 

 The US Army Theater Entertainment Program is the largest Off-Broadway producer of theater in the World. This irreplaceable live theater program in Europe benefits large demographics of stakeholders every year.  For over six (6) continuous decades, thousands of US service members, family members, contractors, and European locals benefit from this theater performed in English.  This unique and successful theater program does the following:

 1.  Fosters Goodwill, outreach and cooperation with our European hosts and hostesses. The European volunteers and theater patrons gain positive insights into the US military and the United States of America, which is offered from this type of community outreach.  The host nation citizens volunteer and patronize the military post theaters.  Bonding through the love of live theater allows Americans and European locals a rare chance to work together and develop healthy and constructive relationships.

 2.  Teaches skills such as speech, goal achievement, leadership, teamwork, hard work ethic, critical thinking, timeliness, discipline, personal development, and American values.  Furthermore, the theater program presents another form and opportunity to develop confidence, self-assuredness, and courage.

 3.  Promotes valuable and varied volunteer opportunities at each post.  Each year, approximately 300,000 hours of donated service are willingly given to local theaters because the volunteers share a love of theater and the joy of entertaining military communities. The estimated value of their volunteer time most likely matches if not exceeds the appropriated and non-appropriated funding of Army Entertainment in Europe. 

 4.  Promotes integration into the local military communities, and contributes to comprehensive fitness for the cast or crew from the displaced military community.   Working alongside each other for a common purpose in the theater creates a strong circle of friends.  Furthermore, in times of stress, the stage provides a unique healthy outlet for members of the military community to work through difficult emotions, promoting much-needed resiliency.  Theater opens up pathways for all involved to explore their own views and emotions.

 5.  Increases and grows the required professional skills necessary in the theater industry.  As a result of U.S. Army Entertainment, many U.S. service members and their family members are able to maintain and improve their theater skills, and many have moved on to employment in professional theater.  For those who were in the theater profession already, the U.S. Army Entertainment allowed them to maintain or grow their artistic skills. This is a direct result of the U.S. Army’s appointment of professionals to serve as garrison entertainment and artistic directors.

 We understand that the military is tasked with balancing its budget, but feel the comparatively small amount of money spent on US Army Europe Entertainment is more than justified by its overwhelming benefits to the military community.  We, the undersigned, ask that funding be reinstated for US Army Europe Entertainment as soon as possible.  Your prompt action will benefit all Americans.

 



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