Members of the Fort Hood community filled the Phantom Warrior Center Sept. 27 to see the culmination of Operation Rising Star.

“Operation Rising Star is a competition in which soldiers and community members are able to showcase their hidden talents,” said Luis Rios, Installation Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers adviser.

Dave Bell, U.S. Army retiree, said his love of music started long ago.

“I’ve been singing ever since I could remember,” Bell said. “I come from a very musical family, and watching my older brother singing always inspired me.

Bell participated in several soldier shows while he was in the Army, but didn’t find out about Operation Rising Star until it came time for him to retire. Curious as to how far he could go, Bell entered the competition.

The competition started out with 28 contestants, but just 10 finalists remained and only one would move on to the national level.

The show began, the crowd cheered for its favorite, and organizations within the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation worked to make sure the turnout was a success, Rios said.

In the end, after all had done their best, Bell was the victor and expressed his gratitude to those around him.

“I feel good,” Bell said. “If it wasn’t for my support system, my wife, my daughter, and all the people that came out to support me, they believe that I can do it and keep me grounded.”

With all the excitement, Bell feels confident in what lies ahead.

“I’m ready,” Bell said. “I’ve been ready for a while. This is my passion, my dream. This is what I live for.”

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