Elite soldiers show off singing talents while in Louisville - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Elite soldiers show off singing talents while in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division are elite members of the Army who go to war and jump out of planes. In Louisville Wednesday, they were showing off some other skills during the downtown lunch break.

Around the KFC Yum! Center Wednesday afternoon, people could be seen standing at food trucks, waiting for their order. But you might also notice them snapping their fingers and swaying their hips to music. 

And you might be surprised to learn where the music was coming from. It was beautiful a capella music, being sung by soldiers.

"Because of the uniform, you can notice a soldier -- a paratrooper in our case -- from a mile away, so when you hear us sing, is when we catch ears and eyes," said Staff Sergeant Bryan Vaiagae, U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division.

"People don't expect us, they kind of look in awe, like, 'What's going on? Is something wrong? Why are there all these soldiers?'" said Staff Sergeant Traci Gregg. "But once we start singing, they stop all their attention, and that makes us feel so good."

Some of the spectators know exactly who these singers are.

"I love it," said Richard Young, a veteran of the 82nd Airborne Division. "I mean it's all airborne stuff. It's all paratroopers singing it. These are all qualified jumpers. A lot of them have been in Desert Storm, Iraq." 

The singers are also soldiers, members of the 82nd Airborne Division. It is the most highly trained light infantry division in the world, and is based in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

"Well, you take a week of airborne training, they teach you how to jump out of a plane, how to roll when you hit the ground, how to pull your chute down if it's too windy," said Young, who did not sing with the choir, but tries to hear them sing whenever he gets the chance. "(I've been seeing them) Since about 1980. I've got a lot of their CDs."

The soldiers have fought for our country and for a competitive spot on the 82nd division's All American Chorus.

"We love jumping out of airplanes and we also love singing," said Vaiagae.

The soldiers stay with the choir for two years as musical ambassadors for the 82nd division.

"We are representing every single individual paratrooper to include our commanding general and on down," said Gregg.

They are in town for the 82nd Airborne Division Association's 70th National Convention, and their job is to entertain and get people talking about the Army.

"Just remember, that soldiers that you see here, they're soldiers first -- paratroopers that is -- singing is voluntary, they chose to sing, it's a special duty-assignment," said Vaiagae.

More than 150 paratroopers will parachute into Clark County Regional Airport at 11 a.m. Thursday.

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