News: 'Idols' celebrate military children
Story by Lance Cpl. Lisa Tourtelot
MIRAMAR, Calif. - Brooke White and Danny Gokey of “American Idol,” and Mallory Lewis and “Lamb Chop” performed at the Bob Hope Theater aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar April 2 to celebrate Month of the Military Child with Marine and Navy families.
Lewis hosted the event and the “Idols” performed songs for service members and their families before a screening of their new movie, “Change of Plans.”
Eight-year-old Anthony Aranda, a contest winner from the Youth and Teen Center, joined Lewis on stage to help host the event. Aranda also interviewed the former “Idols” before their performances and plans to write a review of “Change of Plans.” Aranda explained that movie reviewing could be his new hobby.
“I already know Danny Gokey and Brooke White,” stated Aranda. “I’m excited to see ‘Change of Plans.’ I think it’s going to be my favorite movie.”
Aranda won a contest writing movie reviews for KIDS FIRST!, the organization that spearheaded the event.
Ranny Levy, the president of KIDS FIRST!, began planning the event last June after Lewis, who often entertains children at MCAS Miramar, encouraged her to organize an event in conjunction with Month of the Military Child. Levy explained that she wanted to do more than have a simple film screening - she wanted the talent from the film to be there as well.
“If you’re going to have happy service members, you have to have happy families,” said Levy. “The nation is grateful for what the military does. When Mallory suggested that I should do an event for military families, how could I say no?”
Levy explained that Gokey and White were more than happy to support military children for this event.
For White, the plight of military families hits home. Her brother-in-law is currently serving in Afghanistan and her sister is caring for their three-year-old child alone.
“They just count the days until he comes home,” said White. “I think sometimes we have apathy about the world. You just expect it. You expect freedom. [Being with service members and their families] is eye-opening and humbling.”
White explained that the children of service members endure unique challenges that deserve recognition.
“Their families are sacrificing a lot, and that is hard on a kid,” said White. “I do events like this because I get to bring them something that makes them happy.