Music and dance cheer vets across the U.S.
CAMDEN CHOPLICK, SON of Philadelphia Local 13 member Chester Choplick, is touring the United States to entertain hospitalized veterans through song and dance. Camden is a member of Re-Creation, a group founded in 1976 that performs in Veteran’s Administration medical centers in all 50 states. During the nine-person, interactive shows, the audience hears familiar songs with unique vocal arrangements, enhanced by dance routines and costumes. In addition to performing for veterans, Re-Creation presents around 300 fundraising shows a year.
According to Mary Reich, Re-Creation group director, their mission is to remind veterans they are not alone, that there are people in this country who appreciate what they’ve done for America. Re-Creation is also impactful for the young people who perform. “Being in the group is a life-changing experience,” she said.
Chester Choplick, who has seen his son perform multiple times, said that Re-Creation energizes those in the audience both during the performance and through personal interaction after the show. He said the shows are making a difference by “bringing up the spirits of vets. It completely transforms them in such a short time.”
Camden, 19, who sings tenor, started with Re-Creation in July 2016 and will continue with the group through July of this year. Even though the schedule can be demanding, with up to two shows a day, he said it’s an honor to perform.
Camden said that going into VA hospitals gives him the opportunity to meet the men and women who served in the military. “It changes a person in multiple ways, and what you get out of it internally is amazing and beautiful.”