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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Voices from the Front Lines:
BAM Staff Brente Kelly and Daniel Curato

In conjunction with the multimedia theater production BASETRACK Live, BAM has developed a program called Voices From the Front Lines to facilitate conversations between civilians and service members about life on, and beyond, the military’s front lines. In addition to BASETRACK Live, which was inspired by the online Facebook community Basetrack, we are hosting a variety of talks, post-show receptions in conjunction with StoryCorps Military Voices Initiative, live music, and more.

On Veterans Day, we spoke with two of our colleagues who are service members to find out more about their experiences and what today means to them.

Brente Kelly
Brente Kelly
Supervisor at BAM Rose Cinemas
Lives in Brooklyn, NY

What branch of the military did you serve in and why did you enlist?
I am currently serving in the United States Navy and I can say, it has been a great learning experience. I joined the military back in 2011 because I wanted a change in my lifestyle. I also wanted to travel and meet new people from around the world, as well as gain valuable skills and advance my education.

When you served, how did you keep in touch with family and friends?
I was always able to keep in contact with my friends and family when I was away, either by mail or Facebook.

What does Veterans Day represent for you?
Veterans Day for me represents all the other soldiers and sailors before me who supported and defended this country with their life to keep others safe and out of harm’s way. It is a day to honor our fallen comrades who made a change whether or not their cause was the most or least important. I am happy to serve these people knowing that one day I will be recognized as a veteran for my honor, courage and commitment.  

Daniel Curato
Daniel Curato

HVAC Maintainer
Lives in Manalapan, NJ

What branch of the military did you serve in and why did you enlist?
I served and am still active in the United States Army. I joined to serve my country and to be a better person.

When you served, how did you keep in touch with family and friends?
When I went to training and overseas I always had internet access, and usually used Skype. I used it or some [other] type of communication—phone, email—mostly on a daily basis.

I have to say, social media has really enabled veterans to connect or re-connect after years of wondering, “What ever happened to _______?” One of my old units has a cool Facebook page and new images of old memories show up on a regular basis. Keeping up with the people you served with brings back great memories—those you served with often help fill in the gaps of your fading memory. The best memories for me stem from the fact that all these tough soldiers made me a better person. They pushed me farther than I could ever [have] by myself. They set high standards and raised the bar. They helped, encouraged, and looked out for me. I hope I did the same for each and every one I served with.

BASETRACK Live is at the BAM Harvey Theater Nov 11—15. For our full Voices from the Front Lines programming, click here.

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