Desireé Flores

Stripes Korea

Military brat Desireé Flores, 22, has aspirations of being the next American Idol. She recently auditioned for the program in San Francisco and could possibly be seen in upcoming episodes of the program that are currently being shown on AFN on Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m.

A college student pursuing a career as a singer/song writer, model and actress, Flores lives with her family on Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. Her father, an Army major, is set to retire this summer.

Like most military brats, she and her family have lived in many places, including Kentucky, Florida, Alabama, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Korea and Germany.

Flores told Stars and Stripes in an email that she wanted to share her American Idol audition and her experience “because my story has to do with me being an Army brat all of my life and how music has gotten me through the rough patches of always moving.”

And now she wants to inspire others with her music.

“One day, I would love to travel with the USO and perform for soldiers and their families,” she said.

Q. What made you audition for American Idol?
So many people have always told me to audition for American Idol ever since I was in high school, and I didn’t want to go through my life thinking to myself “what if”, so I agreed to do it this year and give it a try.

Q. Can you tell us a little bit about ups and downs as an army brat?
Ups of being an army brat: Many have the privilege to travel and live all over the world. Not many people can say they have. In result of traveling and/or living in a foreign country, we get to meet many different people and have an open mind to and learn about the cultures and languages of the world. The bond you make with other military brats because they also understand the lifestyle. I still keep in touch with some elementary school friends I’ve made in Germany! I also found that being a military brat made me be friends with every one of every ethnicity, color, background, culture. Being an Army brat also makes me extremely proud of my father and everyone who has and is serving for our country!

Downs of being an army brat: Starting your life all over when you move. Growing up, I was really shy and quiet so moving made it hard for me to make friends easily. Leaving your friends (or even significant others) is not fun. Moving has helped me get used to a new place quickly though because I’ve done it so many times. Also with technology, it has made it easier to stay in touch with people. It also made me come out of my shell as the years went by because I learned to just not care about what people think and be myself no matter what. Another downer is the possibility of a family member serving in the military to be deployed or have to go to training for months. My father has been deployed once, many of my friend’s parents/siblings have been deployed. Of course it’s always hard on the family.

Q. How has singing gotten you through “rough patches”?
Music has always been my getaway whenever I’m feeling down. When I was 15, my family and I moved to Korea and that first year was hard for me to make “fit in”. So I turned to music for comfort and began singing and writing songs. It was sort of my therapy and it gave me confidence as the years went by. No matter where I went and what I was going through, music has always been there for me.

Q. Do you think being a military brat helped you in pursuing a dream?
I honestly do think that being a military brat helped me pursue my dream. I lived Seoul, South Korea as a high school student. I wanted to perform and showcase my talents but the only way I could do so was to get involved with my school’s show choir, talent shows, and sing at church. During my senior year of high school, YouTube was blowing up so I decided to start making YouTube videos in an old channel. Being in the Army has made my father responsible and dedicated to his work and that his example has rubbed off on me. It has made me dedicated to keep singing and practicing in hopes of one day I too could live my dream as a singer like my favorite artists.

Q. What advice would you give other military children who are pursuing their dreams?
First, talk to your family about your aspirations and your interests. Your family can be your number 1 fans and support! If you live in the states AND even overseas and want to do something in the field of the arts, get involved with everything that you can! Take art classes, join school and/or church choir, find a vocal coach and practice singing, join the school and/or community plays, find a talent/modeling agency if you live near one, take dance classes! The same goes for those who want to pursue a career in sports, medical, teaching, etc. Volunteer in the areas that interest you and build your portfovlio! Always stay dedicated, positive, humble, always practice, and NEVER GIVE UP! People may have negative things to say (especially on the internet), but do not let that ever affect you. Always look to your supporters and positive feed backs because they are what matter. Keep your head up high and shine!

By Takahiro Takuguchi, Stripes Korea

Photo courtesy of Desireé Flores

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