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Magician visits Ramstein, enchants Airmen and families

Rob Lake, a magician, performs a free magic  show for U.S. Department of Defense members, their families and authorized guests at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 28, 2016. Lake’s performance was part of a tour conducted in coordination with Armed Forces Entertainment. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

Rob Lake, a magician, performs a free magic show for U.S. Department of Defense members, their families and authorized guests at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 28, 2016. Lake’s performance was part of a tour conducted in coordination with Armed Forces Entertainment. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

U.S. Department of Defense I.D. cardholders and their families watch a free magic show performed by Rob Lake at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 28, 2016. Lake and his team conduct tours with Armed Forces Entertainment as a show of appreciation for U.S. Military members serving overseas. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

U.S. Department of Defense I.D. cardholders and their families watch a free magic show performed by Rob Lake at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 28, 2016. Lake and his team conduct tours with Armed Forces Entertainment as a show of appreciation for U.S. Military members serving overseas. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

An audience member records volunteers being called on stage during a free magic show conducted by Rob Lake at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 28, 2016. Lake invited audience members to participate in his illusions during certain portions of the show. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

An audience member records volunteers being called on stage during a free magic show conducted by Rob Lake at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 28, 2016. Lake invited audience members to participate in his illusions during certain portions of the show. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

A magician’s assistant sits in a box during a dismemberment illusion during a free magic show at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 28, 2016. Other illusions and tricks that were featured were levitations, sand being pulled from water and disappearing acts. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

A magician’s assistant sits in a box during a dismemberment illusion during a free magic show at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 28, 2016. Other illusions and tricks that were featured were levitations, sand being pulled from water and disappearing acts. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

Rob Lake, a magician, performs a free magic show at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 28, 2016. The event was open to U.S. Department of Defense members, their families and authorized guests. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

Rob Lake, a magician, performs a free magic show at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 28, 2016. The event was open to U.S. Department of Defense members, their families and authorized guests. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

Rob Lake, a magician, signs a girl’s cast after a free magic show at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 28, 2016. Lake and his team coordinate with Armed Forces Entertainment to perform shows for U.S. military members serving overseas. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

Rob Lake, a magician, signs a girl’s cast after a free magic show at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, Sept. 28, 2016. Lake and his team coordinate with Armed Forces Entertainment to perform shows for U.S. military members serving overseas. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany -- The 86th Force Support Squadron and Armed Forces Entertainment treated Airmen and their families to a night of magic, Sept. 28 and 29, 2016.

The two organizations worked together to bring the magician Rob Lake to Ramstein to put on a free show for Department of Defense ID cardholders, their families and authorized guests.

“I’m really excited to be here,” Lake said. “I know the reputation of this base is well known. I’ve been on many bases and everybody always talks about Ramstein.”

Luke and his team use their skills as entertainers to show their appreciation for U.S. military members stationed far away from the homeland. Their partnership with AFE enabled them to bring U.S. forces overseas closer to home with their magic shows, he said.

“This is my 10th annual tour with Armed Forces Entertainment,” Lake continued. “Every year we take about a month of our schedule to bring my magic and a bit of American entertainment to the troops overseas.”

The two-night spectacle was held in an aircraft hangar, and included dismemberment illusions, disappearing acts, a levitating woman and mind-reading tricks.

The 86th FSS intended for the event to be a time for military families to relax and enjoy time together, said Stacey Harness, 86th FSS base-wide special events coordinator. She accepted Lake and his team’s performance at Ramstein as a gesture of gratitude to U.S. military members serving abroad.

“From start to finish there has been a whole team of us working on this event,” Harness said. “It was really exciting to have top-notch entertainment here to perform for us. I absolutely think it will benefit the Airmen and their families. The kids certainly had a great time; it was a whole lot of fun to watch the eyes of the kids.”

“I think any time we have folks come overseas to try to spend their time and come over to entertain us … we as a military community have an obligation to come out and support them in their support of us,” she continued.

One of Lake’s methods for making sure his audience has a good time is participation.

Throughout the evening, Lake asked volunteers to be part of his illusions. Even Col. Brandon Hileman, 86th Airlift Wing vice commander, surprised the audience after appearing from a crate which a woman previously occupied.

Lake said he draws inspiration from his grandfather’s experiences with U.S. entertainers during World War II. These stories from his grandfather inspired him to reach out to U.S. military communities in remote areas and bring them entertainment from home, Lake said.

“My grandfather served in World War II,” Lake said. “One of his fondest memories of that whole era was when Irving Berlin, who was a famous composer and musician from that time, came over and played for troops during the holidays.

“So this is our way of saying ‘thank for your service,’” he continued. “Thank you for your sacrifice and thank you all for being here and doing what you for our country. This is something we like to do just as our way of expressing our gratitude for everybody over here.”

Lake expressed pride in his job as a magician. Magic tricks and illusions have been a part of his childhood which have remained with him to adulthood, he said.

“I started doing magic when I was a kid and I basically never grew up,” Lake said. “So for me, being able to create a sense of wonder and enchantment for people of all ages is really the best part of what I do. No matter how old or young you are, creativity and imagination never go away.”