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June 10, 2013
By Mr. Simon Hupfer (Franconian News)

BAMBERG/ANSBACH, Germany -- Cookie Monster, Elmo, and their friends are bringing a special Sesame Street show to U.S. Army Garrison Bamberg with two performances on 12 July at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Freedom Fitness Facility. They will also perform at USAG Ansbach on 17 July at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at the Katterbach Fitness Center.

Presented by United Services Organization (USO), the free show is based on Sesame Street's military families initiative and is currently visiting U.S. military installations in Europe and the Pacific regions. It's the USO's longest running travelling tour.

"Not only will kids jump up and down for the chance to see their Sesame Street friends in person, but it's a great opportunity for kids and parents alike to join in with the USO in support of those Soldiers and their Families who serve our nation and endure regular moves and transition to do so," said Jack Austin, USAG Bamberg's entertainment director, who is organizing the event for the Bamberg garrison.

"It is a privilege and an honor to say thank you to our troops and their Families 365 days a year. Our partnership with Sesame Street is one of the many ways the USO does this for our loved ones and we are thrilled to be celebrating five years of friendship," said Sloan Gibson, USO President. "Working together we expand our reach and support in a very powerful and meaningful way for those who need us the most."

The show's plot is a perfect fit for the Bamberg community: Katie - a military child who, with the help of her Sesame pals, learns to deal with her fears and excitement about relocating after her parent's deployment - is back and looking forward to seeing all of her friends overseas. Created exclusively for this tour, Katie was first introduced to military Families in April 2011 by Mrs. Obama and Mrs. Biden at a Joining Forces rally in Columbus, OH.

Emphasizing the importance of adjusting to change and the power of friendship, this 30-minute character performance lets military youngsters know they are not alone and provides special giveaways and outreach materials to military families who attend.

"When the USO/Sesame Street Tour came to Bamberg in 2011, it drew the largest audiences of any touring performers in the last decade and more. Kids loved the very spirited and enjoyable show, and even parents and older siblings enjoyed seeing their old friends in the flesh--or better, 'in the fur'. Doors open half an hour prior to each of the show times, and it's general seating, so come early," Austin said.

The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families made its debut in July 2008 to help families deal with the challenges of deployment and homecomings. Celebrating its fifth year of touring, the tour has taken its message to more than 368,000 troops and military families and performed 631 shows on 145 military installations in 33 states and 11 countries. Additionally, the tour has logged more than 122,000 miles and distributed more than 2 million giveaways.

For more information, videos and photos of the USO Sesame Street Tour visit: http://www.uso.org/Entertainment/Sesame/Video-and-Photo-Galleries.aspx
http://www.flickr.com/photos/theuso/sets/72157629777249803/